Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Take Out Fake Out: Slow Cooker Style

Winnie's Dad and I love Asian food: Chinese, Thai, Japanese, even Indian on occasion. The spicier the better.  So, when I found an Asian slow cooker dish, I was sold before we even tried it.  Whip this up in 15 minutes in the morning, and after work, enjoy the taste of take out without the ginormous amounts of salt and MSG or take out containers.  I have a feeling this might show up on an upcoming weekly menu.

Spicy Sweet Asian Pork Shoulder

1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 c. brown sugar
1-2 T chili-garlic sauce (like Siracha, found in the Asian food aisle of most grocery stores, even Wal-Mart! It looks like a bright red ketchup.)
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder, optional
Kosher salt and pepper
2 1/2 lb. pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup brown rice
1 medium head bok choy, thinly sliced
2 scallion, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger (have you invested in a microplane grater yet?  If not, I implore you to do so immediately!), five-spice powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Add the pork and toss to coat.  Cook, covered, until the pork is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Cook brown rice according to package directions to be ready when pork is ready--the brown rice I use takes about 50 minutes, so make sure to plan ahead.  Better yet, find some instant brown rice!

Fifteen minutes before serving, skim off and discard any fat from the pork.  Gently fold the bok choy into the pork and cook, covered,  until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes.  Serve with the rice, and sprinkle with the scallions.  This should serve about 4.

Now, isn't that better (and more affordable) than Chinese take out?


  1. China doesn't count...especially since 200 miles is a little too far for take out!