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Buckwheat Noodles with Pork

I love cooking with a Crock Pot (slow cooker) cause all you have to do is dump in the ingredients and leave it to cook by itself. In the meantime, while your dinner is simmering, you still have time to play Farmville do your chores.

This recipe by Food Network chef Claudia Sidoti is very similar to Mami Pares. But the noodles are different, and as always, I tweaked it according to our preference and used different ingredients.

What you need:

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 1 pound buckwheat noodles
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
  • few sprigs of cilantro
  • 1 piece Serrano pepper, sliced and seeded

What to do:

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add the Canola oil. When hot, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes per side depending on the size of your meat. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

In your slow cooker, combine the broth, soy sauce, sherry, sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, star anise and ground cinnamon. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the garlic and ginger. Add the pork, cover, and program your crock pot to cook for 6 hours on low.

At about the halfway mark (or after about 3 hours have elapsed), add the sliced mushroom in the pot.

After cooking, transfer the pork to a platter, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil and cook the Buckwheat noodles as the label directs. Slice the pork. Divide the noodles among bowls and top with some of the broth and mushrooms and a few slices of pork. Garnish with the water chestnuts, Serrano pepper, green onions and cilantro.

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Don't have buckwheat noodles? Use somen or ramen.
2. Substitute ground cinnamon with a stick of cinnamon bark.
3. Instead of using portobello mushrooms, use dried shiitake mushrooms. Just add it in with the garlic and ginger.
4. Try chicken broth instead of beef broth.


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