12 Asian and Asian-American dishes you can make in a slow cooker

  • From curries to noodle dishes, these Asian and Asian-American dishes can be made in a slow cooker.

  • Beef and broccoli is a fan-favorite dish that takes just a few ingredients to prepare.

  • Chef Hugh Acheson recommends making Thai chicken soup in a slow cooker.

From takeout favorites to more traditional-inspired dishes, these Asian-influenced slow-cooker meals make dinner a breeze.

Asian and Asian-American cuisine is exceptionally popular in the US — a 2023 report by the Pew Research Center found that around 73% of all counties in the US have at least one Asian restaurant in their vicinity. The report found that Chinese restaurants are, by far, the most popular kind of Asian restaurant, followed by Japanese and Thai establishments.

However, while eating out at these restaurants is an excellent way to support local businesses, you can also make popular Asian and Asian-American dishes at home using a slow cooker.

Here are 12 slow-cooker recipes you can set and forget.

There are lots of recipes for American-Chinese favorites like General Tso's chicken.

asian chicken slow cooker
General Tso's chicken and rice.Erin McDowell/Business Insider

While General Tso's chicken is far from a traditional Chinese dish, it's nevertheless an American favorite from American-Chinese menus.

To make it at home, Life Made Sweeter recommends coating chunks of chicken breast in cornstarch, frying them off in a pan, and then adding the pieces to a slow cooker with a homemade General Tso's chicken sauce.

Beef and broccoli is another popular American-Chinese dish you can make in a slow cooker.

beef and broccoli
Beef and broccoli.Ruslan Mitin/Shutterstock

This takeout favorite packs a ton of flavor, and making it in a slow cooker makes cooking and cleanup much easier. This recipe is a true set-and-forget meal, meaning you add all the ingredients to the slow cooker at the beginning and just wait for it to finish cooking.

Life Made Sweeter's recipe for making this popular dish at home suggests using boneless beef chuck roast, and making a cornstarch sauce to add 15 to 25 minutes before the dish is done cooking to make the sauce extra thick.

Congee is another comfort food you can make in a slow cooker.

Congee.Enjoy The Life/Shutterstock

Few things are as soothing as a bowl of congee, a type of Chinese rice porridge, from the slow cooker after a long day at work.

Cook Simply shared their recipe for slow-cooked congee, which is made from jasmine rice, fresh ginger, chicken stock, garlic, soy sauce, and spring onions, then topped with peanuts and soft-boiled eggs.

Orange chicken is a fan-favorite American-Chinese dish you can make with just a few ingredients.

Orange chicken
Orange chicken.Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock

Paired with steamed white rice, this comfort food is a surefire crowd-pleaser — and it couldn't be easier to make in the slow cooker.

One recipe by Life Made Sweeter recommends cutting chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes, searing them, and adding them to the slow cooker with the sauce, which is made from coconut aminos, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, and other ingredients.

Mongolian beef made with flank steak, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and soy sauce is a perfect weeknight meal.

Mongolian beef
Mongolian beef.Tatiana Volgutova/Shutterstock

Though this American-Chinese-style dish does not have any true Mongolian origins, it's nevertheless a favorite in many households.

This recipe for Mongolian beef, made with the savory flavors of soy sauce, ginger, red bell pepper, garlic, and sesame seeds, will satisfy any American-Chinese food cravings you might have.

It's also possible to make classic curries in a slow cooker or Crock Pot.

massaman curry
Massaman curry.Regreto/Shutterstock

From yellow curry to a comforting, nutty bowl of Massaman curry, like this recipe from Cook Simply, with beef and potatoes, the slow cooker can make crave-worthy soups and stews.

Thai coconut chicken soup, otherwise known as tom kha gai, is a chef-approved dish you can make in a slow cooker.

Thai chicken soup
Thai coconut chicken soup.sathapor/Shutterstock

"A simple soup with Thai chiles, coconut milk, and lime is just wickedly good," celebrity chef Hugh Acheson told Business Insider when discussing his go-to comfort foods to make in a slow cooker.

The recipe for Acheson's slow-cooker chicken soup with chiles, coconut milk, and lime can be found on Garden & Gun, but America's Test Kitchen also has a recipe for this fresh-tasting soup.

Slow-cooked Asian-barbecue wings are a sticky, savory take on chicken wings.

Asian-barbecue wings
Asian-barbecue chicken wings.Zu Kamilov/Shutterstock

It's no secret that you can make tender chicken wings in a slow cooker, but adding an Asian-barbecue-style sauce to the equation amps up the heat.

One recipe by Marion's Kitchen takes three hours to make but just 10 minutes to prepare. It uses tasty ingredients like sweet chili sauce, honey, and dark sweet soy sauce to create the perfect sauce for wings.

She also recommends topping the wings with homemade chili lime flakes, which she calls "adult sprinkles."

Thai or Korean short ribs get super tender in the slow cooker.

short ribs and rice
Thai short ribs.The Image Party/Shutterstock

Cookbook author Kim Laidlaw previously told Business Insider that short ribs are among her favorite comfort foods to make in a Crock-Pot, and it's easy to give them an Asian-inspired twist.

Half Baked Harvest, one of the most popular recipe bloggers, has a recipe for Crock-Pot Thai short ribs and coconut rice that uses bone-in beef short ribs, Chinese 5 spice, pomegranate juice, and Thai chili sauce for a flavorful dinner in three hours.

Korean Bapsang, a food blog run by a Korean-American mother of two, also has a recipe for slow cooker galbijjim, or Korean braised short ribs, that uses Korean pear, radish, and shiitake mushrooms.

You can customize slow-cooked ramen with your favorite toppings.

Ramen noodles in a bowl with broth, egg, and chashu pork.Yuga Kurita/Getty Images

While you might think a bowl of gourmet ramen could simply never be made in a slow cooker, you'd be wrong. One recipe for slow-cooked chicken ramen uses the Crock-Pot as a base to cook your meat and broth, before adding the noodles in later.

You can also top your slow-cooked ramen with ingredients like a soft-boiled egg, sesame seeds, green onions, chili oil, and pulled pork for even more savory flavor.

Vietnamese pho can also be made in a slow cooker.

pho soup
Beef pho soup.Liv Gaunt/Shutterstock

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese dish somewhat similar to ramen in that they are both noodle soups, but pho typically uses rice noodles and has a distinctly different flavor profile.

This recipe for slow-cooker pho by chef and registered dietitian Tessa Nguyen uses chuck roast, five-spice powder, fish sauce, salt, water, and chopped green onion tops to make the broth.

Or, use a slow cooker to make tender pulled pork for a banh mi sandwich.

banh mi vietnamese pork sandwich
Banh mi sandwiches on a wooden board.julie deshaies/Shutterstock

Bánh mì is a popular type of Vietnamese sandwich. It is usually made with pate, bright, crunchy vegetable slaw, fish sauce, and sliced jalapeño pepper or fresh cilantro.

However, another popular way to make banh mi sandwiches is with pulled pork, which can easily be made in a slow cooker.

One recipe by Delightful Plate, a food blog specializing in authentic Vietnamese recipes, suggests slow-cooking pork shoulder on low for eight hours, while simultaneously picking your own vegetables for the sandwiches.

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