Thursday, September 15, 2011

Slow-cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork

Here's another one from The Real Simple magazine book. Hubby had marked quite a few recipes in the book he was interested in and when I saw the words slow cooker, I was all on it! Slow cooker dishes are great because you just mix all the ingredients and pop them in. From my experience, I do not like to add vegetables into the slow cooker, they always come out too mushy. Perhaps I cook them too long, I don't know. I'm no slow-cooker professional and I won't pretend that I am, but for now, I keep vegetables outside of the slow cooker and add them after the fact. Hubby does like certain meats that I cook in the slow cooker, so I'm always ecstatic to find a new recipe to use in it!

This recipe actually calls for pork shoulder. Hubby stated he had never had pork shoulder and wanted to give it a try. So off we were to the grocery store together. (With Bambino chilling in the cart munching on some goldfish) While I was getting cheese at the deli counter Hubby and Bambino had scampered over to the meat section. When I got over there I noticed Hubby just staring at the meats. I was scurrying around trying to find the pork when I noticed that was what Hubby was staring at. He pointed to the pork shoulder with a blank look to which I responded, That's it? Is that a bone? What's that stuff on top? To which Hubby responded with that's the attachment to the arm. I of course was disgusted. I know that I cook meat all the time, but I don't work with bone too often, and when I do it is usually chicken. Hubby doesn't like bone in his food so he wasn't too happy with the looks of the pork either. So there were the two of us. Staring at the pork. Our mouths agape. Hubby finally broke the silence with, maybe we can ask the butcher to cut it up? I quickly said no and purchased a pork tenderloin. It was familiar and what I know. Case closed.

The funny thing is, when I came home and was ready to marinade the dish, I remember reading the recipe thinking, I could have butchered that pork shoulder myself! I don't know where the fear came from, but in the comfort of my kitchen it was gone. Oh well, for another time. So I made the dish with a pork tenderloin and Hubby devoured it! I had only 1/2 of the required soy sauce and I used much of the sauce for a stir fried side dish so I thought it appeared a bit dry. Apparently not! Hubby ate almost 3/4 of the pork in the first sitting. Bambino and I ate some of the stir fried noodles, but it was mainly a dish all for Hubby, and he apparently appreciated it!

Click here for the link to the original recipe.

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce (I had never used this before, but it added a great taste to the dish!)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (I always have ginger in my freezer)
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (Or as I call it, the Chinese curry powder)
1 1/4 lbs pork tenderloin (Or pork shoulder de-boned and cut into 2-in pieces, if you're brave enough)

1. Mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger and Chinese five-spice powder. Coat pork with mixture and place in an airtight container over night in the fridge.

2. Place in slow cooker next day. Cook for 3-4 hours on high. Cool and serve!

I served the dish with stir fry rice noodles. I sauteed vegetable oil, garlic, carrots and zuchini on medium high heat adding sauce from the slow cooker 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the vegetables were cooked I added in the rice noodles. I added more sauce about a tablespoon at a time and just went by taste.

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 3
This is such an easy one. Very little work and Hubby was excited by the outcome. I really liked the taste of the sauce with the noodles. I will have to find more recipes for the chili-garlic sauce.

Definitely making it again!


  1. If you ask me(pork meat lover) nothing beter than this..slow cooked pork, tender it melts in your mouth.Yummy:)

  2. going to try this one too... maybe next week, since I do not have any of those ingredients... never made rice noodles, they seem easy though.