Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Vietnamese Pulled Pork in the slow cooker, with Japanese Pickled Cucumber, Pickled Galangal, and Red Cabbage Asian Slaw

I'd like to share with you my Vietnamese Pulled Pork recipe which we cooked a couple of nights ago and it was amazingly delicious, with the Char Sui Sauce being the secret ingredient. The flavours and textures of the Japanese Pickled Cucumber, the Pickled Ginger and a Red Cabbage Asian slaw married perfectly with the flavours of the Pork and the sauce. Some sushi rice to soak up the fusion of flavours and we were transported to an exotic destination. We also made some Japanese dumplings for a starter and I will share that story with you soon.

Go straight to Vietnamese Pulled Pork recipe 
Go straight to Japanese Pickled Cucumber

I am feeling rather restless today as a nourishing and relaxing time with our daughter Shannon, at home, has come to an end for now. She is driving back to Far North Queensland, possibly a 10 hour drive depending on the extent of the roadworks and the number of trucks on the road. We will be on the phone every couple of hours today to check on her progress, as she has her phone set up in her car to be hands free. This is the first time she has driven this trip on her own, and I will feel a lot happier when I know she has arrived back safely. One of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing when to let your children fly their wings solo, even at 30 years of age. I was very tempted at one stage to drive back with her and then fly home, or at least accompany her to Bowen and then drive home. However, she loves driving and seems confident to tackle the long trip alone with Nala her cat firmly positioned in the cat basket on the front seat. Anyway she has reached Bowen in record time and so far no road works or trucks, so far so good. I know she will feel a real sense of accomplishment when she arrives home safe and sound.

However she had a false start, when she realised she had left something important at home, so only half an hour down the road she had to turn around and come back for it. We just all laughed about it. Hasn't that happened to most people though at least once in their lives, when they have realised they have forgotten something important and have had to turn around and drive home to get it? It's surely not worth it though after half an hour on the road and can lead to divorce proceedings if pursued, LOL.

It has been a lovely couple of weeks though of cooking, baking, eating, outings, relaxing and watching a few TV shows like Suits, laughing and just enjoying having her at home and seeing her wind down and start to relax. We also had her cat Nala to enjoy, and Nala settled in very well, and despite being very shy, investigated all of the clothes and linen cupboards if the doors were slightly open and ventured outside if the neighbouring dogs were quiet. Thankfully though she isn't a hunter so the bird life hasn't been in jeopardy, although the resident Peewees knew she was around and became quite aggressive.

So Shannon has gone home with a large box full of frozen homemade meals and soups, her favourite being my Ham and Kale Soup. Chicken and vegetable soup, chicken stock, curries, and leftovers from the Pulled Pork and Red Cabbage Slaw we made and various jars of pickled vegetables are all included. The aroma from the brandy in my Cherry fruit cake will probably waft though the car as well and smell like Christmas.  I think she is a chip off the old block and her Grandmother would be proud. This reminds me of when we used to visit my Mum in Rockhampton and we would always leave with lots of homemade biscuits and cakes and only a few survived to the end of the trip home, ha, ha. They were so delicious.

Vietnamese Pulled Pork in the slow cooker with Char Sui Sauce


2 kg piece of skinless shoulder of pork
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of lemon grass, bruised
3 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup char sui sauce (almost a full bottle)
1/2 cup rice wine or sushi vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 jar of pickled ginger  or you might like to make your own. Galangal is often available at Farmers Markets.
Here is my recipe for Pickled Galangal

  1. Place chopped onion over the base of the slow cooker and place pork on top. 
  2. Add the Lemon grass
  3. Combine garlic, ginger, char sui sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. 
  4. Trim fat from the pork if necessary. Pour sauce over the pork and cover the slow cooker. 
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. When cooking time has finished, remove the pork and keep it warm on a plate in a warm oven covered with alfoil.
  7. Skim excess fat from the sauce and and remove the lemon grass. If there is a lot of sauce which seems a bit thin it can be reduced down in a saucepan on the stove for 10 minutes if you have time.
  8. Remove meat from the oven and pull apart. It should be juicy and succulent.
  9. To serve, drizzle pork with the Char Sui sauce and serve more sauce in a jug on the table.
The pork can also be roasted in a covered baking dish at 110 deg. C for 8 hours. It is much easier though to use a slow cooker for this.

 Japanese Pickled Cucumber

1 large cucumber or 3 small ones
2 teaspoons salt

Pickling solution:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoons sesame seeds, white or black (I originally used 2 tablespoons which is pictured however I think I prefer less)

Wash the cucumbers and slice into thin rounds. To remove excess moisture, place the sliced cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of salt, and set aside for 5-10  minutes. Rinse off the salt with water in a colander, and drain the cucumbers thoroughly.

Combine all of the remaining pickling solution ingredients in a bowl.

Place the pickled cucumber in a lidded container and leave it in the refrigerator if possible for 24 hours. They will be delicious to eat then, but they can be made a few days in advance by which time the flavours will have really developed.

Bye for now my friends and thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear from you and I hope you enjoy these recipes.

Best wishes



  1. Wow Pauline. That sounds delicious. I love slow cooker recipes. I have never cooked pork. My mum got sick from it once so never cooked it for us as we were growing up so it is something I have never experimented with. Thanks for the recipe and I hope you don't miss your girl too much.

  2. Thanks Chel. I will miss her more than usual for a while. This recipe is pork at it's best I think and reasonably priced.

  3. Thanks Chel. I will miss her more than usual for a while. This recipe is pork at it's best I think and reasonably priced.

  4. That sounds like a delicious dinner! I had to drive for about 2 hours with my dog Mochi and it didn't go as smoothly as your daughter's drive! Long distance driving for me is nerve wracking :(


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