Tender pulled pork, cooked slowly to perfection in the crock-pot with Asian flavors and sweet pineapple, then served over quick and flavorful coconut rice. Let this very easy dinner take some of the stress out of your busy weeknight hell.
Okay folks, I do not know what is going on with me lately, but I think I picked up some bad joojoo. Where I am usually able to think up a recipe, make it, and fall in love with it, that has not quite been happening. Like earlier this week with the Bacon, Sage, and Butternut Squash Lasagna Rolls. That recipe idea flopped at the first go. And this here pulled pork.
So here is what went down… I was chatting at work on how I wanted to come up with a pulled pork recipe, cooked in the slow cooker, with Asian flavors for Chinese New Year. I wanted it to be really new though – totally out of the box. So we came up with the idea to incorporate an Asian peanut sauce into the pork. ======>
And so I made it. And it was terrible. 💔
It looked like poo. 😳
And the red bell pepper went all to mush, adding to the “who-the-hell-would-eat-that” factor. Then, even if one could get past the fact that this looked like it tasted good the first time ….it didn’t. It was awful. The peanut butter, as creative and genius as I was trying to be, was too strong and gave a weird consistency. So into the trash it went.
But I still wanted my Asian pork! Because Chinese New Year. So next, I went back to a recipe that I knew worked, my Chinese BBQ Pork Spareribs, and I took that marinade and modified it to incorporate the pineapple. I also had learned my lesson on the bell pepper – I left it out, and I kept out some of the pineapple to add at the end for the curb appeal. And the result? Redemption. 😊 👏
First is the pork. I finally got the sweet (but not too sweet), succulent, flavorful pork I wanted. I used Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce because even with 37% less salt plus the bit of seasoning I put on the pork, this was salty enough and had all the flavor I wanted. And that wonderful salty with the sweet hit of pineapple is divine. I used Dole Pineapple chunks because tidbits or crushed pineapple would have dissolved away during the long slow cook. Dole pineapple is in 100% juice, and I personally think it is a handy pantry staple. With the Asian flavors of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger – and of course the pork – the pineapple absolutely makes this recipe.
Second is the rice. Coconut rice guys. Coconut rice. Here I used Minute® White Rice, which of course is ready lickety split. I have made coconut rice before using basmati, but I was not sure what to expect adding the coconut milk to quick cook rice. Oh it came out perfectly! Really truly excellent. Fluffy delicious heaven. This brought back memories of my childhood too – my mom made us Minute Rice all the time. Even pork aside, I had a nice bowl of just this rice. Nom.
So that’s it kids. This recipe took some work, but it sure came out fantastic in the end. This delicious dinner is so easy for a weeknight, just let it go all day while you go about life. Or add some spring rolls, dumplings, and some whole grilled fish (for prosperity!) to have yourself a full-on Chinese New Year celebration. Just be sure to leave a window cracked to let the flavors waft out and make the neighbors jealous.
- 2-3 lb Boston butt pork roast
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 (20 oz) can Dole Pineapple Chunks in 100% Pineapple Juice, drained and divided, reserving /4 cup juice from the can
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice
- 1/4 cup hoisin
- 3 cups Minute® White Rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- garnish: green onion, fresh cracked pepper
- Season the pork well with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place in the slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, ginger, half of the drained pineapple to the crockpot.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce: soy sauce, Sriracha, honey, hoisin, Chinese 5-spice, and the reserved 1/4 cup pineapple juice. Pour over the pork.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours on low. Shred the pork with two forks.
- For the rice, bring 2 cups water and the 1 cup coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, cover, and remove from the heat. Let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and season well with kosher salt to taste.
- Serve the shredded pork over coconut rice topped with remaining pineapple, chopped green onion, and a pinch of fresh cracked pepper. Yields: 6 servings.
For more Asian-inspired recipe inspiration, visit the Chinese New Year Eats social hub. And grab coupons! Cuz we all need to save. Grab your Kikkoman coupon, Dole coupon, and Minute Rice coupon at these links. All these products are easy to find at Publix.
Leave me a comment! Do you celebrate Chinese New Year?