Asian Style Pulled Pork with Quick Pickles

asian style pulled pork bbq crock pot

Friends! I have made my first pickles.  Huge shout out to Laura at Feast Wisely and Twice as Tasty for their wisdom and for nudging me not to give up – these pickles were quick, easy, and a delightful addition to this sandwich. And, they were made from the first ever cucumber I grew in my very own garden. I am beyond excited to have *finally* made a successful pickle and can’t wait to try more recipes. (Feel free to comment with your favorite recipes or tricks below).

On Saturday I threw together an impromptu backyard birthday shindig for my husband.  During the day we were out kayaking and so I needed something I could easily prepare the night before.  I’ve been looking for an excuse to make this pork, as I first tried it on the 4th of July last year when my father brought it over to our house as his potluck contribution.  I had thrown together a simple offering of hotdogs and hamburgers which were kindly consumed until he arrived with his crockpot of tangy and sweet pork, a crock of freshly made pickles, and the most delicious onion rolls in town.  The bowl was wiped clean as guests of all ages went back for seconds and thirds.

In recreating this gem for Saturday I knew that I had to follow the original recipe AS IS so my dish would stand up to the expectations of the crowd as well as the original chef. So, I followed the recipe 100% from the site Living to Dine.  This recipe serves 8-10 and I increased it by 50% in order to serve 12-15 guests – so my measurements reflect that change.  The highest compliments came from our friends, a food-loving couple, who just returned from their Copenhagen honeymoon where they dined at one of the most sustainable restaurants on the planet! She is a vegetarian and his love of pork was pretty much professed in their vows, and EACH of them were impressed. Think about that one.

For the party I also prepped potato salad made with greek yogurt rather than mayo, and made an ice cream sundae bar for dessert.  Friends brought the tomato, basil mozzarella salad, and a house favorite arugula salad with pine nuts and pecorino.   

We ended up having some pork leftover and so we had it the next morning with bacon and eggs.

pulled pork leftovers for breakfast

Note: I am still working on a dish to complement the end of our vacation in Italy to highlight our stay in Florence (after Tuscany and Cinque Terre) -stay tuned!


  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons sriracha
  • 4.5 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 5 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice Powder
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger – peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup hoisin
  • 6 pounds of boneless pork butt
  • 2 packages of onion Kaiser rolls for serving


Steps and Notes:

  1. Trim the fat from the pork and cut into 2 inch cubes – set aside
  2. Make a sauce by combining all of the ingredients except the pork. Whisk together well until the honey is fully combined
  3. Add the sauce to the crock pot then the pork, mixing with your hands until all pieces are fully covered.
  4. Cook in the crock pot on high for 1 hour, then on low for 8 more hours.
    • Note: I made this late at night and then woke up and turned it off in the morning.
  5. Make the pickles (recipe below)
  6. Once cooked, shred with two forks.
  7. Serve immediately or place in the fridge until serving then re-heat in crock pot.


Quick Pickles



  • 1 large yellow bell pepper – sliced into long matchsticks 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 hothouse cucumber – sliced into long matchsticks 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 serrano peppers – seeded and sliced into long matchsticks 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 inch fresh ginger – peeled and sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves – minced


Steps and Notes:

  1. Place all vegetables into a glass or ceramic bowl – toss gently
    • Note: I used a glass bowl, but when my dad first made these he used a crock which resulted in a more well rounded pickle  
  2. Add the sugar, salt, vinegar, ginger, and garlic to a medium saucepan on medium heat. Whisk until the mixture is boiling.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour the liquid over the veggies. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (or longer if making ahead of time).  
  4. Serve the strained pickles and store in liquid.

Thoughts for Next Time:

  • Expand on the pickles by adding turnips or carrots
  • Toast the rolls before serving and serve with a sriracha mayo
  • Reduce some of the remaining juice and serve as a dipping sauce

asian style pulled pork bbq crock pot quick pickles



  1. […] pickling something (this seems easy enough? I need to just try […]


  2. […] and family, and enjoy great BBQ food.  The highlight of the barbecue this year was my dad’s asian pulled pork and homemade pickles. I want to make this again soon and post it here (once he sends me the recipe – hint […]


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