My family loves to go to Chinese restaurants. Here in Utah, our top pick is PF Chang’s, but when we’re in California, you’re more likely to find us at a locally-run restaurant called Lakeside Chinese Cuisine in Mission Viejo. We always get their “complete dinners” which come with soup, a variety of appetizers, a main course, a caramelized apple, and of course a fortune cookie. When the waiter brings the appetizers, my kids start trading them like baseball cards: “I’ll give you my egg roll for your paper-wrapped chicken!” We’ve been going there for about 25 years, and it’s always a lot of fun.
Since my family likes Chinese food so much, when I came across this slow-cooker recipe for Oriental Pork Soup, I decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how much it tastes like a soup that would be served in a Chinese restaurant. I attribute that to the ginger root and the soy sauce. If you’ve never used ginger root, you’re in for a treat. I’d say it does for Chinese food what cilantro does for Mexican food. Together with the soy sauce, it really gives the soup an Asian flare. Ginger root can be found in the produce section of the grocery store. It always comes in pieces much bigger than you would need for one recipe, and it’s perfectly fine to just break off a smaller piece. When you’re ready to use it, slice off the ends with a knife and then use a potato peeler to remove the skin before chopping it finely.
To make this soup, you’ll need ground pork, garlic, carrots, green onions, soy sauce, ginger root, chicken broth, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and pepper. I usually buy the pre-cut matchstick carrots, but if you would rather cut them yourself, all I can say is. . . You Go Girl (or guy as the case may be)!
Cook the pork with the garlic in a skillet until brown, and then drain the fat. Combine all the ingredients except the mushrooms and sprouts in a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
Stir in the mushrooms and bean sprouts. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour.
Serving Suggestion: I usually serve this soup with egg rolls that I just purchase in the frozen foods section of my grocery store. It adds to the feeling of eating at a Chinese restaurant.
Recipe By: Origin Unknown/Adapted by Winner Dinners
Makes about 12 servings. Leftovers can be frozen.
2 pounds of ground pork
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups julienned carrots (pre-cut matchstick carrots work great)
8 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons ginger root, chopped finely
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 48-ounce cans of chicken broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1-1/2 cups bean sprouts
Cook the pork with the garlic in a skillet until brown, and then drain the fat. Combine all the ingredients except the mushrooms and sprouts in a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Stir in the mushrooms and bean sprouts. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour.