Tender braised pork gets a touch of earthy sweetness from the addition of hoisin sauce in this warming slow-cooker recipe. Pork shoulder is at its best when cooked low and slow, which results in meat that is exceptionally flavorful and tender. Make the pork and slaw ahead, then use them all week long in a variety of dishes—tucked into lettuce cups, wrapped in tortillas, or over noodles or rice as part of the ultimate bowl.
Hoisin Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps
- 4 lb. (2 kg) boneless pork shoulder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbs. canola oil
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) chicken stock
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbs. sriracha sauce
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
For the slaw:
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) rice vinegar
- 3 Tbs. canola oil
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 head green cabbage
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup (2/3 oz./20 g) packed chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) chopped salted roasted cashews
- 1 to 2 heads butter lettuce
- Hoisin and/or sriracha sauce for serving
To make the pork, trim the pork shoulder of excess fat and cut the meat into 4 equal pieces. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the pork and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine the stock, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger and sugar and stir to mix well and dissolve the sugar.
Pour the stock mixture evenly over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. The pork should be very tender.
Meanwhile, make the slaw. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Cut out and remove the core from the cabbage, then thinly slice crosswise. Add the cabbage, green onions, cilantro and cashews to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (The slaw can be made up to 6 hours in advance.)
Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, pull the pork into shreds, removing and discarding any large bits of fat. Let the cooking liquid stand for a few minutes, then use a large spoon to skim the fat from the surface. Moisten the shredded pork with some of the warm cooking liquid.
To assemble the wraps, gently separate the lettuce leaves, keeping each leaf intact; you’ll need 16 to 18 leaves. Mound some of the pork mixture onto each leaf, then top with some slaw. Serve immediately, with additional hoisin and/or sriracha sauce on the side for diners to add if they like. Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Everyday Slow Cooking (Weldon Owen, 2018)