Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Char Siu Pork in the Crockpot Express or Instant Pot

I was out for a walk and there was a Crockpot Express sitting in front of the apartments with the
"Free To A Good Home" sign on it.

Yoink.  It had never been used.

So while sitting here thinking of what to write about, I realized I had some Pork Loin sitting in the refrigerator begging for attention.

General Instructions for Pork.

That is what you are reading here.  It's a modification of the recipe I had written years ago.  You see, cooking in a CrockPot Express or Instant Pot is really simple.   It has to be wet.  The Spices can be assembled ahead of time.  It loves marinade.  And take the time to Brown or Saute the meat, the extra flavor is why it is worth it!

But it is really all about the time under pressure and how long you leave it for natural release after the cook time is done.

Pork Shoulder recipes were 20 minutes under pressure, 10 minute natural release.

Sear your meat, fat side down until the fat looks cooked with a little oil.  I seared the outside of the entire piece of pork.

Remove the meat, pour in your liquid, and start the recipe.

Marinade  Add to a bowl, whisk until mixed.

  • 1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup Brandy, Rum, or Whiskey
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons or 1 Ounce of Dark Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons or 1 Ounce of Hot Sauce.  Sauces such as Thai Chili, Srirarcha, Tabasco... TO TASTE!  This time it was a bit on the hot side for me personally, I'll cut it down by half next time
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Ginger - Or 2 Teaspoons powdered Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Five Spice Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder (NOT salt)
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring - optional

Plus 2-4 pounds of Pork Shoulder or Pork Loin


  1. Heat the Crockpot Express on Saute.
  2. When the Oil warms to shimmer add your Pork fat side down.
  3. Move the Pork around until the fat begins to render and turn translucent.
  4. Repeat until the meat begins to brown on each side.
  5. Remove the meat and set aside.
  6. Turn off the Saute/Brown cycle.
  7. Add the marinade to the bottom and deglaze the pot.
  8. Then add the meat back to the pot turning it so the marinade gets to all sides of the meat.
  9. Seal the pot and cook for 20 minutes with at least 10 minutes for Natural Release.  If you are going to shred the meat, you will want to increase the cook time.
  10. Reduce the sauce that is left in the pot to the desired consistency and serve as needed.


Oh yeah that's the ticket!  The pork was tender, moist, and had a great flavor to it.  I reduced the sauce to a Barbecue Sauce/Catsup consistency after removing the pork and put some on the rice and pork I had for lunch.  It was good but was more spicy than I prefer.  Next time I do this, and I most certainly will, I will cut the hot sauce to 1 Tablespoon or less.

Again, since this was Char Siu (Chinese Barbecue) and not Pulled Pork, I served slices on a bed of rice.   If I were to want this to be Pulled Pork, I would increase the cook time to around 30 minutes for starters and see where it is for next time.  As it was this was an incredible meal for me and Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM)!

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