Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

Yield: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 7 hours, 29 minutes

A humble cut of pork shoulder gets an umami-rich marinade and a long rest in the slow cooker. It then gets shredded and sprinkled with brown sugar, and blasted under the broiler to mimic that charred sweetness reminiscent of true Vietnamese street food eats. BYO little red stool.


  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, or to taste
  • 5 pound boneless, skinless pork shoulder, fat cap removed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • little gems or butter lettuce, separated into leaves
  • 1 Asian pear, julienned
  • cilantro leaves
  • cooked vermicelli rice noodles or roasted spaghetti squash strands (optional)


  1. Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat. After a minute or so, add the sesame and olive oils, then the onions, stirring to combine. Saute until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions are caramelized. Turn off the heat and stir in the ginger.
  2. Add the hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and water to the pan, stirring to combine. Add sriracha to taste.
  3. Put a few spoonfuls of the sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker, then place the pork on top of it. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pork. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until the pork shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Meanwhile, prep the pickled veggies: Mix together the sugar, salt, and rice vinegar. Add the julienned carrots and cucumber and reserve in a covered container. Let rest, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.
  5. To finish the pork, preheat oven to 500 F or Broil mode.
  6. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and allow to rest until it’s cool enough to handle. Shred it with a pair of forks.
  7. Place the shredded pork in a baking dish and stir in some of the reserved sauce to taste. Sprinkle with brown sugar, blast in the oven/broiler until caramelized, 10-15 minutes (keep an eye on it if your broiler is strong).
  8. Assemble lettuce cups by filling with pulled pork and topping with pickled veggies, julienned pear, and cilantro. If you want to bulk it up, also add some cooked vermicelli rice noodles. Roasted spaghetti squash strands make an awesome substitute if you’re going grain-free.