Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Sesame Pork

Ok, let me start off by saying what you are all thinking.  Yes, I cook with Asian flavors a lot.  A LOT.  It’s a hit.  It’s a crowd pleaser, and so on and so on.  My kids love most Asian dishes, my husband does, and I do.  You know what else I love?  My slow cooker.

We have been so busy lately with work, school, softball, etc.  My daughter’s softball games are weeknights at 6pm.  I realize someone has to play at that time….but it really messes with dinner.  She has to be there at 5pm.  Do I feed everyone first?  And then they want to eat again when we get home at 8pm?  Do I make them wait till we get home?  Nights like this, my slow cooker really comes in handy.

Today I am going to show you my favorite slow cooker recipe.  I call it Sesame Peanut Butter Pork.  That might sound unappetizing.  Feel free to give it another name.  What it is, is a boneless pork shoulder that slow cooks all day in sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, peanut butter, ginger, etc.  At the end of the day, it pretty much falls apart and soaks up all the yummy sauce.  The possibilities of what to do with now are endless.

Let’s start with me showing you how to make the pork, and then we can talk options later.

I start by browning my pork shoulder, which is about 3 or 4 pounds, in a large pot.  I realize this step is a pain, but I think it is a must for slow cooked meat.  Searing the meat first really seals in the flavor and keeps the meat from just turning to mush.

Then, I throw the seared pork onto a bed of sliced onions in my slow cooker.  It still needs a sauce, so pay attention.  I mix sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, creamy peanut butter, fresh ginger and a smidge of chicken broth together in a bowl.  I pour this on top of the pork and let ‘er rip for about 8 hours on low.  The smell from this is amazing.  Seriously.  Amazing.

Here is a little tip for you peanut butter.  Throw it in the microwave for a bit to soften it up.  This will make for easier scooping and mixing.

When the pork is done, it will already be falling apart.  I help it out with two forks.  I put the shredded pork back into the sauce to let it soak up all the peanut butter/soy goodness.

So now you have about four pounds of pork.  What are you going to do with it?  I like to serve it with rice and a veg, with the sauce poured all over the top.  I also like it on hamburger buns topped with extra sauce and a spicy coleslaw mix.  I have added it to fried rice, burritos and I’ve even topped a pizza with it.  But my favorite way to serve it is with cold sesame noodles. 

Why you ask?  Because cold sesame noodles with Sesame Peanut Butter Pork can be eaten anytime.  Before a softball game, after a game, at the game, in the middle of the night, etc.  It sits in the fridge and gets better the longer it sits.  It is fast to make and delicious to eat.

I boil a box of thin spaghetti according to the package directions.  Once the noodles are about a minute from being done, I throw in a bag of broccoli slaw and some julienned red bell peppers.  This will slightly blanche the noodles.  They will still be crispy, but not raw crispy. 

BTW-Broccoli slaw looks like coleslaw, but it is shredded broccoli, cabbage and carrots.  It is pretty easy to find near the bagged veggies in the produce department. 

And…..“Julienne” means to cut something into thin strips.  Fancy, I know.

When the noodles and veggies are done, I drain them and run the whole thing under cold water to cook everything off.  Then, I mix the pork and cooking juices/sauce in.  Most of the time I still feel like this needs a bit more, so I stir in some Ginger Sesame Salad dressing.  There are so many available….pick your favorite.

I top the whole thing with sesame seeds and green onions.  It sits in the fridge till we want it.  Yum!  It’s sweet, salty, spicy and so, so good.  The flavors all work so well together.  And the crispy veggies with soft noodles are perfection.


I hope you try this recipe.  With our weather heating up, it is the perfect dinner! 

Sesame Peanut Butter Pork

3 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, sliced into thin rings

1 cup soy sauce

¼ cup sesame oil

½ cup rice vinegar, seasoned

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated

1 cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup chicken broth

2 tablespoon Sriracha Hot Sauce (Optional)

In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Sear until brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Add sliced onions to the bottom of slow cooker.  Place browned pork shoulder on top.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, peanut butter and chicken broth.  Pour over pork. 

Cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred pork with two forks.  Store in cooking juices.

Serves 8-10

Cold Sesame Noodles

1 pound thin spaghetti

12 ounce package broccoli slaw

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 cup Ginger Sesame Salad Dressing

Sesame Peanut Butter Pork with sauce, 1 recipe

½ cup green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Boil noodles according to package directions.  When noodles are about 1 minute from being done, add broccoli slaw and bell pepper to the boiling noodles.  Drain noodles and veggies well and rinse with cold water.

Mix noodles and veggies with shredded Sesame Peanut Butter Pork and sauce.  Add salad dressing and mix.  Top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Serve chilled.

Serves 10.

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