Asian-Inspired Crockpot Chili

sriracha chili crockpot

Snow - no matter what your age - comes with a certain ritual.  I remember being a kid, snugly wrapped head-to-toe in winter gear - leggings, hat, gloves, rubber boots that barely fit, and a jacket so puffy it would make George Castanza think twice before donning his Gortex - then waddling out into freshly fallen snow so I could willingly throw myself into the freezing bliss.  I'd frolic for hours in the stinging savior that rescued me from school and transformed the entire world into my very own glittering playground.  Then, once my extremities were frozen enough to snap like twigs with a mild gust of wind, I'd waddle back inside, strip off the layers of mobility-limiting winter wear, and - with foolish and painful exuberance that defied my parents' warnings - snag the steaming cup of hot chocolate my mother always prepared to warm me up.  My ignorance of the concept of delayed satisfaction was irrelevant.  I wanted - no, needed - that hot chocolate right away.  It was the only way to end the sting that came with my harsh love affair with snow, and it was always there for me when I needed help easing the pain.

Now, as an adult, my love affair with snow has diminished.  Now I go to work, not school, and snow days are rare.  Now I don't start the day playing in snow, I start the day shoveling it.  But - despite the faded-to-jaded affair my relationship with snow has become - one part of the ritual remains the same: stripping off those wet clothes and warming up with a cup of soul-replenishing warmth.

Comfort food for Cold weather

This Asian-inspired crockpot chili filled that role quite nicely.  The concoction is the result of grabbing random ingredients from my fridge while 3 feet of snow plunked itself down on my car, my porch, my driveway and my sidewalk, and, luckily, this hot mess came out as a fantastic, adult version of my childhood love for hot chocolate.  I threw all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning, went through my day, shoveled myself out, stripped off my wet clothes to reveal my reddened face and fingers, and grabbed of bowl of this straight out of the slow cooker.

I don't scald my mouth very often any more - being an adult and knowing about patience and self-preservation - but otherwise, the feeling is the same.  In some ways, even better.  Snow, over time, has revealed itself to be an abusive, fair-weather friend.  But the love between me and that delicious cup of warmth - even after 30 years - is still piping hot.
Pork Chili Chinese Chili

Asian Chili Ingredients:

1 28oz can peeled tomatoes
4 small/thin pork chops
1 14oz can black beans
1/2 large pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce (preferably low sodium)
3 tbs sriracha
2 tbs hoison
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp oil for cooking

Chinese Chili

1. Turn your stove up to high and heat skillet
2. Add the pork chops until browned on each side - about 1-2 minutes per side
3. While that happens, dump the rest of the ingredients into the crockpot
4. Once all the chops are cooked, cut them into small, bite-sized pieces and toss them in the crockpot too
5.  Let cook on low for 8 hours - if you try to rush it on high, it will taste ok, but the pork won't be mind-blowingly tender, and I can't promise the following results:

Filling Comfort Foods

As you can see, I had some chips with it too...

Hope you enjoy!  Let me know if you try this - if you do, I hope you'll take a picture and post it to!


  1. How much does this recipe make? What size crockpot did you use?