Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

A Good Book

with 32 comments

It is no secret that I love to read. I have an insatiable appetite for words on a page- newspapers, magazines, short stories, memoirs, blogs, and everything in between. Novels are are like the frosting on my daily read cake. When I feel like the dishes and laundry can spare my attention for a little while, when there’s no third grade homework begging my not-so-patient direction, when our evening meal is done being stirred or sauteed, I reach for whatever novel has captured my imagination and tune everything out. I deserve a time out, right?


Something happens to my family when it appears as though I’m trying to read. Suddenly everyone needs to talk to me. Everything is very urgent. Like the imaginary house Andrew built while playing Minecraft. Or Evan’s musings about why he can’t hear me talking to him when the TV is on. Chad needs my opinion on new tail lights for the rail buggy and has 17 funny clips for me to watch on You Tube.

In retaliation I have decided to cook dinner at 10 o’clock in the morning so I can steal a few precious moments of quiet with a book. Oh yeah.

The crock pot.

Whisk together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger, and 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder. Pour the sauce over 2 pounds of boneless pork roast. **Note: Chinese five spice powder was not available at my local grocer. After a little research I found that it varies from here to there but usually includes star anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper. I added a dash of each and the flavor was super.**

After slow cooking the pork for 6 hours on LOW (4 hours on HIGH), remove it from the slow cooker and set it aside to rest for a few minutes before shredding. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

Whisk together 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Slowly stir it into the boiling liquid. Continue stirring and cook for another minute. Remove the sauce from the heat and set it aside while you shred the pork, and then spoon the sauce over it.

With an arsenal of slow cooker recipes up my sleeve I plan to get my read on.

But I’d be willing to bet that without my nose stuck in a book in the company of my family, the novelty of talking to me will disappear. Unless I’m on the phone.

Chinese Hacked Pork (from Family Circle, April 2012)


1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

2 pounds boneless pork roast

3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

To Make

Whisk together the soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder. Place the pork in the slow cooker and pour the sauce over it. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. ***The original recipe calls for marinating the pork overnight before cooking. I skipped that and it was still full of flavor. But it couldn’t hurt.*** When the pork is done, remove it from the slow cooker and set it aside to rest before shredding. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Whisk together the chicken broth and the cornstarch and then pour into the boiling liquid. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute. Shred the pork and spoon the sauce over it.

I served this over sweet jasmine rice with a heap of steamed snow peas on the side, and garnished it with some pretty green onion slices.



Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

May 1, 2012 at 9:25 am

32 Responses

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  1. It is crazy how your life is soooo similar to mine! My husbands name is Chad, 2 boys, minecraft and third grade homework, except I gave up trying to read all together! I have a pork roast in the freezer and this is going on our menu for this week! Sounds and looks delicious!


    May 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

    • Haha that IS crazy! My kids ate this meal up. It was reeeeally a winner 🙂 And what is up with the Minecraft, anyway? It’s possibly the weirdest game I’ve ever seen them play.

      • I know! I call it the digital version of legos! My husband doesn’t build rail cars….just buggies for rock crawling and jeeps! And I don’t care about watching the YouTube videos about it all that much! But that’s our little secret. 🙂


        May 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm

  2. This sounds wonderful 😀
    And reading is my life – food blog stalking comes pretty close though 😛

    Choc Chip Uru

    Choc Chip Uru

    May 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm

  3. Yum yum yum yum! Without the oven, I’ll improvise on the pork – but I bet the seasoning would work just as well grilled or on chicken, and thank you so much for enlightening me about what’s in 5 spice – everything’s a mission to get here, but now I can put it all together! What are you reading – any good?x


    May 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    • No crock pot? You could totally improvise this– just cook it low and slow. And you’re right: it would make a great chicken marinade or sauce over something grilled. Genius.
      Just finished the Hunger Games series (thanks to my crock pot). Yes I realize I am probably the last person on earth to read those books, but I get it now 🙂 Looking for something good (and cheap!). Anxiously awaiting the next Sookie Stackhouse book (later this month). Suggestions?

      • Well, I’m even further behind than you – I haven’t read The Hunger Games! Not sure they’re my thing, but if *everyone* has read them you sort of feel you should…hmm! suggestions probably deènd on what sort of thing you like (I don’t know sookie Stackhouse either, sorry!) I love Barbara Kingsolver, if you don’t know her, give her a try – Bean Trees or Poisonwood Bible maybe. Are you on goodreads – I love that for to-read inspiration!


        May 2, 2012 at 4:27 am

  4. This sounds so good! And I love the crock pot for saving time!!!

  5. I like your strategy for reading! Who needs to be wasting time cooking dinner at dinner time?

    Time To Be Inspired

    May 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm

  6. I’ll have to keep my eye out for the Chinese five spice powder to try this. Love my crockpot and try to use it every other week or so.

    • Definitely try this, Sandra. I never did find the five-spice powder; I may try to order it. I just used a dash of each (except star anise cause I didn’t have it) to season the sauce and it turned out wonderfully. My family loved it! I bet it would have been even better if I’d found the right seasoning 🙂

  7. I don’t even like pork yet I want to eat this! What are you doing to me!! lol This looks seriously delicious!!!


    May 2, 2012 at 12:17 am

    • Rachael (look! up there!) says she might use the sauce on chicken– it would be great that way. And the article was called Low-Calorie Slow Cooker recipes (I think the nutrition info may be available if you click the link; I just hate the Family Circle website lol). So don’t stress! Use low sodium soy sauce and broth and a lean cut of meat & you’ll be good to go 🙂

  8. I’m not a big pork roast person, but do you think I do this with chicken, too?


    May 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    • I think chicken would work wonderfully. Cooked like I did the pork here, or even if you just used it as a marinade. The sauce was super. And really easy!

  9. I LOVE to read but sadly there is just not enough time in the day! What used to take me 2 days now takes me 2 weeks. 😦 But things could be worse!

    I think I have the same crockpot. I need to dust mine off and actually use it though!


    May 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    • I’m fortunate to be able to read while I do other things. Like I can read while I wash dishes- I just prop my nook up on the window sill. It’s a handy skill haha. Also no one tries to talk to me when I’m washing dishes (wonder why?) so I can read in relative peace! It gets so flipping hot here I don’t know how I survived our evening meals without this slow cooker. Vegetable soup with a dab of pesto on top is my favorite.

  10. Oh My! I made this last night for my family…the boys named it Ninja Pork. 🙂 It was a huge hit! Chad and the boys loved it, the guys working in the barn loved it, and I loved it! The only thing I was asked to change… boys are not rice lovers so they asked for a seasoned noodle next time. THANK YOU! Next week, I’m trying your chicken on a stick recipe!


    May 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

    • I’m so glad you liked it! The original recipe called for lo mein to serve with this but I hate running to the grocery store, so I scrapped noodles for rice 🙂 And you just reminded me that we should have that chicken satay again soon. Chicken on a stick IS AWESOME!

  11. I found myself nodding away to myself while reading this post! Everytime I pick a book up, I’m urgently needed somewhere! Love the sound of this recipe. I’m always looking out for new recipes for my slow cooker. I’ve just discovered your blog and love it. I have a Liebster blog award for you over on my site. 🙂


    May 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    • Thank you so much, Nickki! I’ll be sure to post this as soon as I get a second and am looking forward to checking out all your stuff! So glad you stopped by! Thanks again!

  12. Omg, the whistle tip you tube video is my hubbies favorite. When I get mad at the dogs for waking me up, he hides behind them and says “its early in da monin’ you spose ta be up cookin’ breakfast fo somebody” because I am the one who feeds them in the morning. He thinks he is hilarious…


    May 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    • That IS pretty hilarious! I love that clip hahahahha.
      “It’s jus fo decorayshun.” Oh Lil Sis… what did we laugh at before you and Bub Rub came along?
      Also- I think you are the only person that clicked that link lol. Everyone else missed out.

  13. Wow that does look good – I could have done this with the leftover time!

    Chica Andaluza

    May 4, 2012 at 7:41 am

  14. The pork looks so tender! I have not had much experience cooking or eating pork, barring pork sausages. The snow peas look beautiful. And I think getting dinner out of the way for the sake of a book is wonderful.


    May 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    • If you eat pork I would try the recipes as is with a nice lean cut of meat. If you’re more partial to poultry I think this recipe would be wonderful with chicken. The sauce was a major hit. We don’t eat snow peas enough cause they’re a little pricey, but gosh they’re good!

  15. […] to school wearing mismatched shoes or tells me a story about squirrels. Andrew tries to explain the trials and tribulations of Minecraft or completely confounds me with his math homework (math is NOT my department). My two boys are […]

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