This recipe rocks! Just throw a few ingredients in the crockpot, let it cook for 4-8 hours (depending on low or high setting) and you’ve got a flavorful meal with very little effort. The super-tender pork is flavored with five-spice, soy sauce and ginger, and gets a little heat from the chili-garlic sauce. The addition of bok choy at the end of cooking adds a bit of crunchy texture and a slightly bitter flavor that rounds out the sweet and spicy flavor of the pork. Serve with steamed jasmine rice (which can be made ahead, if needed, then refrigerated and reheated) and you’re in business!
Since the recipe calls for pork shoulder, I bought boneless country-style ribs (which are cut from the pork shoulder) and cut them into 2″ pieces. The country-style ribs were a cinch to prep. I bought a big pack of them at Costco and used half for this recipe (I froze the rest).
Note: I read a review of this recipe at the Real Simple website and some cooks stated that they thought the dish was too salty. I didn’t have that problem but if you’re concerned with salt, you could always add a 1/3 cup or so of water to the soy sauce mixture before adding in the pork.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder
-recipe from Real Simple Magazine
Sold in the spice aisle of many supermarkets, Chinese five-spice powder is typically made from a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. Delicious in braised dishes, it also wakes up stir-fries and grilled meats. Serves 4.
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian aisle of the supermarket)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
kosher salt and black pepper
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 medium head bok choy, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
2 scallions, sliced
In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, five-spice powder (if using), ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon 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.
Twenty-five minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, 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.
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