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.

Patsy Jamieson
Advertisement

Ingredients

Directions

  • 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 3 1/2 hours on high or 5 1/2 to 6 hours on low.

    Advertisement
  • 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.

Tips

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 penzeys.com.

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 Facts

321 calories; 16.9 g total fat; 6.2 g saturated fat; 92 mg cholesterol; 671 mg sodium. 629 mg potassium; 14.3 g carbohydrates; 2.4 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 26.2 g protein; 6951 IU vitamin a iu; 14 mg vitamin c; 25 mcg folate; 67 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 40 mg magnesium; 1 mg thiamin; 3 g added sugar;

Reviews (16)

Read More Reviews
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
01/07/2016
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 Read More
Rating: 2 stars
01/15/2015
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... Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/13/2013
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 anise...it 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 Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 2 stars
11/26/2012
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/07/2012
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2012
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 Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
01/15/2012
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Delicious and easy. We really liked this I'm not a huge turnip fan but they absorb all the flavor of the stew and are great. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was very flavorful. I had most of the ingredients on hand but not the star of anise or the cinnamon stick. So I started the dish without those spices but was able to add them later in the cooking process (about hour 4 on low heat). I tasted the dish before and after the addition of those spices and I believe they make a huge impact on the flavor of this dish. I added some napa cabage at the end as well so as not to have it go to waste in my fridge. I served it over mung bean vermacelli. Very enjoyable. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I was very happy how this came out. I couldn't find star anise so I used a t of chinese five spice powder instead. I really liked the flavor. I put some egg noodles in the crockpot near the end and I thought they went nicely with it. The only thing I didn't like was the broth was pretty fatty I tried skimming the fat but you can only do so much with that. I think next time I make this I will use a leaner meat like chicken breast. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made it exactly to the recipe and loved the flavors. I would sorely miss the star anise if it hadn't been there. It was great over rice and again over noodles the next day. I will definitely make this again especially in the winter as it is stew-like and just begs for a cold winter night. I added a little sriracha to the finished product to up the spiciness; I might add some asian chiles while cooking next time around. This recipe actually saved my relationship with my slow cooker. Everything I made before came out bland and tasting somewhat the same as every other recipe I ever tried in the slow cooker. This was unique delicious and the texture of the pork was exactly the reason I purchased the slow cooker to begin with. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This was delicious! I couldn't find turnips at the store so I used a rutabaga instead and it was wonderful it abosrbed a lot of the flavor from the garlic chili spice. I served this over Udon noodles and it was a hit full of lots of big flavors. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Meh? Not bad but not my favorite. When I read this I was really excited to try it and when I was making it I was really looking forward to it. Even as it cooked I couldn't wait to try it it smelled so amazing it makes my mouth water. Then as the cooking came close to an end I walked closer to the crock pot and got a big whiff of anise and I was turned off lol. I almost left it out because I dislike anise/licorice flavor so much but my husband loves them and I rarely get to cook for him so I wanted to make it the way he would like it. All and all it wasn't bad it was slightly spicy and gingery with a hint of sweetness. I really liked the veggies and the broth was really yummy flavorful without being to rich I just can't get past the anise aroma. Don't let this dieter you form making it though if you don't mind anise you will love this my husband did and that makes me happy. I didn't use the cornstarch because I wanted it to be more soupy than stewy and I used anise seed instead of star anise. I also served this over vermicelli rice noodles to make a little meal in a bowl. I will make this again but I will modify it slightly:-) Pros: Easy Creative Smells Amazing. Cons: I don't like anise Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
A Few Ingredient Alternatives There recipe was good except there are a few additions you could make to make it more traditional meaning more ethnic. Instead of turnips use daikon. Instead of sherry use Mirin (a traditional asian cooking wine slightly sweet) and instead of corn starch use Kuzu (Kudzu) root starch which is Japanese and much better for you than regular corn starch. You could also char the ginger a little to give it a little more flavor. Other wise the recipe is great basic starting point for a chinese dish. I served it with rice noodles but any thin chinese style noodle would be great. Pros: easy flavorful Cons: not traditional Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
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! Read More