Lunar New Year is coming up, which means it's a great time to indulge in any Asian food you might be craving. Whether you're jonesing for authentic Thai or copy-cat takeout Chinese, your slow cooker can help. There are tons of tasty Crock-Pot recipes for Lunar New Year that will make your celebration extra delicious.
This year, the Lunar New Year begins on February 5. Countries across Asia including, China, Vietnam, South Korea, and Tibet all take part in the festivities, according to Brittanica.com. And of course, food plays a big part. The Culture Trip noted that families typically gather for a huge dinner on New Year's Eve, where children and younger family members are gifted with cash-stuffed red envelopes. (Which makes sense, because what's a holiday without presents, really?)
This Lunar New Year will be the Year of the Pig in the Chinese Zodiac, according to Karma Weather. Appropriately, there are lots of delicious pork dishes to dig into on this list (though if you're superstitious, maybe chowing down on pork feels weird in the Year of the Pig?).
Whether you're going the pork route or not, these 14 Crock-Pot recipes will make your Lunar New Year celebration delicious.
1. Pepper Steak
This Crock-Pot pepper steak recipe from Eating on a Dime has me itching to bust out my slow cooker. It calls for ingredients you'll probably already have on hand, like ginger, garlic and soy. In about 5 hours, you'll have tender, juicy meat plus a pot full of flavorful sauce to spoon over rice.
2. Tom Kha Gai
Tom kha gai is a Thai coconut chicken soup, and this recipe from Honey, Ghee, and Me shows you how easy it is to prepare it in the Crock-Pot. Coconut milk and chicken stock make up the base of the soup, and add-ins like fresh spices and veggies give it even more flavor. You can also easily modify the recipe to suit your preferences — switch out chicken for shrimp, for example.
3. Asian Short Ribs
By the time these Asian short-ribs from The Heritage Cook come out of the Crock-Pot, the meat will be incredibly tender and falling off the bone. As someone who doesn't love gnawing meat off of ribs and making a huge mess in the process, that sounds perfect. You can toss some veggies right into the pot with the ribs to make a delicious side at the same time.
4. Pineapple Rice
Pineapple rice is one of my favorite meals, so I'm super stoked to find out that you can make it in a slow cooker with this recipe from The Crock-Pot Ladies. The chicken will cook in the juices of the pineapple chunks and some soy sauce, which should gave it an amazing sweet and savory flavor.
5. Asian-Style Whole Chicken
A Crock-Pot tends to be the go-to kitchen gadget for things like soups and stews, but did you know that you can cook an entire chicken in one? This recipe for Asian style chicken from The Family Freezer slow cooks in about 6 to 8 hours, so you don't have to worry about it drying out while roasting in the oven. It's also an extra fitting dish for a Lunar New Year celebration because the whole chicken represents the idea of family togetherness, according to The Spruce Eats.
6. Mongolian Beef
Slow cooking meat is a great way to make sure those seasonings really sink in. After about three hours in the Crock-Pot, this Monogolian beef dish from Dinner at the Zoo should be bursting with flavors. The blog recommends using flank steak to get the full effect, and serving with a side of crunchy greens like broccoli or asparagus.
7. Thai Chicken & Rice Soup
It's hard to say no to a piping hot bowl of soup to keep you warm in winter. This Thai chicken and wild rice soup recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron is full of veggies and has a little touch of heat thanks to the spices used. Just be careful not to overcook it, or your rice could turn out a little too mushy.
8. General Tso's Chicken
This recipe for Crock-Pot General Tso's chicken from The Endless Meal has all the flavor of good Chinese takeout, with a much smaller dose of sugar and sodium. You'll want to take a little extra time to brown the chicken before you toss it in the Crock-Pot, because it gives you a better texture. Then, depending on how hot your slow cooker gets, the dish could be ready in as little as two hours.
9. Herbal Chicken Soup
This herbal chicken soup from Omnivore's Cookbook is a bit of a choose-your-own adventure recipe, because the longer you cook it, the more powerful the flavor of the herbs will become. The blogger recommends tasting it at intervals to see how the flavor suits you. You'll probably need to make a trip to an Asian grocer to find the right mix of herbs, but it should be a rewarding endeavor when your delicious soup is done.
10. Hot & Sour Soup
With a Crock-Pot full of herbs and spices simmering all day, your house is sure to smell amazing when you whip up this hot and sour soup from The Stay at Home Chef. It includes chunks of tofu and mushroom, so I suspect it's surprisingly filling. It also gets a bit of heat from a touch of Sriracha.
11. Crab Rangoon Dip
I love the idea of getting the taste of homemade crab rangoon, without the tediousness of blanketing it in wonton wrappers and frying them. Recipes That Crock has the directions for how to turn crab rangoon into an amazing dip for your Lunar New Year festivities. Just serve it with some crackers and it'll be gone before you know it.
12. Beef & Broccoli
The only time I can successfully convince my toddler to eat broccoli is when it comes from our favorite Chinese takeout spot. Perhaps I can trick her into eating the homemade kind with this slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe from This Old Gal. If your Crock-Pot is already full of one of the other dishes on this list, this recipe can also be done in an Instant Pot.
13. Asian Pork Tenderloin
This recipe for Asian pork Tenderloin from Plain Chicken requires absolutely zero prep work. Just dump everything into the Crock-Pot, and in eight hours or so you'll have something delicious to eat. You can serve it with rice or veggies on the side, or slice it up into sandwich meat.
14. Lo Mein
An Asian-inspired feast isn't complete without a huge helping of noodles. This Crock-Pot pork lo mein recipe from Damn Delicious makes a veggie packed sauce that you then pour over the noodles of your choice (spaghetti will do just fine). Take out lo mein is incredibly yummy, so I can't even imagine how good it is homemade.
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