Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles
Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles has rattled the leftover routine in our household.
I dedicate a significant portion of my mental energy to our leftover food. Nothing breaks my heart quite like tomatoes that fuzz on our counter or forgotten soup that wastes away in the back of our refrigerator. I’m constantly surveying its shelves like a vigilante, silently portioning our food into two distinct categories: food I can convince Ben to pack for lunch and everything else.
This Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles is a prime example of Ben take-to-work lunch food. It’s easy to pack, can be reheated in a microwave, and he loved it the first time around. Our usual meal routine is that we enjoy a stir fry like this for dinner, then I generously bequeath him the leftovers to pack for lunch—actually, I forcibly insist that he pack them and scour his bag for the empty Tupperware to ensure he ate them. I assign myself the “everything else” to repurpose into meals at home throughout the week. It was a good system—until this Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles entered the equation.
This Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles recipe makes a generous amount, and the leftovers might have kept Ben fed for lunch most of the week…but I wasn’t willing to share them all. Instead of my giving them to Ben, we battled each other on our way to the fridge the next morning, forks extended, straining to fill our individual plastic containers with leftovers before the other had a chance to steal them all. This stir fry, with its fragrant, garlicky peanut sauce, the sweet tang of hoisin, the juiciness of the pork, all laced around long and tender peanut noodles—it was just too good to miss having a second time. Or a third. In fact, I’m making it again over the weekend.
In addition to being spear-your-spouse-with-a-fork-delectable, this Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles is a weeknight dinner winner. Frozen veggies keep the prep fast, the pork cooks in one piece in the slow cooker (no browning required), and the sauce boasts complex flavor from simple ingredients. For the sauce, I was originally planning to stick with only hoisin, garlic, and soy sauce, but then I took a tip from this marriage-proposal Chicken Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce and decided to incorporate peanut butter too.
Whenever possible, I prefer to use natural peanut butter, which contains only peanuts and salt, as opposed to the hydrogenated oils and/or added sweeteners found in many products, including ones that tout themselves as “natural”—check your ingredient label. Though natural peanut butter is a bit more expensive, there are still affordable options. I’ve had wonderful luck with Simply Roundy’s organic peanut putter. It’s just as tasty and creamy as the name brand for a fraction of the price, and the rest of the Simply Roundy’s organic line offers excellent value as well. (I used the Simply Roundy’s organic frozen veggies in this Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles too.) Wisconsin shoppers: you can find Simply Roundy’s products at Pick ‘N Save, and Roundy’s-affiliated stores in other states may carry them also.
If you need me, I’ll be hiding in the corner with my secret container of Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles.
Slow Cooker Pork Stir Fry with Peanut Noodles
A healthy slow cooker pork stir fry in a sweet and tangy peanut sauce, served over peanut noodles. Great for weeknights, entertaining, and leftovers too!
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- 1.25 to 1.5 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat*
- 5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, divided*
- 3 tablespoons Roundy's Simply organic creamy peanut butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 8 ounces whole grain pasta noodles or rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 32 ounces Simply Roundy's organic frozen stir fry vegetables, thawed
- 1 cup shelled edamame, fresh or frozen thawed
- 1 cup sliced green onions (white and green parts)
- 1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped, plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, if you like a little heat)
- Place the pork tenderloin in the bottom of a 4-to-6-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons hoisin, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, ginger, and garlic. Pour over the tenderloin, spreading it over the surface with the back of a spoon. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, until cooked through (time will vary based upon your slow cooker—mine tends to cook meat very quickly). Remove the pork to a large plate, reserving the cooking liquid. Let rest for 10 minutes, then shred with two forks or your fingers.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain and set aside, tossing with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- In a wide, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Add the stir fry vegetables and edamame, and cook until hot and lightly crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Spoon any peanut butter sauce still left in the slow cooker into the skillet, along with the reserved cooking liquid, avoiding any excess fat that you can scoop away easily. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, and rice vinegar. Whisk and cook for 1 minute, then add the reserved pork, cooked noodles, cooked vegetables, green onions, peanuts, cilantro, and red pepper flakes (if using), then toss gently to combine. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little bit of reserved pasta water as needed to loosen it. Serve topped with additional chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.
*Pork tenderloin is very lean, and thus will cook more quickly in your slow cooker (2 to 3 hours, depending upon your particular model). If you prefer to let the meat cook for longer, I suggest using pork loin or pork shoulder, both of which have a higher fat content and thus can withstand longer cooking times without becoming dry. Chicken thighs would be an excellent choice too.
*Hoisin sauce is available at most grocery store in the Asian foods section.
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