Okay, here it is. Pork Butt Part II.
If you’re a little confused, let me explain. Last week, I bought a large pork butt at the grocery store. I used half of it to make some pretty awesome Slow Cooker Carnitas and saved the other half for these Korean Lettuce Wraps.
These lettuce wraps are super-easy to make. The pork butt is first pampered and massaged with chili paste. Then, it sits in the slow cooker hot tub until the meat falls apart and the sauce is added. That’s when the real magic happens.
The pork is mixed with gochujang, soy sauce, light brown sugar, ginger, and sesame oil. I’m sure out of that list of ingredients, you might be the least familiar with the first one. Gochujang is a Korean fermented chili paste. It’s a little spicy, but not too hot. It’s a savory, but slightly sweet dark-red paste that has a permanent spot in my kitchen.
I haven’t had much luck finding it in stores, so I order it online.
We go through quite a bit of it, so I’ll actually order several containers at a time. It’s so good.
This Korean-style shredded pork is delicious in tacos as well. Since we had a lot of leftover pork between these lettuce wraps and the carnitas, we’ve been adding pork to everything. We’ve had shredded pork salads, burritos, tacos, wraps, rice bowls, and even added it to noodles. Best of all, it all came from a $15 pork butt. Cha-ching!
Nothing goes to waste in this house.
You can also stuff these lettuce wraps with kimchi, sliced carrots, radishes, and other vegetables. Then, just drizzle with Sriracha or Hoisin sauce.
If you want to add an extra bit of texture, you can caramelize the edges of the pork under the broiler. Just spread the shredded pork out on a baking sheet, broil for about 5 minutes, then add the gochujang sauce.
For more detailed instructions on broiling shredded pork, check out the Slow Cooker Carnitas recipe.
Slow Cooker Korean Lettuce Wraps
For the Slow Cooker:
- 3 cloves garlic, whole
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup gochujang
- 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 lb pork butt
For the Korean Sauce:
- ½ cup gochujang
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
- bib lettuce leaves, whole
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- hoisin sauce
- Spread the garlic and chopped onion out over the bottom of a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the two cups of chicken broth.
- In a small bowl, combine the gochujang, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cut the pork butt into a few large pieces and rub with the gochujang mixture.
- Lay the pork onto the onions and garlic in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, until the pork is tender and falling apart.
- About 15 minutes before the pork is done cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Once tender, remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the cooking liquid. Pull the pork into shreds using two forks and toss with the Korean Sauce.
- Serve the pork with thinly sliced green onion and sesame seeds on whole bib lettuce leaves. Drizzle with hoisin sauce, if desired. Serve immediately.