Slow Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls

I found this recipe on the Lotus Foods website when looking for menu ideas for Forbidden Rice, a dark purple rice varietal that is loaded with polyphenols that protect the brain and heart and feed beneficial flora in the gut. I’ve adjusted the ingredients a bit to suite my palate, but the original recipe is here. Kudos to original author Kate Kordsmeier for such a delicious dinner!

(Note: There will be leftover pork; it freezes well)

Serves 4-6


For the pork:

  • 1 large organic pastured pork shoulder or butt (roughly 4 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (Red Boat has no added preservatives or sugars)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1.5 tablespoons raw, unfiltered honey 
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (typically at international markets – they freeze well; alternatively, you can use 1 tablespoon of lime zest)
  • ½ cup bone broth (or any broth of choice)

For the pickled veggies:

  • 3 cups assorted veggies diced and sliced (such as cucumber, carrot, jalapeño and red onion)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ lime juiced

For the bowls:

  • 3 cups cooked rice (Forbidden Rice® is rich in polyphenols which support beneficial bacteria in the gut and provide a boatload of antioxidants for brain and heart health)
  • ¼ cup chopped herbs (mint, cilantro, and Thai basil are recommended here)
  • 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce


  • drizzle with sriracha and/or hoisin sauce


  1. Liberally season the pork butt on all sides with salt and pepper, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Add the pork to a large slow cooker.
  2. Evenly pour the fish sauce, lime juice and soy sauce over the pork butt. Drizzle honey over the pork and throw the kaffir lime leaves into the slow cooker. Pour bone broth over top, cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours, flipping the pork halfway.
  3. Meanwhile, dice and slice your veggies of choice. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, salt, vinegar and lime juice and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add your veggies and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (you can go as long as you like!).
  4. When the pork is done, shred it apart with two forks.
  5. OPTIONAL STEP: place the shredded pork onto a baking sheet. Pour half of the remaining juices over the pork and broil until crispy. It should take 5-10 minutes, and it helps if you toss halfway through and flip the baking sheet so all areas are crisped equally. Pour the remaining juices over the crispy pork.
  6. In individual bowls, add ½ cup cooked rice. Top with pork, pickled veggies, lettuce and chopped herbs. Drizzle with sriracha and hoisin, if desired. Enjoy!
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