Asian Pork Tacos with Watermelon Cucumber Salsa


2018 Update: 

 Since this is one of my favorite recipes, and one that I reference all the time, I thought it was about time for an upgrade! I originally published this recipe in almost exactly 5 years ago (yikes!). Back when I sort of knew what I was doing and only published recipes occasionally.

But even after all that time, I still love making this recipe during the Summer! It's actually really easy thanks to the use of a slow cooker. Just throw everything in, set it, and forget it. 

I don't want to take everything away from 2013 Lindsey, so I will leave in everything else I wrote back then and just trade out the horrendous photos!

Trust me, I am doing us all a favor. 


A few weeks ago B and I went out to dinner and had the most amazing tacos. They were brilliant in their simplicity. Pork belly glazed in an Asian inspired sauce and topped with watermelon cubes. We were pretty unsure about the watermelon and pork at first, but we were quickly won over.

We knew we wanted to try to recreate these at home, and after some experimenting, we found a recipe that rivaled the restaurant version. The best part is, they are pretty easy to make and are probably a lot healthier.


I hope you give these tacos a try. You truly won't regret it! And don't let the watermelon weird you out. Once you try it, you will love it!


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4-8 hours (slow cooker)

Serves: 8


  • 2 lbs pork butt, loin, or chops
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili paste (or 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper) (alter to taste)
  • 1/2 cup watermelon, diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • salt
  • green cabbage, shredded
  • 16+ tortillas


  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, sear the pork on all sides.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 1/4 cup water, hoisin, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger, sesame oil, and chili paste. Add the pork to a slow cooker and pour over sauce mixture. If additional liquid is needed, add in up to 1/4 cup more water.
  3. Cook pork on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours. Once cooked, use two forks to shred.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine watermelon, cucumber, green onion, and salt. Let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  5. To assemble tacos, spread pork on top of the tortilla then top with salsa and cabbage. Drizzle on extra hoisin if desired.


You can find my recipe for homemade tortillas here. They are delicious and absolutely worth the extra effort!