Asian Shredded Pork and Noodle Salad is a perfect summer dish, and using the slow cooker means the kitchen does not heat up for cooking the pork. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing in this post.
I have told you guys before that I am a cookbook addict. Full blown insane collector. Last time I peeked at my Eat Your Books account, I had, ahem, 815 cookbooks. So is it really any wonder that I accidentally bought two of the same book?
But hey you guys got to profit! Now I hope it wasn’t weird to give away a used book–and hey if you think it is weird, you did not have to enter the giveaway. I’ll never know and we’ll still be friends. But there was certainly no point in me keeping two copies! And I am a huge used cookbook fan, as many of you know. You don’t get to 815 of the suckers without being willing to hunt for bargains (or being a bazillionaire, which I am not). Such is my consideration for you guys, that as soon as I realized I had two copies I put cooking from the book at the top of my to do list so that I could share a recipe and get a giveaway going!
So anyway about the book I bought 2 of. I assume I was able to find The New Slow Cooker: Comfort Classics Reinvented from Williams Sonoma (by Brigit Binns) at awesome prices because it has since been revised and re-released–so if you are interested in purchasing it yourself you will need this link: The New Slow Cooker rev. (Williams-Sonoma): More than 100 Hands-off Meals to Satisfy the Whole Family. I checked out the indices of both books, and they are pretty similar, so I feel pretty confident that if you want this book (and you do) buying the revised version will be fine if you can find it. On the other hand you can also hunt for the overstock of the previous revision in used bookstores like I did.
Now why did I like this book so much? Well, first of all I already knew I liked Williams Sonoma’s slow cooker recipes, because that is where I found the recipe I adapted from for the Nacho Topped Smoky Beef Brisket and Beans Chili for the Slow Cooker. True, the recipe I adapted from is on their website, not in this book, but it gave me confidence in their slow cooker recipes. Also, I think the quality of Williams Sonoma cookbooks in general is excellent. But the real score from this book? Not all of the recipes are fall/winter braises and stews, which, don’t get me wrong I adore, they are probably my favorite type of food, but right now I am excited to find uses for my slow cooker that lead to the kind of food I love in the summer: cold or room temperature, and heavy on the vegetables. In other words, entree salads. And I am happy to report, this is not the only one such recipe in the book! I see more uses of this cookbook as the summer goes on.
The giveaway is now closed.
- 3 lbs pork shoulder or butt, trimmed of excessive fat
- salt and pepper
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup Shaoxing wine (sub with dry white wine or sherry if necessary)
- 1 T dark soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1 lb dried long Chinese noodles (I used wheat but egg would work as well; you could also sub spaghetti or angel hair)
- 3 cups shredded Napa cabbage
- 1 sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 8 oz bag of shredded carrots
- 2 hothouse English cucumbers, peeled and seeded, and sliced into thin half moons
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- juice of 3 juicy limes
- 2 T fish sauce, to taste
- 1 T sugar, to taste
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 1 t minced ginger
- Sriracha or Sambal Oelek
Pat the pork shoulder dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
In either a stovetop-safe slow cooker or a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium high heat. When it is shimmering, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes per side. Then remove the pork to a large bowl.
Pour off some of the fat--I like to leave 2-3 tablespoons. Add the chopped onion and stir. Cook until starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Cook until fragrant, about another minute.
Add the Shaoxing wine and deglaze the pan, scraping to remove any browned bits. Add the soy sauce and stock and bring to a boil.
When the liquid starts to boil, either transfer it to your slow cooker or place the slow cooker onto its base. Add the pork shoulder with any accumulated juices. Stir in the brown sugar, and then cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
When you are ready to assemble the salad, cook the noodles to taste and then drain, rinsing with cold water to prevent stickiness.
Chop the cabbage and prep the rest of the vegetables for the salad (peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, mint). Toss in a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Taste to make sure you like the balance of flavors--remember that it should be strong because it will be muted by a lot of other flavors. Set aside.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred. Add the shredded pork back into the slow cooker and stir it into the sauce.
Assemble individual salads by tossing the vegetables and noodles and then topping with the shredded pork and some dressing. Serve with Sriracha or sambal oelek for those who like things spicy.