SLOW COOKER PORK NOODLES

The back and forth pacing, one eye on the Crock Pot was almost laughable.

 Slow Cooker Pork Noodles

Slow Cooker Pork Noodles

The recipe said to low cook the pork roast for eight hours. It had been six hours, and I was anxious. The jagged cut-up bok choy sat on the cutting board as I opened the small package of Jiang Xi rice vermicelli. I did’t know if two hours would have been the difference, but I quickly took the pork out and threw the bok choy in. I watched it submerged in the seasoned beef broth and smiled. The aroma was already delicious.

I knew I wanted to use the slow cooker, and I knew I wanted to make an Asian dish. I came upon this recipe in the Food Network magazine while scavenging with those two prerequisites in mind. What I didn’t know was how much, well, to some people, how little of a set of ingredients could make this particular beef soup so satisfying in smell, taste, and everything else in between. After waiting for another twenty minutes, I threw in the rice vermicelli and hoped for the best. The recipe said for it to cook for 10 minutes.

10 minutes had passed and the noodle was still hard in the middle. I gave it another ten minutes, but by that point, I realized I shouldn’t have used the rice vermicelli. I should have simply used regular rice noodles like in Pad Thai. But the combination of flavors in the soup, the easy-to-pull pork, and the bok choy mostly made up for the poor choice in noodles.

But to make it all better, a couple of rings of Sriracha made this dish a make-again dish.

Sidebar: for next time, double the broth, half the protein amount. Happy slow cooking!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (Change to 6 cups)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (1.5 lb will do)
  • 1 head bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 3 1/2 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Here we go:

1. Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, star anise and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Add the pork, then cover and cook on low 8 hours.

2. Add the bok choy to the slow cooker; cover and cook about 20 more minutes.

3. Add the noodles to the slow cooker, making sure they are submerged. Cover and cook 10 more minutes.

4. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred the meat. Divide the pork, bok choy and noodles among bowls, then ladle in some of the broth. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Per serving: Calories 718; Fat 26 g (Saturated 9 g); Cholesterol 247 mg; Sodium 1,383 mg; Carbohydrate 38 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 75 g