Asian Pork Pot Roast

Asian Pork Pot Roast


Soy sauce, mirin, Szechuan peppercorns, star anise, ginger, garlic and stock, turn this inexpensive cut of pork into a highly flavorful, ultra-tender and mouth-watering meal.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs - 6 hrs
  • Views: 30,403
  • Success: 97%


Step 1: Preparing the Pork

• 3 to 4 lb pork picnic roast*
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 whole star anise
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1" -inch piece of ginger


To prepare the pork, place it into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add the spices and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Let simmer for about 20 or 30 minutes. This is to extract any impurities from the pork. Next, drain the pork and set aside while you begin the sauce.

Note: This step is optional. Alternatively, you can sear the pork and continue with the recipe as follows.

Step 2: Preparing the Sauce

• 4 cloves garlic
• 2" -inch piece ginger (approx. 2 tbsp)
• 3 to 4 large shallots
• 1/3 cup soy sauce
• 1/3 cup mirin**
• 1/2 to 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 to 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
• 4 star anise seeds


Preheat the oven to at least 200° F (95°C).

To start the sauce, finely mince the garlic, ginger, and shallots. Then measure out the rest of your mise en place.

Next, heat an appropriate-sized, oven-proof pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the garlic, ginger and shallots. Let cook for a minute or two until softened and aromatic.

Next, add the soy sauce, mirin, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns and bay leaves. Then turn heat to low and proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Cooking the Pork

• 3 to 4 cups chicken stock


Place the pork into the liquid and then top up with chicken stock until the liquid reaches about halfway up the meat.

Next, bring the dish to a simmer over medium heat. Then turn off the heat and place into the oven.

Let the meat cook anywhere from 2 hours to 6 hours, or until fork tender.
This will depend on the oven temperature and how big the piece of meat was to begin with.

As the meat cooks, turn it at least 3 or 4 times during cooking to ensure both sides are able to exchange flavors with the liquid.

Step 4: Resting the Pork


Once the meat is fork tender, you can serve it immediately. For the best results, cool the dish in an ice bath. Once cool, cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Let cool overnight to allow the flavors to mature.

Step 5: Finishing the Sauce and Serving

• slurry (if needed)
• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


Once the pork has chilled overnight, remove any excess fat from the dish. Then remove the meat from the bone and pull apart into big pieces. Set aside.

To finish the sauce, bring the liquid to a simmer. Use a slurry to thicken the sauce, if needed. Once you have reached the desired consistency, test for seasoning add then place the pork back into the sauce.

Place the dish into a warm oven to heat through. Once hot, serve with steamed jasmine rice and baby bok choy (see notes below).

Chef's Notes

*Pork Picnic Roast: is also sometimes referred to as pork shoulder roast, arm picnic pork or fresh pork picnic ham. If you cannot find this cut, you can substitute with Boston butt. This will be similar, but it does have a slightly different flavor.

**Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine. If you cannot find it, you can substitute with a bit of sugar instead.

You can also add a few tablespoons of oyster sauce to this as well to add a nice touch of saltiness to the final dish.

Suggested Side Dishes:
Steamed Rice:
Baby Bok Choy:


  • Candis B
    Candis B
    A very flavourful roast! The cut and size of meat used was Pork Shoulder(1.03 kg). The required cooking time was 5 1/2 hours. I used 3 cups of store-bought chicken broth, used Tamari sauce(1/4 cup). The Mirin and Szechwan peppercorns were omitted since there were none on hand. I used 2 whole star anise in addition to the 4 star anise seeds since the step for simmering the pork for 20 minutes was omitted. The meat was fork-tender. Dawn, would you suggest adding any wine(if so, what kind) after the mirepox has softened? Also, the next time that I make this recipe I will use homemade stock. Do you suggest light or dark chicken stock? If using mirin and Szechwan peppercorns, is the flavour much different and do you crush them slightly? Thank you for the pot roast technique. This temperature is comparable to the low setting on a slow cooker.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Glad you liked it...sounds like you did everything right. Now as for whether or not you could use wine, for sure you could deglaze with a bit of wine next time. I would suggest a dry white for the pork. You could even deglaze with a nice Asian beer. As for whether to use light or dark really doesn't matter, the dark will just add a bit of a darker color. Now, about the Szechwan and mirin...I would say that the mirin you could easily substitute, but the Szechwan peppercorns do add a nice unique flavor. They are really fantastic! Sometimes I crush them, but sometimes I don't Here is a link to a Drill-down about them The great thing about pot roasting is that it gives you room to play and have fun with cooking, this is one of the great things about this type of cooking. Hope this helps!
  • Leslie W
    Leslie W
    Is there a substitution for the Szechwan Peppercorns? I couldn't find them anywhere, finally one person told that at one point they had put a ban on them. And they had to ship them back to the company they order them from. Whatever a "ban" means I don't know. Any thoughts for substitutions would be helpful.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    There really is no true substitute for them. In a pinch you can use some black peppercorns. Just know that they are not the same thing. Here is a bit more info on szechuan peppercorns.
  • Leslie W
    Leslie W
    Thanks Dawn. I have recently found some online that I will be ordering soon. I think that they have lifted the US ban, but a lot of places still aren't carrying them. Our biggest Asian market here didn't have them, but I didn't call the other markets. I've got the asian pork pot roast in the oven now, I can't wait to see how it came out!!!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You will be glad that you ordered the peppercorns, they really have a fantastic flavor. Once they arrive you should also try making this Miso Dressing (it's honestly one of my favorite dressings). Good luck with the pork pot roast - Bon Appétit!
  • Leslie W
    Leslie W
    My husband is the pickiest eater and rarely tells me how GREAT something is even if it's great. Regardless, he couldn't stop talking about the pot roast; even when we were laying in bed trying to fall asleep he mentioned it, I had to tell him to be quiet. I was secretly very very proud. It was so easy too! I served it with jasmine rice and your recipe for glazed carrots (he gobbled them up too) Thanks so much for helping me jazz up our usual boring dinners.
  • Yuseph K
    Yuseph K
    Hi This was first roast and the flavours were great. Just a question on technique. I followed the recipe and boiled the pork before but I don't understand the purpose. Wouldn't a sear make it a nicer colour? thanks
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Yuseph- You certainly could do that first, as it will create more color and flavor in many instances. We note that this simmering step is optional, as some prefer to just sear and start that way. ~Ken
  • Yuseph K
    Yuseph K
    thanks. What impurities is it removing? I noticed in the pot roast module it was a good sign to have a bit of a pinkish color. However, when I cut it up and reheated it, the roast became grey. Also, I noticed the slurry really mellowed out the taste of the sauce. I will try this again and try to learn from my mistakes :)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Simmering allows some of the soluble proteins (close to the surface of the meat) to coagulate for skimming. As for the "pink" - you typically see this in roasting, not pot roasting, as the later is a moist technique that will always exceed the time/temp for meat cooked to a rare- or medium state. Good luck! ~Ken
  • John E
    John E
    when in the oven is the pot coved or not
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi John - Great question! Traditionally, when braising we want to leave the lid on the cooking vessel when in the oven. You can certainly keep an eye on the viscosity of the sauce/cooking liquid and if you would like it to be more concentrated, you can remove the lid for a period of time. But generally speaking, it's best to keep the lid on during the cooking process. I hope this helps! Thanks for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk

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