11 slow cook Asian dishes that will become instant favourites

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These recipes require generous servings of time, but we promise, they're super easy. You can thank us later.

Anyone who has ever tried using a slow cooker will tell you that, even though it might seem like it will double your cooking time, it will be well worth the wait. Not only will this method make food preparation, specifically slow cook Asian recipes, more special, it can also help make them healthier. How? Slow cooking, as opposed to cooking with dry heat, requires less oil.  

And, if you really think about it, using a slow cooker is the no-fuss option, especially if you prepare—-chop, mince, dice, marinate, what have you—the ingredients beforehand. 

Once you place all of your ingredients inside your slow cooker, you will be free to do other things in the kitchen or around the house. Some even leave their slow cooker on during the day to make sure that a hearty, delicious dinner is waiting for them at home after a long day.

There are many slow cook Asian recipes out there. But here’s some of the simplest recipes you can start with to ease you into this economical and convenient cooking method.

11 Slow Cook Asian Recipes That Are Worth The Effort

1. Babi Pongteh

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Babi Pongteh is one of those slow cook Asian recipes that are classic faves! A fan of marinated pork? Try this. | image: shutterstock

This traditional dish is made with braised pork belly chunks bathed in a sweet-savoury soy sauce with fermented beans (Taucheo) as a base. Though food preparation involves stir-frying all the ingredients, the bulk of the cooking process happens inside the slow cooker, where the ingredients  have to be braised for one to two hours so that the pork becomes even more tender and flavourful.

2. Tikka Masala

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Making this slow cook Asian recipe is not as difficult as you’d imagine. | image: shutterstock

This staple of Indian cuisine is pretty simple. All you will need is to submerge the chicken thighs in a mixture made out of some finely chopped onion, minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, minced ginger, garam masala, salt, and cumin. Some even like adding a bit of sugar just to keep the heat of the spices at bay.

After leaving this slow cook Asian recipe alone for about 7 to 8 hours, then you can add a dollop of yogurt as well as coriander or curry powder for added flavour.

3. Peanut Chicken

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Peanut chicken is one of those slow cook Asian recipes that’s definitely a crowd pleaser. | image: shutterstock

One of the slow cook Asian recipes that you can make for dinner any day is peanut chicken. This dish, which is made by cooking chicken in a mixture of coconut milk, cayenne pepper, ginger and peanut butter and other ingredients, is creamy, nutty, and aromatic. And after a few hours in the slow cooker, it becomes even more rich and flavourful.

Some recommend drizzling some lime juice midway through the cooking process for a more tangy flavour while others sprinkle some cornstarch into the mix for added thickness. You can garnish this dish with spring onions or ground peanuts and serve on a bed of steaming white rice.

4. Lentil Soup

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You can’t go wrong with this comfort food. Lentil soup is definitely one of those no-fuss slow cook Asian recipes anyone can make. | image: shutterstock

This comfort food is one of the easiest slow cook Asian recipes to make. Just toss together some garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and lentils; sprinkle some spices and pour in some tomato sauce and leave it be.

What awaits after a few hours in the slow cooker, is a comforting vegetable broth that you can serve with a variety of favourites, like grilled cheese sandwiches, sandwich or even some chopped sausage.

5. Rice pilaf

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Rice pilaf can be a good side didsh to many slow cook Asian recipes, but it can definitely be a meal all its own! | image: shutterstock

Rice pilaf is an easy dish that’s sure to be a great accompaniment to meat and vegetable-based Asian dishes. All you will need is some chicken broth, long grain rice, onions, salt, pepper, garlic, and butter. Just add all the ingredients—you can pre-heat the broth and water beforehand—in your slow cooker and leave for about an hour and a half, making sure the rice is tender.

You can also improvise by adding toppings of your choice, like mushrooms, bell peppers, peas, or raisins.

6. Chicken Adobo

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This Filipino favourite is one of those slow cook Asian recipes that is universally delicious! | image: shutterstock

The Philippines’ favourite dish is becoming even more popular and it’s not difficult to see why. Chicken adobo is fairly easy to prepare and yields leftovers that are just as good or even better than the day before. The cooking process is simple. Marinate the chicken, beef, or both in a soy sauce-vinegar mixture for a few hours before braising. To make it even more rich and flavourful, you can also use your slow cooker.

7. Beef Stew

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One of the slow cook Asian recipes that will surely be an instant favourite is Filipino-style caldereta! | image: shutterstock

The Filipino take on beef stew, also known as kaldereta, can be made by slow cooking beef in a mixture of tomato paste, beef stock, and Worcesteshire sauce. The stew is made even more hearty by chopped carrots, bell peppers, and peas, and potatoes. For some, adding brown sugar and mushrooms boosts the sweet and savoury flavour of this dish.

8. Beef Potato Massaman Curry

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When it comes to slow cook Asian recipes, Thai cuisine has a lot to offer, too, like peanut chicken, pulled pork, and beef potato massaman curry. | image: shutterstock

This Thai comfort food takes about five hours to make, but as with all the Asian slow cook recipes on this list, the bulk of preparation will involve hands-free cooking.

All you will need are beef, russet potatoes, Massaman curry paste, coconut milk, lime juice, basil leaves, tamarind paste, fish sauce cinnamon, and brown sugar. You can also sprinkle some lime juice in the mix to boost this dish’s savouriness with a tangy kick.

9. Vegetarian Korma

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It’s not just meat that are essential to making tasty slow cook Asian recipes, vegetables can be just as flavourful! | image: shutterstock

This creamy, vegetable dish is packed with nutrients as well as flavour. A favourite in Indian cuisine, vegetable korma can easily be whipped up using veggies and spices of your choosing. But generally, it is made with cauliflower, carrots, ginger, potatoes, garlic with a coconut milk, cream, tomato, and yogurt base, sprinkled with curry powder, garam marsala, and red pepper.

Some also add peas, cashews, lemon, as well as a little bit of cumin, turmeric, brown sugar, and cardamom into the mix for depth of flavour. You can slow cook this for about five hours on a high setting.

10. Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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One of the healthiest takes on slow cook Asian recipes is this light but satisfying dish! | image: shutterstock

If you’re looking for a fresh and healthy snack, then chicken lettuce wraps will surely hit the spot. This recipe involves cooking the chicken before tossing it into your slow cooker, along with the other ingredients like carrots, soy sauce, vinegar, chicken broth, pepper, for about two hours (on the high setting).

Stir in hoisin sauce in cornstarch to make it thicker and flavourful. Finally, what would this dish be, of course, without the fresh, crunchy lettuce?

11. Rendang Padang (Beef Curry)

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Because slow cooking enhances the flavour of certain dishes, it’s an ideal method for those looking to boost the heat and spices of dishes like rendang padang. | image: shutterstock

This curry-based dish is an Indonesian favourite. To make this recipe, start by stewing beef in a variety of spices that have been puréed into a flavourful, smooth mixture, including diluted tamarind paste, a little bit of cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, ginger, and lemongrass.

Serve with steaming white rice and enjoy!

Share your favourite slow cooker recipes with us in the comments below!