Chinese Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot

Chinese Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot

16 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

The richly flavored red braises characteristic of Chinese cooking make warming winter meals that can be adapted to a slow cooker. Typically, seasonings of anise, cinnamon and ginger distinguish these dishes. Pork shoulder becomes meltingly tender during the slow braise. Serve over noodles or brown rice, with stir-fried napa cabbage.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 medium white turnips, (8 ounces total), peeled and cut into ¾-inch-wide wedges
  • 2¼ pounds boneless pork shoulder, (picnic or Boston-butt), trimmed and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons medium or dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2-4 teaspoons Chinese chile-garlic sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 star anise pod, (see Ingredient Note) or 1 teaspoon aniseed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, (see Ingredient Note) for garnish


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Place carrots and turnips in the bottom and up the sides of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Top with pork and scallion whites. Bring broth, water, soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, ginger, vinegar, chile-garlic sauce to taste and garlic to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the pork and vegetables. Nestle star anise pod (or aniseed) and cinnamon stick into the stew. Cover and cook until the pork and vegetables are tender, 3 to 3½ hours on high or 5½ to 6 hours on low.
  2. Discard the star anise pod and cinnamon stick. Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew. Add the cornstarch mixture, cover and cook on high, stirring 2 or 3 times, until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with scallion greens and sesame seeds.
  • Ingredient Notes: Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don't use the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, purchase medium or dry sherry that's sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store.
  • Star anise (named for its star-shaped pods) lends a distinctive licorice-like flavor to numerous Asian dishes. The pods come from a small evergreen tree that is native to China. Look for star anise in the bulk spice sections of natural-foods stores, in Asian markets or online at
  • Sesame seeds can be purchased already toasted. If you can't find them, toast your own in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 321 calories; 17 g fat(6 g sat); 2 g fiber; 14 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 25 mcg folate; 92 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 3 g added sugars; 6,951 IU vitamin A; 14 mg vitamin C; 67 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 671 mg sodium; 629 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (139% daily value), Vitamin C (23% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1½ vegetable, 3½ medium fat meat

Reviews 16

January 07, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Maybe it was something I did I made this recipe with just a few modifications. I used chicken thighs instead of pork, for example, and I increased some of the seasonings because I had more chicken and veg than the recipe calls for. However, I didn't do anything drastic. I used all of the ingredients listed. Maybe I did something wrong, but this turned out with such a bitter and unpleasant flavor that I ended up throwing away the entire crockpot full of it. The flavors were really off. I am used to being creative with cooking and not following recipes to the letter and I've never had a problem before. I don't think this recipe has any room for alterations and I would approach this more like baking, where the ingredients have to be precisely measured. I ended up wasting a lot of expensive ingredients. I think a note should be added to this warning people that it must be followed to the letter or it will turn out bad. Pros: Easy to make Cons: Terrible flavor
January 14, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Meh... I really wanted to love this, but it turned out pretty bland. I ended up adding more chinese garlic sauce, some chinese 5-spice blend as well as some potstickers to try and liven it up. Even so it still wasn't great. About all I can say was that it was edible and the meat was tender. I won't even try to make this again...
December 13, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Amazing- tastes like pho! This dish tastes very much like pho (the delicious Vietnamese soup) when served over noodles. I ladled it over udon noodles and added a bag of mung bean sprouts (maybe 6 oz bag) to the slow cooker just long enough to heat them through. I served this with some typical pho accompaniments: I garnished with the scallions, added a squeeze of fresh lime to each bowl, then served with sriracha on the side to allow each person to add spicy/heat to taste. Do not omit the star is a key flavor in this dish and would be really flat with out it. To address another reviewer's complaint, if you trim the pork really well, this dish isn't greasy at all. Pros: Easy, delicious Cons: None
November 25, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
just o.k. It was just so-so. I love Asian food and cook frequently with these ingredients, but I am surprised nobody has commented on how oily/greasy this dish was? I trimmed my pork, and even strained the liquid through a fat separator, but still found it a bit greasy. I used one turnip and one daikon - the pork was nice and tender, but it didn't knock my socks off. Pros: fairly easy Cons: greasy
May 07, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Yum-eeeeeeeee!!!! Read all the comments below; added daichan and substituted Mirin for the sherry. Made this for our friend's birthday and she absolutely LOVED it!! Smells so fragrant while cooking! Also added rice noodles, bean sprouts (at the end), and a squeeze of lime after serving. Getting ready to make it again tonight!!!! Pros: Easy, delish, filling
February 12, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Deeeeeeeelicious!!!!! I added Daichan, as was suggested in other comments I read. I also had raw bean sprouts on hand and fresh-cut limes, which made this dish even more sumptuous!!! The whole house smelled beautifully fragrant while cooking this dish. I was very surprised that it tasted as good as it did. Can't wait to make it again!!! Pros: Easy, flavorful Cons: None
January 15, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty and not too time consuming The prep was a little more than I anticipated but it was worth the effort. The pork and sauce had a definite Asian flavor and a nice little kick. Wa served it over rice noodles and it balanced out nicely. Pros: Not the usual crockpot fare Cons: Lots of chopping
October 10, 2011
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By: kjita1
Wonderful Recipe This was a really wonderful dish! Neither my boyfriend nor I like turnips so I subsituted Yukon gold potatoes and it worked out beautifully. I also left out the anise. The recommendation to serve over stir fried Napa cabbage was an excellent one, as it added a little more color and crunch. I will definitely make this again!
March 18, 2011
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By: Jenni77
Delicious! I didn't have the scallions or sesame seeds, but even without this was still wonderful. You can definitely taste the anise seed so if you're not a fan of that flavor then reduce the amount it asks for. My kids said it had a little too much heat for them so next time I'll reduce the chili sauce, but all that aside I loved it. I served it over rice which was great, next time I'll try noodles and see how that goes.
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