I know it’s effortless to pick up your phone and swipe and tap your way to a tasty dinner. But these Asian slow cooker recipes are crazy-easy and way more affordable.
One of the critical things about cooking Asian food is that you need to invest in some basic pantry staples.
Good soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and sriracha are essential, and trust me; you’ll make the most out of them!
With these recipes, you can have a whole takeout-style feast on the table with as little as 10 minutes of prep. How can you beat that?
Unlike some slow cooker recipes that need to be going all day, this delicious chicken will be ready in just a few hours.
The best thing about cooking chicken in a slow cooker like this is that it soaks up the flavor and stays insanely juicy.
Just put whole chicken breasts in the pot and cover with a mix of soy sauce, honey, hoisin, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and sriracha.
After a few hours, it will be fork-tender and super easy to shred.
This recipe uses a slow cooker liner to make clean-up a breeze. Just open the bag and push it into the pot, being sure to leave enough to fold over the lip.
As with the dish above, you’ll cook the meat right in the sauce. In this case, it’s pork shoulder, which will become incredibly soft.
Cover it with a blend of soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, sambal oelek (an Indonesian chile paste), oyster sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.
Since the pork is a thicker cut, this needs at least three to four hours on high and as long as eight on low.
I love recipes that take their time, so I can set it going in the morning and come home to a tasty dinner.
Mongolian beef has such a simple yet powerful sauce. All you need is garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
Feel free to use ground ginger if that’s all you have, but you’ll absolutely taste the difference with the fresh stuff.
Just grab a big chunk, peel, process, and keep it in the freezer.
This is best when you use flank steak, but skirt or hanger steak will work too.
Of course, you could thinly slice sirloin, but that feels like a waste of good meat.
Coat the meat in cornstarch before putting it in the pot. That way, the sauce will thicken and turn into a glaze as it all cooks.
Here’s another tasty chicken dish with a super simple sauce. The base is soy sauce, honey, and tomato paste, though you can use ketchup too.
If you use ketchup, you might find you need less honey, as it’s sweeter. But if you want it sweeter, go ahead and add extra.
I always add sriracha for some heat, but that’s optional. And, of course, you need sesame seeds.
Depending on what veggies you choose, you might need to add them towards the end to cook them from turning rubbery, like broccoli or asparagus.
This shredded teriyaki chicken is something you can make and then use in a bunch of different meals throughout the week.
Serve it over steamed rice with veggies for dinner or in a wrap with scallions and peppers for lunch. It’s also delicious in a fresh roll with crunchy slaw.
To ensure the chicken soaks up as much flavor as possible, you’ll add the sauce while it cooks and then only add the cornstarch once the chicken has been removed.
Beef is very rich on its own, which is why you so often see it with a deep, dark soy-based sauce.
Adding beef broth will, of course, bring extra flavor since it’s typically made with veggies and seasonings.
However, you’ll notice that this recipe suggests you use beef consommé, which is a far more flavorful kind of broth made with beef, veggies, seasonings, and egg whites.
To make consommé, you actually use ground beef, and in some recipes, they ask you to whip the egg whites.
As it cooks, the stock impurities bubble up to the top, leaving a thick film over the clarified, deliciously rich, and concentrated beef stock.
General Tso’s is the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and crispy chicken. Though, this recipe is lighter, using cornstarch for texture rather than thick, heavy batter.
To ensure the best texture, you’ll pan-fry the chicken before adding it to the pot. That way, you get lovely dark edges.
Like many other recipes on this list, you’ll need hoisin sauce, which is available in most supermarkets. Or, try making your own for something extra authentic.
Orange chicken is, as you might’ve guessed, pretty sweet.
The zesty orange flavor should be front and center, but it’s also balanced out well with the other ingredients.
Not only that, but you’ll use orange marmalade, which has a distinct bitterness rather than being super sweet and cloying.
Add to that the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and green onions, and this is delightfully sweet and savory.
In case you didn’t know, I’m a little obsessed with pulled pork. Whether it’s sweet, spicy, or somewhere in the middle, I just can’t get enough of the stuff.
That’s why I was so excited by this Asian-inspired recipe.
Rather than smothering it in bold BBQ, you’ll make a quick sauce with hoisin, soy sauce, honey, sherry, ginger, and garlic.
If you need something to get over that mid-week hump, this sweet and sticky garlic chicken is for you.
In fact, you could easily make this over the weekend and portion it out as meal prep for the week. It even freezes well, which is super handy.
I like this with egg-fried rice, but steamed works too, as do noodles.
Lettuce wraps are a delicious and straightforward low-carb meal that’s light but still filling.
Using lean ground chicken will help cut back on calories, and you won’t even taste the difference because the sauce does all the heavy lifting.
Plus, this dish is perfect for your vegan friends.
Swap the chicken for tofu ground beef which has the same texture, and nobody will even know this is meat-free.
Kung Pao chicken is from the Sichuan Province in south-western China.
It’s loaded with flavor, including Sichuan peppercorns, making it nice and spicy too.
This dish is a little bit like General Tso’s but noticeably hotter, so if you like that sticky-sweet taste but prefer your food with a kick, give this a try.
Kung Pao is also typically served stir-fry style with a bunch of yummy vegetables.
I’m a firm believer that the Crockpot was made solely for ribs.
They’ll need to be slow-cooked for hours to get that fall off the bone texture, and the slow cooker is the ideal appliance.
This way, you don’t need to have the oven on all day or babysit a grill or smoker. Instead, just add everything to the pot and walk away.
After around five hours, they should be ridiculously tender, at which point they can be eaten.
But for something even better, try broiling them for a few minutes before serving.
It’s officially soup season, ladies and gents!
This dish is pretty straightforward. It’s essentially chicken broth with wontons and maybe some veggies too.
The beauty is that you can grab frozen wontons and make the prep for this lightning-fast.
And again, this is so easy to make vegan. Just use vegetable stock and vegan-friendly wontons, which you should be able to find frozen.
Or, make them yourself with tofu, cabbage, and seasonings.
A hugely popular Japanese noodle soup, ramen is almost always made with meat or fish-based broth and topped with sliced meats and vegetables.
Amazingly, this dish doesn’t go overboard with spices. You only need ginger and black pepper!
The rest of the flavor comes from the chicken, onion, garlic, broth, soy sauce, vinegar, milk, and mushrooms.
Like chili, I find curry is best when it’s left to cook for longer. That way, it thickens naturally, and the flavors have more time to marry in the pot.
Not only that, but this method guarantees the most tender chicken possible.
The recipe calls for serrano peppers, which are five times hotter than jalapeńos. But if you can’t find them, the latter will work too.
Remember that the yogurt goes in last and that to prevent any curdling, it’s best to temper it with a bit of the hot sauce.
Just add a spoonful of the sauce to a bowl and whisk in the yogurt to bring it up to an equal temperature.
Was this your favorite growing up too? It’s mild enough for kids, but I, for one, still love that sweet and sour sauce.
Those sinful battered nuggets of chicken probably make this way tastier (and more calorific).
Of course, you can’t deep fry in a slow cooker, so this version is lighter and way healthier.
Many recipes have brown sugar and ketchup in the sauce, which is fine if a little high in calories.
But if you want something with less high fructose corn syrup, go for this blend of soy sauce, honey, Worcestershire, white vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, and sambal oelek.
The added sugar comes from pineapple juice, which you’ll add towards the end.
My favorite thing about curry is how versatile it can be.
It might come with a ton of heat, lots of veggies, creamy sauce, chunks of meat and fish chickpeas, or even fruit.
There’s a curry recipe out there for every mood, and this one is perfect for a chilly but bright evening when you need something filling and fresh.
This vegan curry is loaded with protein-rich chickpeas, yummy sweet potatoes, and a pleasantly sweet sauce with coconut milk, curry powder, crushed red peppers, and garlic.
This is more of a soup than a hot pot if you ask me.
A hot pot is a simmering vessel soup or broth that families sit around, cooking meats and veggies inside.
In contrast, this is a one-pot dish with everything already cooked.
Still, it’s a tasty little dish, and I love that it uses bamboo shoots for crunch and tofu to boost protein.
Hoisin sauce is actually known as Asian BBQ sauce, so whenever you see something that looks like our version of BBQ, chances are it’s covered in hoisin instead.
It’s lightly acidic and beautifully sweet but needs a few other ingredients to make it pop, like rice wine and sriracha.
This dish also includes Chinese Five Spice, a blend of star anise, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. It’s warm, spicy, and very unique.
Spare ribs are cut from the belly, breastbone, and behind the shoulder of the pig.
They’re bigger and meatier than, say, baby back ribs, and many people find them tastier.
Unlike many other rib recipes, you’ll start by cutting the ribs into individual portions.
That helps the sauce infuse with the meat and makes them tender all the way around.
It also helps for the last part of the cooking. Broiling is essential if you want that crisp edge, and being pre-cut helps them caramelize on all sides.
Hot and sour soup is known for its spice, but also a whole slew of ingredients.
From pork and mushrooms to bamboo shoots, tofu, and eggs, a lot is going on in a cup of this stuff.
Did I mention it’s also low in carbs, calories, and sodium?
If you’ve ever tried this soup and wondered how they get the eggs so light and silky, it’s surprisingly simple.
Just stir the hop soup and stream the beaten eggs right in.
They will start to cook almost right away, turning into delicate egg ribbons.
Chow mein is pretty similar to lo mein, and both are delicious noodle and vegetable meals. The key difference is in the noodles and how they’re cooked.
Usually, chow mein is stir-fried with the noodles right in the pan.
In contrast, lo mein noodles are cooked separately and then tossed in the sauce before serving.
Since you can’t stir fry in a Crockpot, this recipe is more like lo mein. But no matter what you call it, it’s scrumptious.
Chop Suey is an American-Chinese creation that calls for meat and eggs cooked in a thick sauce.
This version uses beef and pork, but you can stick with just one if you prefer.
Sear the meats first and then add to the pot with water chestnuts, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms.
Interestingly, the sauce for this is just soy sauce and chicken broth. So there’s no need to buy anything special.
These Asian meatballs are the perfect party food. They’re bite-sized, bursting with flavor, and so easy to make in a big batch.
Start with frozen meatballs, adding them right into the pot. Of course, you can make your own too. Either way, just be sure they’re not Italian seasoned.
Cover them with a blend of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, and brown sugar.
After a few hours, they’ll be hot, tender, and sticky.
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