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Instant Pot Korean Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce

*I don't know what is going on with my template but at this time, I can't do anything about this damned all caps sitch, so my apologies in advance. I am not screaming at you.

I haven't met a pulled pork that I don't love. I love South Carolina style with a mustard mop, I love it with tomato based BBQ sauce and a carnita will never be kicked out of my bed for eating crackers. All that said, the one I like to make at home is this recipe - gochujang is my spirit animal. 

Before getting this pressure cooker, this was another one of those dishes that required planning a day before. Even if I didn't marinate the meat overnight, I had to get it ready first thing in the morning so it could sit for at least an hour or so and then get into the crock pot by mid morning to make sure the meat was cooked by dinner time. Frankly, I am just not always that together so it means that I don't make it all that often. The pressure cooker means that I can actually run out after The Kid leaves for school, pick up some pork mid morning, let it sit in the marinade for the rest of the day and as long as I throw it in the pot by 4pm, we are good to go for dinner on the table by 5:30 or 6:00. Like extended breastfeeding and letting my kid decide when he was ready to be done with pull ups,  it's as much about laziness as it is about doing what's best. Obviously, if you don't have one yet, you need to get yourself an Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1  , my electric pressure cooker of choice. That link will take you to Amazon which is still the best place to pick one up. If you don't live anywhere near an Asian grocery store that sells Korean stuff, you can always order your Gochujang online

So, I have been starting to adapt some of my favourite slow cooker recipes for the electric pressure cooker and, so far, this is the star of the show. Because there is no evaporation with pressure cooking, making stews and soups requires more tinkering and somethings have been more difficult to master but for my Slow Cooker Korean Pulled Pork Recipe all I had to do was add 1 cup of liquid. Because I sometimes threw in a chopped up Asian pear when I made it in the crockpot, it made sense to use pear juice to make up part of that liquid but if you don't have pear juice, just use all water.

As far as what you can do with the pork, my favourite ways to use it are:

 a simple bowl of basmati rice topped with a big heap of meat, some scallion and sesame seeds 

a toasted, crusty bun and some Ponzo slaw and you have yourself a great Korean BBQ Pork Sandwich

BiBimBap Sopes are a great way to use up the last of the leftovers since you only need a few tbls for each one - if you don't want to bother with the sopes, just get corn tortillas and make tacos instead

for a BiBimBap style bowl, start with a bed of sushi rice and top with whatever you have - I like some spicy bean sprouts, pickled daikon, bbq pork and kimchi, topped with a runny fried egg, scallions and sesame seeds but you can use just about anything. A bit of sautéed spinach, some shredded carrot, leftover vegetables - I use what I have in the fridge so even if none of it feels very Korean, once you drizzle that BBQ sauce all over the top it won't matter one bit. Unless eggs can kill you, please don't skip the runny fried egg on top either because once you break that yolk and let it ooze out all over the rice, it mixes in with juices and BBQ sauce and naps everything in silky, velvety goodness.

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon so if you click the link and purchase something, I do get a small percentage of the sale, which helps me to maintain The Yum Yum Factor.

Instant Pot Korean Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce

serves 6-8 people
total cooking time is about 1 1/2 hrs with 45 minutes under pressure   

Pork and Marinade

1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbls gochujang (taste it when it's all mixed up and add more if you want it spicier)
3 tbls hoisin sauce
2 tbls ketchup
3 tbls rice vinegar
2 tbls rice syrup
2 tbls sesame oil
2 tsp chinese five spice powder
2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

approx 4 lb pork butt, cut up into at least four chunks

1/2 cup pear juice

1/2 cup water

Korean BBQ Sauce

4 tbl gochujang

5 tbls korean rice syrup (if you can't find that sugar or honey)

4 tbls light soy sauce

2 tbls rice vinegar

4 tsp sesame oil

BBQ Sauce:

Whisk everything together really well and set aside

Mix the first 10 ingredients together, except for the pork butt, pear juice and water. Cut the pork into 4 or 5 large chunks and toss the pork into the sauce. I like to leave this in the fridge overnight if at all possible but you want to leave it for at least a few hours to marinate. When it's time to cook it, throw the whole thing into the pressure cooker (scrape all that marinade in there too) with the water and the pear juice and program it for 45 minutes at High Pressure and let the pressure come down naturally when the time is up (NPR).

*if you don't cut up your pork into smaller chunks, it will take approx 75-90 minutes but I do encourage you to cut it up. It makes it more manageable, you get more surface area to coat in the marinade and the cooking time is much quicker.

When it's done, remove the pork and set aside to cool a bit. 

Change the setting to sauté and bring the liquid to a boil and let it boil until it is reduced by more than half - about 15 to 20 minutes.

Pour the reduced liquid in a defatting cup or let it settle for a few minutes and carefully ladle off as much of the fat as you can.

When the meat has cooled down enough to handle, shred the meat up using your hands or two forks, and toss it with the reduced cooking liquid. At this point, if you aren't using it right away, you can store it in the fridge for up to three days.

When it's time to serve, you can toss it in the BBQ Sauce or you can drizzle the sauce over the top, depending on how you are using the meat.

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