LIFE. You guys, how do we do this? How do we do this life thing without completely losing our marbles? I've been asking myself that question a lot lately, for reasons that are both trivial and super serious. I don't have an answer, but I think the best approach is to put one foot in front of the other. Baby steps when needed, bigger steps when we are able.
One of the things that helps me feel like I've got it together is putting something on the dinner table that we all REALLY want to eat. Yes, sometimes I fall back on old standbys that we've eaten hundreds of times. But some days, a bunch of seemingly ordinary ingredients get tossed into a pressure or slow cooker and come together into a hearty, flavorful meal with little to no effort. When I'm able to do this, I feel like I could take over the world. It sounds crazy, but it is the truth. When you're rushing around and barely making it to school or swimming or story time at the library, you need something to feel effortless and easy, right? I know I do.
This 5 Spice Pork is one of the most delicious things I've made in my Instant Pot since purchasing it over a year ago. There isn't anything difficult about this recipe. If you can push a button (or two) you can do this! While the pork cooked, I threw some rice in my rice cooker (another MUST HAVE appliance that we use weekly) and mixed up some cilantro-lime crema. As a final, fresh touch, I tossed a bag of broccoli slaw with a little lime juice, salt, and avocado oil. An hour and a half-ish later, everything was prepared and I didn't have to worry about what we would be eating for dinner.
Just to clarify: my kids ate a deconstructed version of this. All the things in one bowl is not something they love yet, so I put the rice and meat and veggies in piles on their plates. Also, they don't eat slaw, so even though it was on the plate, it didn't get eaten. Which is fine! Put stuff like that on your kiddo's plates anyway. They have to see new food to grow to love it.
Not into rice bowls? You could adapt this recipe to make Asian Pork Tacos! Or Burritos! The options are endless!
instant pot 5 spice pork bowls
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 90 minutes
total time: 2 hours
makes 4 servings (plus leftovers)
- 3-4 pounds pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed, cut into 5-6 smaller chunks
- 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice Powder
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- avocado oil
- sesame oil
- 1 small red onion, thickly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked white or brown rice (use precooked for ultimate convenience, otherwise I recommend using a rice cooker)
For the broccoli slaw:
- 1 1/2 cups bagged broccoli slaw
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- salt to taste
For the crema:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon water (add 1 teaspoon at a time after blending to adjust consistency)
- fresh cilantro
- lime wedges
- sesame seeds
- Begin by turning on the Sauté function on your instant pot. Add about 1 tablespoon avocado oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Heat until hot but not smoking.
- While you wait for the oil to heat, mix the 5 spice powder, ginger, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub all over the pork. Working in two batches, add the pork pieces to the instant pot, being careful not to crowd them, and brown well on all sides. Transfer the pork to a large plate.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the instant pot, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Return the pork to the pot. Press the manual button on your instant pot and set the timer for 90 minutes. Put the lid on your IP and make sure the valve on top is closed.
- When the pork is done, you can leave it until just before you are ready to eat. Allow the steam to release naturally, then remove the lid and shred the pork right in the pot. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a large bowl. Spoon some of the juices over the meat to keep it juicy.
- While the pork cooks, toss the broccoli slaw with the lime juice, sesame oil, and salt to taste. Make the crema by adding the ingredients to a blender and pulsing until well combined. It should be slightly thin so you can drizzle. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Assemble the bowls, drizzle with the crema, and dig in!