everyday food made simple

This is perhaps the best thing I have ever made in the Crockpot. Ever. Now granted I haven’t made a whole lot of different things in the Crockpot, but this one is amazing (if I may say so myself) and it will definitely be a repeat for my next busy homework-filled day.

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I’ve been finding the perfect recipe for a traditional Chinese/Taiwanese noodle soup broth, and I think this might be it. It literally brought me back home and I think I almost shed a tear when I tasted it for the first time today. I almost felt like I was transported back in time: finding some tiny little hole-in-the-wall noodle shop on the streets of Taiwan, sitting with my family at a small table on metal stools, waiting for our food to be cooked. Most of these restaurants only have big industrial fans during the hot summer months, so we usually sit somewhere near a fan. As if we weren’t hot enough, we usually all order noodle soup (I think I order noodle soup half the time not because of the noodles, but simply because I love the “soup” part of it).

Noodle soup has a special place in my heart. It’s usually something that can made within 15, 20 minutes with a variety of ingredients, so we ate a lot of it growing up, especially when my parents didn’t have much time to cook after coming home from work. Now when I say “noodle soup”, I don’t mean the American “chicken noodle soup”. The Asian version is very different and in my (biased) opinion, tastes way better :)

Anyway, back to soup… I used a pork butt roast for this rather than a pork shoulder – you can definitely use a pork shoulder if you’d like. The pork butt is slightly fattier, but it also gives the broth an amazing flavor as well.

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The combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and star anise play an important part in making this a true authentic Taiwanese/Chinese dish. I added about 1.5 cups of water after taking the roast out to dilute the broth a little bit more; however, if you prefer your broth on the more concentrated and salty side, feel free to omit the additional water. I used Napa cabbage as my vegetable simply because that was all my grocery store had at the time, but if you prefer bok choy, that’ll work as well.

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slow cooker asian pork and noodle soup
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  4. 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  5. 1-2" piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  6. 2 pieces star anise
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 3 pounds pork butt roast
  9. 1.5 cups water
  10. 2 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
  11. 3-4 oz dried Mai-Fun noodles
Instructions
  1. In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, star anise and salt. Add the pork, then cover and cook on low 8 hours, or until pork is fork tender.
  2. Remove pork and place on a large plate. Shred with a fork and set aside.
  3. Add the water, Napa cabbage, and noodles to the slow cooker, making sure they are submerged. Cover and cook for 30 more minutes, or until noodles are done.
  4. Divide the noodles, Napa cabbage, and pork among bowls, then ladle in the broth.
  5. Serves 3
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Not only is the flavor of this soup very nostalgic to me, it also makes the house smell like a little hole-in-the-wall Taiwanese noodle place. I placed the roast in the slow cooker this morning before leaving for class, and when I came back 8 hours later, I could smell the deliciousness before I even opened the front door. Not to mention finding a recipe this delicious that only requires a Crockpot is always a win in my book!

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Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network

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