This slow cooked pork in tonkatsu sauce is a brilliant easy recipe that's so versatile. Prepare the Japanese barbecue sauce the evening before, marinate the pork overnight and then just put in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to an easy dinner of Japanese pulled pork! It's a perfect easy midweek recipe.
I may have mentioned this before, but I sometimes think pork can be a rather boring meat. Of course, if you like eating the crackling from a joint of roast pork, then I can see that that makes it more interesting. However, as I'm not a fan of crackling myself, I've never really enjoyed eating pork as a roast dinner.
However, slow cooked pork with herbs, spices and various condiments is a much more interesting dinner prospect. My favourite way to eat pork is slow cooked in homemade barbecue sauce. The sauce has to be homemade as I find bought barbecue sauces far too sweet.
Now, I do already have a recipe for a more traditional slow cooked pork in bbq sauce so it was time to experiment. I decided to create my own recipe for a slow cooker Japanese bbq pork. The recipe is inspired by the oriental flavours in tonkatsu sauce, which is Japanese bbq sauce. I decided to marinate the pork in the tonkatsu sauce and then slow cook the pork in the tonkatsu sauce.
Once the pork is cooked you can turn it into Japanese pulled pork which can be eaten in all kinds of ways.
But what is tonkatsu?
As I said, tonkatsu sauce is often thought of as Japanese bbq sauce. It's sweet, sour and slightly fruity with a little heat from mustard and ginger.
How is tonkatsu normally served?
This recipe is definitely not a traditional Japanese tonkatsu dish. In Japan, tonkatsu sauce would normally be served as a side dish for dipping breaded pork. Not like this as I've turned it into a kind of Japanese pulled pork recipe.
Ingredients for slow cooker tonkatsu pork
To make this slow cooked pork in tonkatsu sauce you'll need:
- Pork - You can use pork shoulder or leg. Choose something that is good for slow cooking.
- Condiments - Ketchup, light soy sauce, rice wine, Worcestershire sauce, pomegranate molasses, mustard. Pomegranate molasses may sound like an unusual ingredient for a Japanese sauce. However it does add a sweet-sourness that goes very well in this particular sauce.
- Garlic - Use a fresh clove of garlic or a garlic puree
- Ginger - As with the garlic, you can use freshly grated root ginger or a puree.
- Cornflour - This is if you want to reduce and thicken the sauce after removing the pork from the slow cooker.
How to prepare this slow cooker tonkatsu pork
This recipe is very simple to prepare. Just mix together all the ingredients. Pour them over the pork. Let it marinate overnight or for a few hours if possible.
Then, just cook on low for 8 hours.
When the pork is ready, take it out of the slow cooker and shred with two fork, removing any large pieces of fat as you shred it.
If you want to serve the sauce on the pork, simmer it to reduce a little. Stir in some cornflour dissolved in water to thicken it if necessary. Depending on the kind of slow cooker you have, you may be able to reduce the sauce in the slow cooker. If you can't do this, just transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and reduce it on the hob.
How to serve this shredded pork tonkatsu
There are so many ways to serve this Japanese pulled pork and they are not all Japanese. Here are a few ideas:
- Wrapped in pancakes
- In any kind of bread as a sandwich filling
- With rice and stir fried vegetables
- As a jacket potato filling
- In quesadillas
- Put it in a soup
What can you do with the leftovers?
Any leftover Japanese pulled pork can be kept in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
You can eat it cold or reheat it in the oven or microwave.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can also freeze it. Try to remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag or container that it is in. It will keep for at least three months.
Defrost overnight before reheating in the oven or microwave.
More slow cooker recipes
If you like slow cooking as much as I do, wy not check out one of these recipes:
Slow Cooked Pork in Tonkatsu Sauce
- 1 kg pork
- 4 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 15 g knob of ginger finely chopped or grated
- 2 teaspoon cornflour
- Remove as much of the outside fat as you can from the pork. There will still be plenty of fat in the pork and it will stay very moist as it cooks.
- Mix together all the other ingredients. Taste the sauce and adjust any of the ingredients to your taste.
- Pour the sauce over the pork and put it in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours or even overnight.
- Pour a little water over the pork so that it is almost submerged and then cook on low for 8-9 hours.
- Take the pork out of the slow cooker. Put the pan on the hob and simmer the sauce to reduce. To thicken the sauce after it has reduced, add a couple of teaspoons of cornflour dissolved in cold water and stir. While the sauce is reducing, shred the pork using 2 forks. Pour the warm sauce over the pork to serve.