Pressure Cooker Spicy Pork Shoulder

Pressure Cooker Spicy Pork Shoulder

You can make this spicy pork in an electric pressure cooker if you’re in a hurry, or in a slow cooker if you’re not. In either case, you’ll get tender bits of meat covered in a chile-flavored barbecue sauce that’s just slightly sweet. (You can also make it in a stovetop pressure cooker, by trimming a few minutes off the cooking time. Stovetop pressure cookers tend to cook at a slightly higher pressure, so food cooks more quickly.) Gochujang, a pungent Korean chile paste, and gochugaru, Korean chile flakes, is available at Asian markets and specialty shops, or see the ingredient list for substitutions.

Serve the pork over rice or in slider rolls, topped with crunchy pickled sesame cucumbers and a little kimchi, if you want to spice things up. And, while you can make this from start to finish in an afternoon, you can also make this in stages a few days ahead, if that’s easier.


For the pork:

  • 5garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
  • 2tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 1tablespoon Korean chile flakes (gochugaru) or other chile flakes (Maras, Aleppo or crushed red pepper)
  • 1tablespoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into two or three pieces

For the sauce:

  • 1tablespoon peanut oil
  • 4garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane
  • 2tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
  • ⅓cup gochujang (Korean chile paste) or other chile paste or sauce such as Sriracha
  • ¼cup soy sauce
  • 2tablespoons ketchup
  • 2tablespoons mirin
  • 2tablespoons honey
  • 1tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1teaspoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1teaspoon sesame oil

For the sesame pickled cucumbers:

  • 6Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (or about 4 cups sliced cucumbers)
  • 1 ½tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2teaspoons sesame seeds

For serving:

  • Cooked rice or toasted slider rolls
  • Kimchi (optional)
  • Nutritional Information
      • Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

        632 calories; 44 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 19 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 41 grams protein; 161 milligrams cholesterol; 1465 milligrams sodium

    Note: The information shown is’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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  1. To prepare pork, combine garlic, brown sugar, chile flakes, salt and pepper. Rub marinade all over pork. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to up to 24 hours. Otherwise, proceed with recipe.
  2. Set electric pressure cooker to sauté (or use a large skillet). Add pork in batches and sear until browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Add 3/4 cup water to pot (or to skillet to deglaze, then move to pot), cover, and set to cook for 90 minutes on high pressure.
  3. While pork cooks, prepare sauce: In a small pot, warm peanut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set sauce aside. (It can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)
  4. Manually release steam. Let pork cool until you can handle it, then shred it into bite-size pieces. Pork can be made to this point up to 3 days ahead.
  5. While pork cools, strain liquid from bottom of pot. Pour off fat (or chill liquid, then scoop off solidified fat with a spoon). Reserve.
  6. Prepare cucumbers: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except sesame seeds, and let sit, tossing one or twice, for at least 20 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds.
  7. When ready to serve, heat broiler. Toss pork with sauce and 1 to 2 tablespoons cooking liquid — just enough so pork is evenly coated but not wet or runny. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, and broil until crisped on top, 2 to 3 minutes; it will char in places, and that’s fine.
  8. Serve pork over rice or on slider rolls, with cucumbers and kimchi, if desired.


  • Recipe can also be prepared in a slow cooker set to 5 to 7 hours on high.

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