Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
21 Jul

Slow-Cooked Coconut Ginger Pork

Using a slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to get a hearty, healthy meal on the table with very little effort. If it’s a hot summer day and you want to cook a big meal without turning on the oven, a slow cooker is the answer. If the weather is frigid and you’re craving comfort food, pull out the slow cooker. If you’re busy as all get-out and cooking is the last thing you want to do, the solution is – you guessed it – a slow cooker.

Slow-Cooked Coconut Ginger Pork is a recipe that both slow cooker aficionados and newbies will love. A large cut of pork is slow cooked until tender and infused with the spicy, aromatic flavor of ginger, garlic and coconut milk. Salty, savory pork fat drips off the roast as it cooks, swirling with the ginger-scented coconut milk to create an incredibly flavorful broth. When coconut milk cooks for hours it loses its milky quality and looks more like coconut oil. Still, it adds a creamy richness to the broth and seeps into the meat, giving it a slightly sweet flavor.

Unless you’re feeding a large group, meals from a slow cooker typically provide leftovers for days. On the first night, serve the succulent pork and rich broth in bowls filled with raw shredded cabbage or steamed cauliflower rice. The next day, shred the meat over a salad. After that, add the meat to a stir-fry or omelet or eat it cold straight out of the refrigerator. Anyway you serve it, you’re going to love it.

Servings: 6-8


  • 3 to 4 pound boneless pork butt/shoulder roast
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 8 chunks
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • Lime wedges for garnish


Mix together the coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to rub the seasonings all over the roast.

Place the meat in a slow cooker and surround with onions, garlic, ginger and the half can of coconut milk.

The roast will give off moisture and fat while cooking, doubling or tripling the amount of broth by the time the roast is ready.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. Although both cooking temperatures give delicious results, meat cooked on low will be the most tender.

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  1. Thank you! This looks delicious. I’m trying this today!

    Christa Crawford wrote on July 21st, 2012
  2. This looks and sounds amazing. I think I may have to make this for tomorrow….

    Metric wrote on July 21st, 2012
  3. Can I make this with any other meat? We don’t eat pork. Are there any cuts of lamb or beef that would work here?

    Primal Donna wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • Yes! This would work with beef shanks, lamb shanks or a whole chicken. Also beef brisket. Really any cut that works for braising.

      Debra wrote on July 21st, 2012
      • This would be STUNNING with chicken. I think beef/lamb might have too intense of their natural flavors to really work with the light coconut broth and spices described here.

        But then I was skeptical of that lemon beef brisket recipe and its AMAZING, so its certainly worth playing around with!

        cTo wrote on July 23rd, 2012
        • I just did some lamb shanks & reduced the liquid a bunch & cooked sweet potatoes in that. Mashed the sweet potatoes in the liquid, added a can of crushed tomatoes & a half can of coconut milk. I seasoned with curry-type seasonings & added green peas & mushrooms (all I had at the moment)

          peggy wrote on July 23rd, 2012
      • Thanks! I bought some beef shanks, and am about to try this in my Dutch oven (which I use successfully in place of a slow cooker).

        Primal Donna wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • We don’t eat pork either. Thanks!

        Alana wrote on June 9th, 2013
    • This looks delicious!!! It also reminds me of Tom Kah Kai, (Thai chicken coconut soup with galangal). I can definitely see this works well with chicken! Would be interesting to try with pork, beef or lamb.

      Gift Clumsywarrior wrote on July 24th, 2012
  4. how many ounces is a half can? I’ve only purchased the 1/2 gallon cartons before.

    matt wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • With the cans I buy it would be 200ml. My converter puts that at 6.76 US fluid ounces.

      John Little wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • The coconut milk in the carton is a beverage (watered down), the coconut milk in the can is what you use in a recipe.

      Linda wrote on July 21st, 2012
      • thank you, I’m new to this and haven’t use the milk yet.

        matt wrote on July 28th, 2012
  5. This looks amazing. Is there a way to imitate a slow cooker by using the oven?

    Ami wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • Yes, you can cook in a 225 degree oven. You can even brown the roast on the stovetop in coconut oil in a cast iron or enameled cast iron dutch oven first, then take it off the heat, add the ingredients as listed, cover with a double layer of heavy duty foil then the lid to the pan. Cook for 2-3 hours, check for doneness. You can cook it as low as 185 (any food safety experts out there? to give us a lower limit) if your oven goes that low, but that will take several hours. This is called cooking “en cocotte”. Any slow-cooker recipe can be done this way, basically.

      Nancy M wrote on July 21st, 2012
      • 160 F. at the center of the meat mass is the usual *minimum* cooking recommendation.

        BillP wrote on July 21st, 2012
        • Nancy is writing about cooking temp, not final internal temp. Eating a roast cooked to 180 would be terrible!

          Steve wrote on July 21st, 2012
        • Pork butt cooked to 190-200* internal temperature will cause all the connective tissues to dissolve, and it will become incredibly tender and succulent. Otherwise, you need to cook to only about 145-150 internal temp (per the latest food safety recs). It’s not terribly tender that way, unless you’re talking about tenderloins or center cut loins. My husband and I regularly smoke pork butts for pulled pork, and our best Butts are cooked to around 195, when all the tissues dissolve & everything becomes mind-blowingly tender. Just as an FYI. I am making this today, and I can’t wait!

          Amy G wrote on July 27th, 2012
      • 41 – 140 degrees is considered the “danger zone” according to the Washington State health department

        Kelly wrote on July 21st, 2012
      • awesome trick! thanks!

        Gift Clumsywarrior wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • My favorite way to cook chicken! I’ve since adapted this technique to almost every large hunk of meat I can find. you don’t even have to add any liquid, and the flavors concentrate. I love the ‘jelly’ you get from a whole bird.

        Erok wrote on August 24th, 2012
  6. Does anyone know how big of a dutch oven I’d need to cook 3/4 lbs of pork as described? 7 quart big enough?


    Colin wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • 5 Qt. will probably do it — look at the pics — you want some room around the roast for the moisture to circulate, so I don’t think that size is that critical — the slow cooking temperature and long time is much more important.

      Diane wrote on July 21st, 2012
  7. wow great recipe for sunday supper, especially with leftovers for the week! thanks!

    mars wrote on July 21st, 2012
  8. Perfect timing! We cook every weeknight meal in the crock pot and I realized we have an abundance of pork in the freezer. Thanks!

    Sara wrote on July 21st, 2012
  9. This looks delish! Will try for sure!

    Madi wrote on July 21st, 2012
  10. Does anyone know if this will work in a small crockpot, as opposed to slow cooker? Say, a 2 pound roast, for one person. My crockpot cooks, I think, more slowly than a slow cooker. Any thoughts would help.

    ShaSha wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • I am pretty sure a crockpot and a slow cooker are the same thing.

      Linda wrote on July 21st, 2012
      • I have read that they are different. My crockpot is very small and round. Most slow cookers are larger and oblong. I think there may be temp differences,as well and that was my main concern, but I will give it a try and see how it works. Thanks for any more info that anyone finds.

        ShaSha wrote on July 21st, 2012
      • They are the same thing. “Crockpot” is actually a brand name, and “slow cooker” is the generic word for it, kind of like “Jello” and “gelatin dessert”!

        Debra wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • Semantics. They’re the same. It has nothing to do with the shape.

      Shipmaster wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  11. Wow, this recipe sounds perfect and so simple (no long prep work!). I happen to have a pork roast in my freezer from the half pig I purchased earlier this summer. Can’t wait to try this on Monday while I am at work all day!

    Jennifer wrote on July 21st, 2012
  12. Thanks for showing pictures to go with the step by step!

    TexSun wrote on July 21st, 2012
  13. Pressure cooker! Condenses 6 hours into ninety minutes.

    Goyo wrote on July 21st, 2012
  14. Will this work with a pressure cooker?

    beast wrote on July 21st, 2012
  15. Looks great. Thanks for posting. I have a pork shoulder in the freezer right now. What other vegetables would taste good in there besides onion?

    warrdogg wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • Fennel perhaps?

      Stephanie wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • Not exactly a vegetable, but I’d give lemon grass a go personally. I think the blend of that with the ginger and coconut would go nicely, better than with onion.

      Misabi wrote on July 22nd, 2012
      • How would you go about incorporating the lemongrass… I have some growing in a pot this year but have no idea what to do with it. Leave it whole? Chop it up? Put it in at the start or wait until toward the end? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated!

        Sharee wrote on July 29th, 2012
  16. This sounds delicious, thank you! My only concern is that my crockpot manual says that the fluid level must be 3/4 of the volume of the container for safe use. Does anyone else have this instruction, and have you safely ignored it?

    Kay wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • I’m pretty sure that instruction is for the highest efficiency. I usually have my cooker at least half full, but not 3/4. That sounds like overflow to me since slow cooking produces liquid. Just be sure it’s on low instead of warm, I wasted an entire roast that way once :/

      Stephanie wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • My instructions said that but awhile back I followed a recipe that just called for putting a pork shoulder roast in there with a dry rub (on low)–no liquid at all. I read the recipe many times over to make sure, and it did turn out fine because the meat released so much moisture. It never stuck or smelled burning or anything. I think that recipe was from Nom Nom Paleo, but I’m not sure. But anyway I use mine all the time with less than 3/4 full of liquid to start out. I think otherwise it would limit you to making soups.

      Jenn wrote on July 30th, 2012
  17. I cannot WAIT to try this! Pork butt is one of my favorite cuts of pig, right behind bacon! Yummmmm

    Stephanie wrote on July 21st, 2012
    • Amen to that. Pork butt is the way to go!

      Leila wrote on July 25th, 2012
  18. Just got a pork roast. Perfect timing. Looks and sounds completely delicious.

    I don’t undertand the thing about keeping them full of liquid. I’ve used the slow cooker less than full many times, with no problem. I’ve always thought the rule was there to make sure you got things really cooked through or didn’t let them boil dry, rather than any danger related to the cooker. If you can’t tell by looking when meat is cooked through, use a meat thermometer. I’ve roasted potatoes in the slow cooker with nothing but olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs and had no problem.

    slacker wrote on July 22nd, 2012
  19. Mmm! I love a good slow cooker recipe! Thanks!

    Marjorie wrote on July 22nd, 2012
  20. I made it with wild boar. Fantastic!

    Melissa wrote on July 22nd, 2012
  21. This worked out nicely for so little effort but next time I’ll be adding some chiles to punch it up a bit. I think fresh jalapeños or serranos might work best

    Kate wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  22. Definitely needs some punch but a decent basic recipe. Note that it in no way comes out looking like the milky broth pictured — between the coconut milk separating and the amount of oil the pork gives off it’s actually a very oily braise and the meat is almost completely in shreds. This is not a bad thing, I think if you finished it in the oven you would have carnitas style pork, might be good in a lettuce wrap or taco bowl.

    Summer wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  23. I made this overnight last night and ate it today. I hate to say it but it was a little bland for my tastes. I think a lot of the coconut flavor cooked off so I may try a whole can next time and go heavier on the spices. My however, loved it!

    RogerDeRok wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  24. AHHHHHHH whyd you cover all that awesome meat with cilantro???

    😉 But no really, this looks amazing, cant wait to try it (sans-cilantro of course)

    cTo wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  25. I think I’ll make this with some cilantro lime cauliflower rice. Just saute some cauliflower rice in a pan with butter. Just before its done squeeze in some lime juice and some chopped cilantro.

    samui_sakana wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  26. Oh wow. I made this today in my crockpot and had it for dinner. I have to say it was absolutely AMAZING. I LOVED the spice combination. I was skeptical of how all that ginger would turn out in there but it was perfect! The broth at the end of the day was so rich and flavorful. I am 100% satisfied with this recipe (even my picky 8-year old liked it!) and it is going in my top 10 list. Thanks for sharing this Mark!

    Jennifer wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  27. I tried this for lunch today, with half the meat and some modifications. For two,I purchased two thick chop size slabs of loin pork roast that was already wrapped in lard. (grass fed local meat.) I added only 1/4 cup thin sliced mild red pepper with the large minced onions,garlic,and thin sliced ginger but proceeded differently. After browning the meat, I sautéed the other ingredients, then pressure cooked instead of slow cooked, as I have no oven, for 18 mins,in 400 ml coconut milk,removing the meat and thickening the juices with about 1-2 Tbs coconut flour after cooking. Fast and fantastic adaptation. Thanks!

    Elsie Harrington wrote on July 24th, 2012
  28. Wow! this made me hungry! I love pork meat and some other foods with coconut. Perfect combination! Thanks for the recipe.

    Find a Juicer wrote on July 24th, 2012
  29. Pork is in the oven! Can’t wait to try!

    JesseJe wrote on July 25th, 2012
  30. To brown or not to brown. Does anyone brown their roasts prior to slow cooking? That’s always the way that I do it. It takes a minute, and I think the conventional wisdom is that the meat comes out with more delicious flavour. Is there a reason not to brown?

    Leila wrote on July 25th, 2012
    • Yeah … you have another pan to wash!!

      NMCynthia wrote on July 25th, 2012
    • I do if I have the time – and I just made this recipe on Thursday, but browned it first. Like a previous poster, the liquid came out without showing any coconut milk coloring AND I added a healthy amount of coconut paste. Still, it was very tasty. I had no coriander seed, so used fennel instead. Every time I use my crockpot, I tell myself I’ll use it more often, but this is probably the first time I’ve had it out in a year.

      Piscator wrote on August 3rd, 2012
    • I usually brown first… it is supposed to at least ‘look’ more appetising as slow cooked meat can look at little bit grey (or gray for non Aussies).
      I didn’t this time though for this recipe, I will be interested to see what it turns out like.

      Barbara wrote on October 12th, 2013
  31. this looks good & easy!

    but i’ll add some lemon grass & oyter mushrooms.


    phk wrote on July 25th, 2012
  32. I made this yesterday (with leftovers I now have for work today) and it was wonderful. I loved the mild, fragrant flavor of this. My 3 1/2 year old son kept saying “mmmmmmm” after he took every bite. I look forward to trying the recipe with other meats as well.

    Lea wrote on July 25th, 2012
  33. I just made this and I never ever want to eat anything else ever again.

    4.8 pound pork shoulder (too big for slow cooker)
    cook on 250 for 2 hours in oven
    275 for 2 hours


    JesseJe wrote on July 25th, 2012
  34. oh and the onions literally dissolve in your mouth.

    JesseJe wrote on July 25th, 2012
  35. Made this tonight and it was awesome! Thank you!

    Alvin wrote on July 25th, 2012
  36. Thank you for this recipe, and for such an awesome website. I made this dish tonight, and it was easy and delicious. Leftovers tomorrow.

    Kelly Burton wrote on July 25th, 2012
  37. Made this last night. Used a whole can of coconut milk instead of half, and I agree that for us it was a little bland, but to overcome that I just added a little salt and extra coriander when serving. Fantastic, and bonus (or negative, depending on how you look at it) the house smells AMAZING while its cooking.

    franchise wrote on July 26th, 2012
  38. omg, this dish is good! made it overnight night before last, what a freakin’ awesome breakfast I had yesterday and fantastic leftovers today. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, it’s a keeper :-)

    Carol B wrote on July 26th, 2012

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