The Asian Slow Cooker: Exotic Favorites for Your Crockpot

The Asian Slow Cooker: Exotic Favorites for Your Crockpot

by Kelly Kwok

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Overview

The Asian Slow Cooker: Exotic Favorites for Your Crockpot by Kelly Kwok

Named one of the best cookbooks of 2016 by the Washington Post.

Faster, Easier, Tastier and Healthier Than Takeout

Kelly Kwok, founder of Life Made Sweeter, provides great new flavors to try in your slow cooker. These simple and delicious recipes will have your favorite Asian dishes waiting for you right when you get home. With the press of a button, you can make authentic dishes that are healthier and tastier than their restaurant counterparts.

You'll experience a wide variety of flavors; choose spicy, vegetarian, noodles or rice. There are even recipes that have 5 ingredients or less. Extra long day? Kelly’s fuss-free one-pot and skillet recipes will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less—and with only one pan to wash, cleanup will be a breeze. Whether you're in the mood for General Tso's Chicken, Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken, Beef Chow Fun, Panang Curry, Mapo Tofu or Tom Yum Hot and Sour Soup, you can have fast, delicious meals every day of the week the easy way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624142901
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 11/08/2016
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 499,153
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Kelly Kwok is the founder of Life Made Sweeter, a food blog dedicated to sharing classic Asian recipes with a modern spin. She is a contributor for Parade magazine online and her work has been featured on numerous websites such as Country Living, Huffington Post, The Food Network Canada, Better Homes and Gardens, TLC.com, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Brit & Co, Buzzfeed and Delish. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her family.

Read an Excerpt

The Asian Slow Cooker

Exotic Favorites For Your Crockpot


By Kelly Kwok

Page Street Publishing Co.

Copyright © 2016 Kelly Kwok
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62414-295-6



CHAPTER 1

Ditch the Takeout


We all have those busy weeknights when all we want to do is forget about making dinner and order our favorite dishes from the local takeout restaurant.

Who can resist slurping up the classic Chicken Lo Mein noodles with a plate of Orange Beef, Teriyaki Chicken and Korean-Style Short Ribs?

You can easily make these popular takeout dishes right in your own kitchen using the slow cooker, while saving some extra money. There is nothing better than coming home to a hot meal that's been simmering away while you are gone. With this collection of crowd-pleasing recipes, you can eat takeout every single night of the week without even having to leave your home!


HELPFUL HINTS

• Most of the dishes in this chapter call for prebrowning the meat for a few minutes on the stove in order to achieve optimal results to mimic the rich flavor and crispy texture of most takeout restaurants. For a simpler version or if low on time, you can easily skip this added step.

• The key to many of these dishes lies in the thick and flavorful sauce. Some slow cookers tend to have lower levels of heating elements (particularly older models) so the sauce may not thicken up properly. If that is the case, simply spoon it out from the slow cooker into a small saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat until it thickens up.

• Remember that coating the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray prior to adding food helps to prevent sticking.


BEEF & BROCCOLI

This popular takeout dish showed up at our dinner table weekly when I was growing up. It was one of the very first dishes my parents taught me how to make when I learned how to cook. The key to keeping the broccoli crisp is tossing it into the slow cooker right near the end. Combined with the tender strips of beef and rich savory sauce, it's an easy weeknight meal you'll want to make again and again.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


½ cup plus 1½ tbsp (78 g) cornstarch, divided
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 lb (455 g) flank steak, cut across the grain into thin strips
2 tsp (10 ml) cooking oil
1 cup (237 ml) beef broth
½ cup (118 ml) low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup (65 g) brown sugar
2 tbsp (32 g) oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp (30 ml) cold water
2½ cups (210 g) broccoli florets
Cooked rice, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


In a large zip-top bag, toss together 1/2 cup (30 g) cornstarch, salt and black pepper. Add the beef to the bag and give it a little shake until well coated.

In a large skillet, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Sear the beef for about 1 to 2 minutes on both sides and add to the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger until dissolved and pour over the beef. Cover with the lid and cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, whisk together the remaining cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into the crock pot along with the broccoli, then cover with the lid. Turn the heat to high and allow the sauce to cook and thicken up for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the broccoli is just starting to soften but is tender and crisp.

Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.


CASHEW CHICKEN

Cashew chicken is one of those amazingly simple recipes that my family has on regular dinner rotation. My son is a big fan of cashews so he always gets excited whenever I tell him we are having this takeout favorite for dinner. The creamy cashews add a delightful crunch and sweet undertone to this savory meal. It's quick, delicious and perfect for those busy weeknights.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


2½ tbsp (22 g) cornstarch, divided
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼tsp black pepper
1½ lb (683 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bitesized cubes
2 tsp (10 ml) cooking oil
1/3 cup (79 ml) low sodium soy sauce
½ cup (118 ml) low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp (16 g) oyster sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
3 tbsp (63 g) honey
1 tsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
¼ tsp red pepper chili flakes, to taste
2 tbsp (30 ml) cool water
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1" (2.5-cm) chunks
2/3 cups (475 g) unsalted cashews, roasted
Cooked rice, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)


In a large zip-top bag, toss together 1 tablespoon (10 g) cornstarch, baking soda, salt and black pepper. Next add the chicken to the bag, and give it a little shake until well coated.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, about 2 to 3 minutes on both sides then transfer to the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth, oyster sauce, wine, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and chili flakes; then pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, whisk together the remaining cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Toss in the bell pepper and cashews and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and allow the sauce to cook and thicken up for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve hot over rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.


CHICKEN LO MEIN

We are big noodle fans in our house, so you can usually find us slurping up a different bowl for lunch or dinner a few times a week. Chicken Lo Mein is one of our favorites and also one of the most popular recipes on Life Made Sweeter. The tender chicken, crunchy vegetables and long noodles are covered in a flavor-packed sauce that can rival your favorite takeout restaurant.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


½ cup (118 ml) low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp (32 g) oyster sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp (10 g) hoisin sauce
2 tsp (14 g) honey
½ tsp red pepper chili flakes, optional
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tbsp (4 g) minced fresh ginger
1 lb (455 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 cups (475 g) fresh lo mein noodles or cooked spaghetti noodles
2 cups (475 g) baby bok choy, washed and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
½ cup (75 g) matchstick carrots
2 tbsp (16 g) cornstarch
3 tbsp (45 ml) cold water
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


Whisk together the broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, chili flakes, garlic and ginger in the slow cooker. Nestle the chicken in the middle and coat with sauce on all sides. Cook for 3 to 4 hours on low or 1 to 2 hours on high.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the noodles according to package directions and set aside.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred or cut into cubes, then toss back into the slow cooker. Stir in the bok choy, red pepper, carrots and noodles. To thicken the sauce, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Allow the sauce to cook and thicken up on high for 30 minutes. Give everything a good stir to combine.

Serve hot and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.


GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN

This is one of my husband's favorite dishes that he orders every time we get takeout. Pan-frying the chicken on the stove beforehand adds an extra layer of crispiness we all love. The juicy bite-sized pieces are coated in a sweet, spicy and tangy sauce that is so good you can't help but wander back for seconds.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


¾ cup plus 1 tbsp (104 g) cornstarch, divided
¼ tsp black pepper
1½ lb (683 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bitesized cubes
2 tsp (10 ml) cooking oil
1 cup (237 ml) low sodium soy sauce
½ cup (118 ml) water
4 tbsp (84 g) honey
2 tbsp (32 g) hoisin sauce
1½ tbsp (22 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp (32 g) ketchup or tomato paste
½ tsp fish sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3–4 tsp (48–64 g) red chili garlic paste, to taste
4–5 dried red chilies, or to taste
2 tbsp (30 ml) chilled water
Cooked rice, for serving
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


In a large zip-top bag, toss together ¾ cup (95 g) cornstarch and black pepper. Next add the chicken to the bag, and give it a little shake until well coated.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, about 2 to 3 minutes on both sides, then transfer to the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce, vinegar, ketchup, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and chili paste and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, toss in the dried chilies, then whisk together the remaining cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Turn heat to high and allow the sauce to cook and thicken up for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve with cooked rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.


KOREAN-STYLE SHORT RIBS (GALBI)

My husband and I were lucky enough that we used to live in a city where great Korean food was plentiful. We had a few favorite places that we would frequent at least twice a month, where my husband would get his fix of Korean-Style Short Ribs. They are juicy, flavorful and cooked in a savory and tangy sauce. The soda adds the right amount of sweetness while also helping to tenderize the meat.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


¾ cup (177 ml) low sodium soy sauce
½ cup (118 ml) beef broth
¼ cup (59 ml) 7Up or Sprite
2 tbsp (25 g) brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
¼ tsp red pepper chili flakes
4 garlic cloves
½" (1.3-cm) piece of fresh ginger
1 Asian or Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp (10 ml) cooking oil
4 lb (1815 g) Korean-style beef short ribs (beef chuck flanken, cut 1/3–½" [8.5–12.7 mm])
½ cup (75 g) carrots, chopped into 1" (2.5-cm) pieces
½ cup (60 g) daikon radish, cubed
Cooked rice, for serving
1 green onion, sliced thinly, for garnish (optional)
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


Add the soy sauce, broth, 7Up, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, chili flakes, garlic, ginger and pear to a blender and purée until smooth.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the ribs until just brown, about 1 to 2 minutes on both sides then transfer to a 5- to 6-quart (4.7- to 5.7-L) slow cooker. Add carrots and daikon to the slow cooker then cover with sauce. Place the lid on top and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours, until the beef is tender, skimming off any excess fat.

Serve with cooked rice along with any extra sauce, and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

NOTE: Korean-style beef short ribs can be found at most Asian markets. They are a thin strip of meat, since they are cut lengthwise across the rib bones.


KUNG PAO CHICKEN

Kung Pao chicken is a classic Szechuan dish stir-fried in a spicy, sweet and savory sauce. We had this popular takeout dish often during our trip to China a few years ago and I love how simple it is to customize at home. We'll usually tone down the spices when we are making this for the kids, so feel free to adjust the amount of heat according to your taste.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


¾ cup plus 1½ tbsp (108 g) cornstarch
¼ tsp black pepper
1½ lb (683 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tsp (10 ml) cooking oil
½ cup (118 ml) low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup (79 ml) water
1/3 cup (79 ml) Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp (63 g) honey
2 tbsp (32 g) hoisin sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
¼–½ tsp ground Sichuan peppercorn or red pepper chili flakes, to taste
3 tbsp (45 ml) cool water
4–6 dried red chili peppers, to taste
1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1" (2.5-cm) chunks
2/3 cup (100 g) unsalted cashews, roasted
Cooked rice, for serving
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


In a large zip-top bag, toss together 3/4 cup (95 g) cornstarch and black pepper. Next add the chicken to the bag, and give it a little shake until well coated.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, about 2 to 3 minutes on both sides, and then transfer to the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, vinegar, honey, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and peppercorn and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, whisk together the remaining cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Toss in the dried red chili peppers, bell pepper and cashews, stirring to combine. Turn the heat to high and allow the sauce to cook and thicken up for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve hot over rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.


LEMON CHICKEN

I have a deep love for anything with lemon. You can't beat the refreshing aroma and flavor it adds and the citrusy tang helps to wake up your palate. Lemon chicken is one of those dishes I love making when I need a little pick-me-up. The tender pieces are coated in a bright, inviting and sticky sauce that just melts in your mouth.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


1 cup plus 1½ tbsp (138 g) cornstarch, divided
¼ tsp salt
¼tsp black pepper
1½ lb (683 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tsp (10 ml) cooking oil
½ cup (118 ml) low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup (79 ml) low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup (85 g) honey
3 tbsp (45 ml) rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (9 g) lemon zest
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tbsp (45 ml) cold water
Cooked rice, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)


In a large zip-top bag, toss together 1 cup (125 g) cornstarch, salt and black pepper. Next add the chicken to the bag, and give it a little shake until well coated.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, about 2 to 3 minutes on both sides, then transfer to the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, sesame oil, garlic and ginger and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, whisk together the remaining cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Turn the heat to high and allow the sauce to cook and thicken up for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve hot over rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.


ORANGE BEEF

Orange beef is another popular takeout dish that my mom used to make regularly. She would serve it on a sizzling platter just like our favorite restaurant and we would always lick our plates clean. What makes this dish special is the burst of fresh citrus in the sticky, sweet and savory sauce. It's a simple dish to prepare and so lip-smacking good!

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


¾ cup plus 2 tbsp (125 g) cornstarch
¼ tsp black pepper
1½ lb (683 g) flank steak, cut across the grain into thin strips
2 tsp (10 ml) cooking oil
1 cup (237 ml) low sodium beef broth
2/3 cup (227 g) honey or brown sugar (135 g)
1/3 cup (79 ml) low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup (79 ml) orange juice
2 tbsp (11 g) orange zest
¼ cup (59 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp (45 ml) cold water
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
Cooked rice, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


In a large zip-top bag, toss together ¾ cup (95 g) cornstarch and black pepper. Add the beef to the bag and give it a little shake until well coated.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the beef for about 1 to 2 minutes on both sides and add to the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger until dissolved and pour over the beef. Cover with the lid and cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, whisk together the remaining cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into the crock pot along with the broccoli, then cover with the lid. Turn the heat to high and allow the sauce to cook and thicken up for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the broccoli is just starting to soften but is tender and crisp.

Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Asian Slow Cooker by Kelly Kwok. Copyright © 2016 Kelly Kwok. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction 8

Ditch the Takeout 11

5 Ingredients or Less 37

One-Pot & Skillet 59

Skip the Stove-Top 83

Fiery Favorites 103

Meatless Mondays 125

Sensational Soups 143

Delectable Desserts 165

Slow Cooker Basics 186

Stocking Your Pantry for Asian Cooking 191

Acknowledgments 198

About the Author 199

Index 200

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