If you love Asian food like I do, but shy away from making it because you think it’s difficult and time-consuming to prepare, give this delicious slow cooker recipe a try. It’s very simple and comes together really quickly once the pork has cooked low and slow for about 4-7 hours, depending on if you use the low or high setting on your cooker. You can get the pork started in the morning and when dinner time comes around, you just quickly cook the soba noodles, heat everything together in a skillet and in 15-20 minutes, it’s ready to go.
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Slow-Cooker Asian Pork with Snow Peas, Red Peppers and Soba Noodles
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Sriracha to taste
- 2-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 12 ounces soba noodles
- 2 red bell peppers thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound snow peas trimmed
- 2-3 scallions thinly sliced on a bias
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts for serving
In a screaming hot cast iron skillet, sear the quickly sear pork pieces on all sides, stirring briskly for 4-6 minutes until the pieces start to brown and caramelize a bit. (this step can be omitted, but I think it really adds to the flavor)
In a 4-6-quart slow cooker, stir together the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper. Add the pork and toss to combine. Cover and cook until the pork is tender, preferably on low for 7 to 8 hours or it can be done on high for 4 to 5 hours to shorten the cooking time.
Fifteen minutes before serving, cook the soba noodles for 2½ minutes, adding the bell peppers and snow peas to the water during the last 60 seconds of cooking, stirring gently. Drain, dump into a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. This will prevent the noodles from getting gummy.
Transfer the pork to a medium bowl and set aside. Pour the cooking liquid into a large skillet and boil until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the pork and toss to combine.
Warm a portion of the noodles and vegetables briefly in a microwave or just toss quickly in a hot pan. Serve the pork over the noodles and vegetables; sprinkle with the peanuts and scallions.
NOTE: It's not mandatory to sear the pork. You can skip to Step 2 and just add the raw cubes to the slow-cooker and it will still taste great.