What’s for dinner: Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder

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I’ve been craving fast food and salty snacks all week. All I keep in the house that would satisfy that is corn chips and popcorn. They haven’t been doing the trick lately. (I’ve always caved when it comes to salty foods rather than sweets; thus the French fry ban.)

I’ve gone 6 weeks without fast food, so I’m not about to backtrack on that now.Last weekend, my girlfriends Erin and Emily came into town so that we could do some bridesmaids dress shopping for Em’s wedding in October, and I discovered that I’m down a dress size!

We’ve been eating pretty healthy in the house lately. Several Asian dishes this week have helped tone down the salt cravings. Yesterday, I made this yummy dish from Real Simple:

 Image source: Real Simple

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder

Serves 4 


  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian aisle of the supermarket)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 medium head bok choy, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 2 scallions, sliced


  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, five-spice powder (if using), ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Twenty-five minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, skim off and discard any fat from the pork. Gently fold the bok choy into the pork and cook, covered, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions. 

I used a Boston butt, brown rice and spinach. The dish was super filling, and when I saw the calorie content, I could see why. It’s yummy, but you’ll want to eat lighter fare for breakfast and lunch.