Having to prepare homemade meals on a daily or frequent basis can somewhat be nerve-wrecking, or essentially boring after awhile.
I enjoy coming up with recipes (especially easy ones!) so there’s always variety and wholesome healthy food for the family.
Then, I discovered the under-utilised slow cooker. The rest they say, is history! Because that means more recipe experiments coming up!
Best of all, there’s minimal washing, mess and you don’t even need to watch the fire! And if you’re not fussy, simply serve the pot as is – no need for pinterest-worthy presentation by using up more bowls or plates. With young kids, minimizing any task is a real treat! #trueexperience :P
Hope you and your family enjoy this simple and yummy slow cooker recipe too!
Slow Braised Pork with Black Fungus Slow Cooker Recipe (serves 3 adults + 1 child)
Pork ribs or Spare ribs, blanched and set aside
1 packet fresh black fungus, washed and cut into smaller sizes (Dried black fungus is fine too, just remember to soak them prior)
1 piece tau kwa (firm beancurd), cut into desired sizes
1 packet of string beans, washed
1 packet bunashimeiji mushrooms, washed (Feel free to replace with other mushrooms)
1 clove garlic, peel and smashed
1 medium onion bulb, peel and cut into quarters
1 thumb ginger, sliced
Ingredients for gravy:
3 tbsp dark sauce
1 tbsp light sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp cornstarch or plain flour (I used plain flour as I didn’t have Cornstarch. Tip: 1 tbsp cornstarch/plain flour to 2 tbsp hot water)
- Place blanched pork ribs on base of slow cooker, and layer the rest of the ingredients.
- To make the gravy: In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for gravy except cornstarch/plain flour and hot water, and mix with a spoon. (Tip: It would be saltish since the mixture is concentrated. Adding water when everything is in the pot would dilute the taste, so not to worry especially if you have young children sharing the dish :) )
- Drizzle gravy over ingredients, and add hot water to cover the top of the ingredients. and switch to ‘HIGH’ to allow ingredients to cook for 2 hours. Thereafter, turn to ‘AUTO’ for 3-4 hours. Intermittently stir lightly and do a taste test on the gravy – adjust amount of light sauce (if you prefer it to be more salty) or dark sauce (if you prefer a darker gravy). Adding more sesame oil gives it a stronger taste too, but do be careful as it may be too oily.
- Before serving, add cornstarch/plain flour mixture into pot and stir. Allow to cook for another 5 – 10 minutes to allow gravy to thicken. If you prefer thicker gravy, add more cornstarch/plain flour mixture.
It was my first attempt, and a little surprise for the hubs because he loves Asian food, and PORK. So, I decided to get a little experimental (and maybe to make dinner preps a little easier by dumping everything in the slow cooker! HA!), and used whatever I had in the fridge to make this easy dinner dish.
The pork was really soft, and literally fell off its bones. The tau kwa was suitably dark – because for Chinese food, the darker it is, the tastier it LOOKS as that means that the food has been seasoned and soaked for a long time = taste better :P
Happy to report that hubs was amazed, and enjoyed it too! As for lil V, guess her face says it all!
Asking for seconds is always a good thing! And, I think I’ve discovered a great way for her to eat veggies and meat since she’s been a little selective of late! *evil laughter*
Oh well, a mama’s gotta do, what a mama’s gotta do, right? :P
And, looks like I found my new BFF in slow cookers too!
- What can I say? This is so versatile, you can easily switch pork to other meats like chicken or fish. But do be careful with fish as their meats are much softer and tends to break into bits and go missing in the gravy. To counter that, reduce the cooking time. Reheat when you’re about to serve :)
- Switch to Chinese mushrooms if you prefer a more “traditional” Chinese dish. I’d add bamboo shoots if I had some.
- Just a little note about ginger: Cut it differently from the other ingredients so you won’t be picking up ginger for your little ones (or yourself) :D
Slow cookers are such time-savers! What are some of your favourite slow cooker recipes?