Slow Cooker Asian Shredded Beef Recipe

Thank you so much for responding to my Call for Recipes with so many wonderful choices!

 I've spent the last week reading them all and finding ways to incorporate many into our upcoming meal plans. 

This meal comes from Christin who got it from Cooking Light's 2007 list of annual recipes.

 It originally was made with pork, and called for sesame oil, minced garlic, and minced ginger.

 I thought we had sesame oil in the house, but I must have tossed it during the last refrigerator-clean-out and didn't feel like spending the time mincing garlic or ginger, and opted to use powdered garlic and upped the Chinese 5 spice powder to make up for the ginger.

 I also added a bit more honey (because we like it!)

I also used a 4 pound roast, and Cooking Light used a 2-3 pound roast. We really liked the results. 

Thank you, Christin!

The Ingredients.

4 pounds boneless beef or pork roast
1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce
1/2 cup gluten free hoisin sauce
6 tablespoons ketchup
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder (or 6 cloves, minced)

The Directions.

Use a 5 quart slow cooker. 

Trim any visible fat from the meat, and plop it into your stoneware. 

My meat was fresh, but it's okay if your meat is still frozen. 

Sprinkle the dried spices directly onto the meat, and top with the ketchup and honey.

 Pour in the soy and hoisin sauces. 

Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. 

You may need to take the meat out and cut in chunks after 8 hours, then turn to high for an hour or so to get it to shred nicely (I did this).

Serve over white or brown basmati rice, or over shredded cabbage. 

I used the cabbage, and we all liked it. 

The cabbage provided a bit of a crunch at first, but then got warm and soggy with the sauce. 

I liked it better when it was soggy---if I was making this just for myself, I'd pour the bag of cabbage into the pot to get it wilty, but the rest of the family prefers the crunch.

The Verdict.

We all really liked this meal. 

The kids ate a ton of the beef, and continued to eat cold pieces later in the night after dinner.

 This makes a lot of food--we've got about half leftover that I'm looking forward to eating for lunch during the holiday weekend. 

The meat reminded me A LOT of mu-shu beef---I'd imagine it would be delicious wrapped in the little pancakes with some plum sauce

 (although Adam quickly pointed out that I haven't had Mu-Shu anything for about 6 years, so I could be way off base. I still think it'd be good wrapped in those pancakes...).

The original name that Cooking Light gave the meat was Char Siu, which means barbecued meat (usually pork). 

The meat didn't taste like it had a barbecued flavor to me, but instead was slightly sweet and tangy. 

I'd love to throw in some hot peppers next time to give a bit of heat.

Thank you again, Christin, and to all who submitted recipes. 

I'm excited!

other great Asian-inspired meat dishes:

Korean Ribs

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at May 22, 2009

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What they say about this article

  1. Totally have to try this!

    Does anyone know what is in Chinese 5 spice powder?

  2. mmmm, looks delish

  3. Five Spice Powder is a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and szechuan peppercorns

    The meat looks good- I'll put it in the queue. I agree that putting it on cabbage would be great and balance out the healthiness too. It wasn't soaking in grease?

  4. Chinese five spice I make is:

    2 tsp black ground peppercorns
    4 tsp ground anise
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    1 T ground cinnamon
    1 T ground fennel seeds


  5. Was the cabbage raw?

  6. thank you for posting the 5-spice powder recipe, Leslee!

    My Kids' Mom, the beef I used was quite lean. Cooking Light suggested a pork shoulder or tenderloin. I didn't have a bunch of grease left in the pot.

    Amy, yup the cabbage I used was raw and from a coleslaw mix bag.


  7. Do you think this would work with chicken? We can't eat red meat anymore! Doesn't agree with anyone in the house, unfortunately. :(

  8. Great blog. I just found you when I bought my first crock pot yesterday and wasn't sure what to do with it. I am definitely gonna try this recipe.
    Mandy (Auckland NZ)

  9. Hi,
    Apologies for writing to you on an unrelated subject, but wondered if you could help. I have recently purchased a small crock pot (1.5 litre) and I am struggling to find suitable recipes for a pot that small. Can you adapt your receipes? I have been followng your blog (you inspired me to buy my crockpot!) but now I need to know how to convert them to suit the smaller dish.... can you tell me if this is possible?
    Also, I am based in the UK and your book is not being released until October - could you tell me whether or not it has recipes in it for the smaller crock pot?
    Many thanks!

  10. Hi H,

    Your little guy will work well for many of the dips and a few desserts. 1-2 chicken breast halves will fit nicely, or about 1/2 pound of meat. Although this size works great for feeding 1-2 people a main course, not many recipes have been written specifically for this size (except for dips and a few desserts). I'd recommend cutting most recipes in 1/4 or 1/3 and seeing how they work out. Here's a list of the dips and desserts I've made with the mini crockpot. Some are with the little dipper, but the rest are with a 1.5quart. Mini CrockPot recipes.

    As for the book, it is not broken up by size of the machine used, but by type of food offered. I'm sorry to not be of more help.


  11. Oh, this looks terrific Steph (and Christin)! I'd like it in the little pancakes, too. Or maybe make some crepes (same concept). There's a simple recipe that's naturally gf from another gf blogger where the main ingredients are cornstarch, milk, and eggs. Maybe now's the time to try that recipe with this shredded beef! :-)


  12. Hi!
    I wanted to let you know that due to extended family issues, I am not able to be with my husband and kids right now. HOWEVER!!! My wonderful hubby knew how much I loved your blog, so he has turned to it and has made meals for the last 2 weeks from your website. He says it has SAVED him. He is soo proud of himself that I think when I return home, I will let him plan dinners once in awhile from now on!! Thank you for such a great blog!!

  13. I cannot wait to try this recipe. I think I have a roast in the freezer that will fit the ticket.
    You inspired me to purchase a second Crockpot this weekend. I purchased an oval 7 qt model. I cannot wait to use it for baking bread. Maybe tonight.
    I tried your pizza soup and my husband said it was great and to make it again. He also said the same about one of your other soup recipes.
    You have sold me on Crockpot cooking. The only problem is that I do not have time in the morning to set things up. I will have to try to do it in the evening and put the insert Crockpot in the frig for overnight.
    Keep on with the great recipes, please.
    Karen in S.W. Ohio

  14. Hi Karen,

    I'm glad that you are enjoying your slow cookers! One thing, though----it's great to get the meal prepped the night before, but put the food in a separate container or plastic bag overnight in the fridge, not the stoneware. The stoneware needs to be room temperature when the machine gets plugged in and turned on.

    xoox steph

  15. I love char sui bow, steamed pork dumplings but between the pork allergy and the gluten intolerance it isn't something for your family. If your husband finds himself in Chinatown he can order some and report back. If he gets just the char sui, it's thin slices of pork tenderloin with a red outside from the sauce.
    You could make rice pancakes for the mu shu instead of wheat, close enough I think.

  16. I wish Stephanie would post a recipe for steaks with the bone in. I have six pounds of them taking up space in my freezer and I'm not sure what to do with them now my grill is broken and it's too hot to use the oven.

  17. I made this recipe the day after you posted it and we loved it. I added a can of water chestnuts and the shredded cabbage about an hour before serving. Served it on rice with chow mein noodles on top.

    We will definitely make it again.

    Thanks for all your great recipes.

  18. Anonymous5/30/2009

    I made this the other night with a pork tenderloin and it was great. Tasted like Moo-Shu pork. My whole family loved it. I put the coleslaw mix in the crock pot though about a half hour before dinner to get it hot and wilty like Moo-Shu pork.

  19. That looks really nice! Got to try it!

  20. Made this tonight and it's so good. For our taste, we'll add a little more ginger next time, but oh my goodness, so yummy and so easy. We used a chuck roast, so it was pretty fatty, but that just adds to the flavor.

    Next time we have a bunch of people over, we'll try the pork version for those who can eat it. (Like you, I can't. But that's why we have multiple crockpots.)

  21. I fixed this a few days after it was posted. We had friends over for dinner and everyone said it was wonderful. I'll have to try it again when I can enjoy it also. Thank you for such wonderful recipes.

  22. I made this with pork and it was delicious! I am going to try using some sesame oil and ginger next time. We served it over white jasmine rice.

  23. Made this last night with pork and it was a big hit. Even my picky eater loved it! I served it over shredded Napa Cabbage. After reading your comments about the original recipe and recommendation for chili peppers, I used minced fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed chile paste.

    I can't wait to try it with beef. What cut of roast do you suggest?

    Love this blog. I've already suggested friends check it out. Thanks!

  24. Finle to test this recipe! Used the pork tenderloin, shredded it after it cooked. We used the pre-made coleslaw mix and put it all in a multigrain tortilla with cheese!! Super yummy, a little salty, but you expect that with soy sauce ~ Still, YUM-OH!!

  25. Having this for leftovers for lunch for the 3rd day in a row and actually still loving it! And my child - who doesn't eat meat - actually ate the meat! Well, okay, two bites. Mostly he ate rice and wilty cole slaw mix ... but still! :o)

  26. I made this and wasn't much impressed with it.

  27. ELLTeacher6/08/2009

    I made this for my family tonight. It was great! They all loved it. It smelled great cooking all afternoon. My little brother said it smelled "AMAZING!" :)

  28. Just wanted to comment about how easy this is and how yummy! My children are adopted from Korea and this is called bulgogi and I normally make it NOT in the crockpot but this is much simpler and have all of my friends with Korean children to use this recipe now! Also, to the lady that wanted to know if you could use chicken YES you can and it's called pulgogi and it's the same recipe except use chicken in place of the beef or pork!

  29. wow...this looks yummy..i am sure gonna try it.thanx 4 d wnderful recipe

  30. After having the pork tenderloin the husband and I decided to try goose breast! What a treat... We have been searching for recipes to use up the goose breasts we have in the freezer and this worked perfectly!!! The spices in the dish masked the 'gamey' flavor that shoots through and it did not dry the meat out. Give it a try!

  31. We enjoyed this a lot. I don't like to mince things so I smashed a few garlic cloves w/ a knife and then mushed them up when cooked. I also grated some ginger.

    Thanks, Stephanie -- I've just found your blog recently (looking for a yogurt slow-cooker recipe) and am loving it!

  32. I made this a few weeks ago with some inexpensive pork, it was just wonderful. I made it the other day with some chicken breast, also very tasty, especially with some cole slaw mix, wrapped in a tortilla!

  33. I made this today. After a quick three minutes of prep, I left to take my daughter to the park. When I returned home, it smelled fabulous. Then we went to the pool with my husband. We came home right in time to shred the meat and dig in. It was fabulous! Thanks for an easy and delicious recipe to add to our menu!

    Oh, I didn't have the Chinese 5 Spice, so I used ground allspice in it's place...

  34. I made this last night. It was really salty! Even my husband, who drenches his french fries in salt, thought it was a bit much. If I make it again, I'll cut the soy sauce at least in half. I'm loving all these homemade Chinese foods! I'm going to try the Chow Mein next week. I've made the Peanut Butter Pork twice - it's amazing!

  35. bernadette7/15/2009

    I made this one the other night and my husband loves it! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    I wonder though what veggies would go well with it for a side dish since I just served it with steamed white rice.

  36. Yum! Made this with pork, and it was a big hit, though a bit salty. Husband took one bite asked if we could add it to our regular rotation. Done and done!

  37. Hey Steph! I am making your Asian Shredded Pork (Beef) again today. I use a Pork (Boston) Butt, instead of Beef, just the way my Mom used to make it. She is Chinese and your dish tastes very similar to a dish we had growing up. In fact, my Mother likes making your version better because it is so easy!! Another thing I do like my Mom, is add hard-boiled eggs. When I make your slow-cooker version, I boil up some eggs once I have put everything into the crock-pot. When the eggs are done, I peel them then gently place them into the sauce around the meat. I know it sounds weird, but everyone always fights over the eggs when the dish is ready!!!!

  38. I had to add additional honey when it was finished, as the 5-Spice was stronger than I cared for. I used light soy sauce and it didn't seem as salty as others cautioned about.

  39. Yum! I used a chuck roast. I could not find the Chinese 5-spice, so I used (some of) one of those seasoning packets in the Asian section. I loved it on the crunchy cabbage, my kids preferred it on rice. Next time, I will make sure I use the low sodium soy was much too salty for me but regular soy sauce was on hand. All in all...delicious!

  40. I made this today and it would have to be my favourite ever slow cooker dinner! Three adults devoured it and my 2 and 4 year olds ate all their helpings without encouragement (unheard of!). I used a pork shoulder roast with the skin removed, and added garlic, ginger and sesame oil but used less honey. Before serving I boiled down the sauce on the stove while I chopped the meat so it was nice and thick. Served with asian cabbage salad with crunchy noodles, and rice.

  41. Just tried this with pork and its a keeper. After reading your verdict I did still want to try it with the raw cabbage so I shredded it really really thin and it was fantastic. Also, I used a low salt soy sauce - because I just happened to have a bottle with almost the amount needed...finished it up with Tabasco Soy Sauce to give it a little punch. Was not too salty. We also halved the honey as we dont like our main meals overly sweet. Thanks for posting this. Its going into rotation. Cant wait to try with beef and chicken also. (Oh, we also had some leftover bean threads from the night before that we tried it over also - very good.)

  42. Where did you find gluten free hoisin sauce? I have had trouble finding it, so made my own.

  43. Looks delicious! How would you adjust the time in a 4 vs 6 qt cooker? Thanks!