An easy and healthy slow cooker pork tenderloin recipe with Asian vibes and a ginger glaze that gets caramelized under the broiler. Bring on the crusty topping. Originally published January 9, 2015.

sliced slow cooker pork tenderloin with glaze and cilantro.
Table of Contents
  1. You will love this Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin 
  2. Pork Tenderloin Slow Cooker ingredients 
  3. Asian Pork Tenderloin substitutions and additions
  4. How to make Asian Pork Tenderloin Marinade
  5. How to cook Marinated Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker 
  6. How to serve this Pork Tenderloin Asian Recipe
  7. How to store Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
  8. Asian Style Pork Tenderloin FAQs
  9. More satisfying and easy pork recipes!
  10. Asian Style Pork Tenderloin (Slow Cooker) Recipe

Today Charlotte was dropped off at home from a playdate at a friend’s, and as we’re eating lunch she says, “Mom, you never got dressed!”

“What! Yes I did!”

“No, you didn’t.”

“I took a shower! I put on makeup!”

“Well you look the same.”

THANKS A LOT CHARLOTTE. Sometimes living with a 3-year-old is all you need to keep your ego in check. Although to be fair, I probably needed an ego check after The Autograph Incident.

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glaze for pork tenderloin on a spoon above a pot.

Also, to be even more fair, I’m sick right now, so when I say “I got dressed” I mean that I got out of the shower and put on a whole different pair of yoga pants. Here I come, world.

One time my sister-in-law Sandi didn’t have her usual glasses on, and one of her kids asked why she had to wear them all the time. She explained that she has an astigmatism that makes it impossible to wear contacts. Her son replied, “Well that’s too bad. You look better without them.”  ZING. For the record, Sandi, I like your glasses.

sliced pork tenderloin with sticky sweet glaze, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.

Have you guys tried out my Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin? It’s a reader favorite here on the blog. It’s a slow cooker, no-fail kind of recipe. I make it all the time, especially when we are having company for dinner. It’s so easy yet seems impressive.

I wanted to change it up, so I made this version to go with the Asian Cauliflower “Rice” I posted on Wednesday. I’m really loving the addition of ginger to the glaze. It’s just as easy as the original recipe, only a few more spices called for in the rub.  A healthy entree for all us healthy people in healthy January!

You will love this Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin 

I love slow cooker meals. I have a huge section of slow cooker recipes because I am not, shall we say, the best at remembering that dinner is a thing until everyone is already starving, ravenously crawling the kitchen like velociraptors who’ve just learned how to open doors

This Asian-inspired pork tenderloin is perfect for my forgetful, preoccupied ways because I don’t have to do anything until the last 10 minutes before dinner. I just pull the pork tenderloin out of the crockpot, slap on the glaze, and throw it under the broiler. I can put rice in the cooker, do some frozen cauliflower rice, or steam some veggies, and dinner is done!

Pork Tenderloin Slow Cooker ingredients 

Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!

  • Brown sugar
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic powder
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Pork tenderloin (2 lbs.)
  • Cornstarch
  • Rice vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh cilantro (to garnish)
  • Limes (to garnish)

Asian Pork Tenderloin substitutions and additions

If you’re missing a spice for the rub, say, cloves, don’t worry about it–just leave it out. The flavors will still be great. If you prefer less salt in the glaze, you can substitute low sodium soy sauce. And if you’re missing rice vinegar, you can substitute apple cider vinegar. It’s the best swap with its similar sweet and salty flavor. 

Looking for something a little different? The original version of this recipe is my Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. It uses the same technique of cooking the pork in the crockpot before finishing it off in the oven. It has an even shorter list of ingredients in the rub and switches up the Asian inspired glaze with a balsamic glaze. 

How to make Asian Pork Tenderloin Marinade

When you’re making pork tenderloin in the slow cooker, you don’t really need a marinade–or rather, the rub we’re putting on the pork before cooking it acts as a marinade. This is because the pork, with the rub on it, is in the slow cooker essentially “marinating” for several hours.

I take a simple combo of brown sugar, ground ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper, mix it together, and rub it on the pork. The Asian inspired flavor profile gets completed with the glaze we’re putting on after it’s cooked, so don’t worry that you’re not seeing the soy sauce and rice vinegar in this step!

brushing glaze on slow cooked pork tenderloin for broiling.

Before broiling, after broiling. Gingery crust. It’s a happy thing.

How to cook Marinated Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker 

Here’s a quick overview of how to make this recipe in the slow cooker. Full instructions can be found in the recipe card below!

  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, powdered ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  2. Place the tenderloins in the slow cooker. Rub the seasonings over the pork, including the bottom. Pour ½ cup water in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, then preheat your broiler.
  4. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar, water, and soy sauce in a saucepan. 
  5. Set over medium heat and stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in minced ginger.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  7. Remove the pork from the crock pot (discard the liquid) and place on the lined baking sheet. Brush a generous amount of the glaze on the pork.
  8. Put your oven rack as high as it will go, and broil the pork for 1 or 2 minutes, until bubbly and caramelized. Serve with remaining glaze on the side, and garnish with lime and cilantro.

How to serve this Pork Tenderloin Asian Recipe

I love making this pork tenderloin with some Asian Cauliflower “Rice.” No, of course it doesn’t taste like actual rice! But it is super delicious and pairs great with the pork.

If you’re thinking “No way!! I want real rice!!” ok, I got you, make this ​​Coconut Jasmine Rice. It is the realest. And fills your house with an amazing aroma. 

This pork would also be awesome with some Marinated Asian Cucumber Salad. Super easy to throw together.

An amazing option for a complete meal would be to make Easy Sesame Noodles with Spring Veggies! Or, you can also stir fry some veggies, fresh or from a frozen bag of mixed stir fry veggies. Always gotta get those veggies in there!

sliced pork tenderloin with ginger glaze and fresh cilantro.

How to store Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days. The crust won’t stay crispy but it’s still got tons of flavor. It is a good one for meal prepping with some rice and stir fry veggies (like in the big bag in the freezer section at Costco). 

I don’t recommend freezing this pork, though you technically can and it will be safe to eat. It’s just that you won’t get to experience that amazing crispy crust and the pork won’t maintain the ideal texture. 

Asian Style Pork Tenderloin FAQs

What is the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?

Pork loin and pork tenderloin are actually quite different. Pork tenderloin is a very, very lean boneless cut of meat that is cut from the backbone area. It’s usually around 10-12 inches long and about 3-4 inches wide. Sometimes it’s sold in a 2-pack, but you might not realize that until you open it unless you read the packaging carefully. Pork loin is wide, flat, and can be boneless or bone-in. You can’t just substitute one for the other because they require different cooking methods to turn out tender and juicy. 

How do you keep pork moist in a slow cooker?

When you’re cooking pork tenderloin in the crockpot, you want to avoid overcooking it. Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat. After you’ve cooked it for 6 hours, you may want to temp it to make sure you’re not going way overboard. Once the pork hits 145 degrees, you’re done! Cooking it for a longer time is not going to benefit it. 

Does pork need to be covered in liquid in the slow cooker?

No, meat never needs to be covered in liquid in the slow cooker. The heat is low enough that the juices from the meat you’re cooking will keep it from burning. We’re adding a small amount of liquid here because the pork tenderloin is very, very lean and doesn’t release as much fat or liquid as other meats.

More satisfying and easy pork recipes!

Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin << this is the recipe that inspired today’s Asian version.

Cuban Mojo-Marinated Pork << have you seen the movie Chef? This is the recipe for the meat in the Cubano sandwiches. It’s one of my most popular recipes ever!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Lime Sauce << more Asian flavors on pork tenderloin!

BBQ Pork Tenderloin Wraps << this is a fabulous 45 minute meal.

Garlic Balsamic Crusted Pork Tenderloin from Lauren Kelly Nutrition

Roasted Chili Maple Pork Tenderloin from Aggie’s Kitchen

Dominican Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin Medallions from Belqui’s Twist


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Asian Style Pork Tenderloin (Slow Cooker)

4.96 from 41 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 hours 30 minutes
Total: 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
An easy and healthy slow cooker pork tenderloin recipe with Asian vibes and a ginger glaze that gets caramelized under the broiler. Bring on the crusty topping. 
 

Ingredients

For the rub:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar, or white
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • lime wedges, to garnish

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, powdered ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  • Place the tenderloins in the slow cooker. Rub the seasonings over the pork, including the bottom.
  • Pour ½ cup water in the slow cooker, on the edge or in the middle so that you don’t wash off all the spices you just rubbed on.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, then preheat your broiler.
  • While the pork is finishing up in the slow cooker and your broiler heats up, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar, COLD water, and soy sauce in a small saucepan.
  • Set over medium heat and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in minced ginger.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Remove the pork from the crock pot (discard the liquid) and place on the lined baking sheet. Brush a generous amount of the glaze on the pork.
  • Put your oven rack as high as it will go, and broil the pork for 1 or 2 minutes, until bubbly and caramelized. Don’t walk away! Repeat 2 to 3 more times until it is as crusty as you want it. I wouldn’t go many more times than this though, or your pork will dry out.
  • Serve with remaining glaze on the side, and garnish with lime and cilantro. I love to serve this pork with Asian Cauliflower “Rice.”

Notes

If you are in a time crunch, you can use the cooking method found on this post for BBQ Pork Tenderloin Wraps. It will take about 30 minutes. Then continue with the broiling step. The meat will not be quite as tender, but I’ve tried it this way and it was still delicious.

Nutrition

Serving: 1plate | Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1199mg | Potassium: 653mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Calories: 274
Keyword: Crockpot, ginger glaze, pork tenderloin, slow cooker
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for your recipe!
    I love using my crock pot and this was wonderful! The spices for the pork tender were so good and the glaze was perfection! Really enjoyed the squeeze of lime and cilantro!

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times. I make a batch and have 1 meal with rice, then make the rest of the pork into Banh Mi sandwiches using your recipe. Both recipes are great.
    I gave my son this recipe and me made it for his wife and her family. Everyone loved it.

  3. 5 stars
    My family and I loved it. Well worth the extra step of making the glaze. We’re definitely adding this to the rotation.

  4. It’s been Charlatan Week at our house. First I made Asian Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze (which was spectacularly good) then followed it up with Meatballs with Rice and Peas. To be able to take something so simple and yet make it taste like you fussed for hours is amazing, but that’s what this recipe does. I thought it would be dry rice, but it was lovely and flavorful and moist.

    In fact, every recipe of yours that I try turns out fabulous. I love the practical ingredients, terrific instructions and photos, and the humor (the very best part, I think). The only recipe I didn’t have overwhelming success with was the crockpot chicken and dumplings. It was delicious except that the dumplings failed dramatically. Each of the four times I’ve made it, those dumplings are gut bombs. Everything else has been reliably delicious!

    1. Hi Terrie! I’m so happy you are loving all the recipes! That makes me so happy but TELL ME MORE about this dumpling failure?? We need to talk! I love that recipe! I think if they are not cooked you just need to keep them in longer! don’t take the lid off to keep checking, it makes all the heat seep out. I hope it works!

  5. 5 stars
    This was the best !! Thanks for all the great food recipes. I always love your comments about your family too–sooooooo funny and comical

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and the comments Dianne! You have no idea how much that means to me! 💕💕 Thanks for chiming in

  6. This recipe looks amazing! I want to make it for a progressive Christmas diner next week…..could I complete everything through step #7 and then finish it up once we arrive here with guests? 

    1. Hi Ren! Absolutely, what a great idea. Since the slow cooker will have your pork already cooked and your glaze will be finished, it should only take a couple minutes to finish it off under the broiler. Enjoy your progressive dinner, and Merry Christmas!

  7. 5 stars
    This was wonderful! We were painting outside and every time someone came into the house I was asked again what time dinner was because it smelled incredible. lol. I doubled the glaze so we had some extra on the side for anyone who wanted more…..and everyone did take more. Both the seasonings and the glaze were perfect. This was a huge hit at my house. It was simple to make, the aroma was amazing, and it was tender and delish. Thanks for sharing this great winner.

  8. 5 stars
    If this had more stars, I’d give it more!! Karen, WOW! This is amazing. Fork tender, juicy, pork flavor comes through and isn’t overpowered by the sauce. I’ve never had pork this good! That being said, I learned some things about slow cooking a mild little piece of meat like pork tenderloin. Mine came in one piece, wider than most, but not thicker, and only 1# 11 oz. Because I was unsure how to gauge the time with this odd piece of meat, at 3 hours I cracked the lid enough to insert an instant probe and it shot up to 165 degrees. I suspect it was even higher but I didn’t wait. I pulled it out and set it on the counter with a foil cover. It took me another hour to get the rest of the meal together and broil the glaze. That crockpot of mine is cooking way too hot. It explains a lot of tough outcomes. My suggestion; get a instant probe and always use it. The glaze didn’t get that nice crust, but it was bubbling, and I was afraid to do more with my quite-done meat, and it still tasted great. It made more than twice what i needed and it will be great for dipping with spring rolls. What a winner!

    1. Great idea Jan! Using a meat thermometer is always the smart thing. Thanks for sharing all your tips, so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  9. I’m going to try this recipe, but my husband is obsessed with everything he eats being covered with sauce or gravy. Do you have any suggestions on a sauce I could make that would match this recipe? Maybe just make an extra batch of the glaze and use that?

    1. Hey Allison! Yes that’s exactly what I would do! You might even be able to just 1 and 1/2 the sauce, it makes quite a bit and you don’t need to use quite all of it for the broiling step. Enjoy!

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe is just delicious!  I used pork country style ribs and it came out perfect, tender and juicy.  The glaze  was wonderful and I’ll make it again.

  11. Made this for dinner tonight. Smelled heavenly all day……when it time to dish up with rice and broccoli I found it to be too ‘gingery’ ….I did add 1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spice because I had it already…maybe that is what tipped the scale for me? The boys in my house liked it and wanted to add to the rotation…. We will see……

  12. Made this with WW point values in mind. Used Lakanto monkfruit golden sweetener in place of brown sugar and made 1/2 of the glaze. It was plenty to glaze the meat and was amazing.
    My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it – thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    Holy moly, Karen I’m new to cooking pork tenderloin. I blame my mom, since she never made it while I was growing up. I loved how it turned out and how easy it was. The flavor was amazing! I especially liked the little kick of ginger in the sauce. I’m going to share the recipe with my mom and have her make it too.

    1. I’m so glad you liked it Esther! I never had pork tenderloin growing up either! Maybe it wasn’t as available when we were growing up?? I’m always shocked when my mom casually mentions things like, “I never had an avocado until I was over 40” like whaaat haha. Definitely share the recipe with your mom! Thanks so much for reviewing!

    1. Hi Susanna! I haven’t tried this in the oven, I would look up a recipe for oven baked tenderloin and follow those instructions with these ingredients. Enjoy!

  14. Honestly advise anyone against cooking a lean meat like tenderloin in a slow cooker for hours on end.

    I knew it was a bad idea but was heartened by all the positive comments and reviews for this recipe so gave it a go anyway. The result was a falling apart tender but inedibly dry meat. I followed the instructions to a tee and mine looked identical to the photos.

    My mum is terrified of food poisoning so always eats overdone meat. I threw it her way and she enjoyed it.

    1. Kat, I’ve had the same tough outcome, but this time I checked it an hour before the suggested finish time and found out it was already past 165. I learned my crockpot is cooking way too hot. You might want to check yours.

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