While I was browsing at Borders yesterday, I came across a cookbook dedicated to recipes using the crockpot (slow cooker). I've been using the crockpot for decades but little did I know that besides making stews and soups, I can even bake cakes in it. The possibilities are limitless!
So I went out and bought myself a new crockpot today and hurried home to cook something in it. Anything! I rummaged through the fridge and found a pack of pork chunks. Just the right time to try out Uncle Tan's braised pork rib dish I found on the internet.
I fried some crushed ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, spice powder and bean paste in vegetable oil until fragrant. Next, I browned the meat in the aromatic spice mixture for a few minutes. I stirred in some garlic, dark soy sauce and rock sugar and poured water to just cover the ingredients. When the mixture started boiling, I transfered everything into the slow cooker and left it alone for 2 hours. I threw in chunks of carrot and potato about an hour before dinner.
After stewing for several hours, the meat became very tender and flavourful. The carrot and potato had absorbed the wonderfully sweet stock, they turned out so succulent and delicious. I was surprised the kids enjoyed it very much even though they don't normally eat pork.
Since CH was joining us for dinner, I cooked a little bit more than usual. We had stir fried dou miao (vegetable sprouts), steam cod and leather jacket fish in a spicy sauce, sweet and sour prawns and stewed pork. I also served some side dishes of seasoned anchovies and tiny crispy crabs which I bought at Istean Japanese food fair.
Now that I have rediscovered the wonders of the slow cooker, you'll be seeing more new dishes soon. I'm looking forward to making a cake in it. The kids think I'm kidding but I'm sure it is possible.