Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen
Pastured bone broth: I finally found a shelf-stable brand that is made from grass-fed cows! If you don’t have time to spend hours making your own bone broth, Kettle & Fire makes a game-changing broth from organic bones, slow-cooked to draw out the nutrients and collagen hidden deep inside. Get it here.
In keeping with the international flavor mash-up that is today’s post, I am sharing the conclusions of some personal preliminary research on whether eating local food is more environmentally-friendly. Perhaps your first thought is “of course”. Doesn’t food grown close to home help prevent global warming because it requires less fossil fuel to transport? But after reading an article on the topic of whether locally-produced food is more environmentally friendly in the journal Environmental and Resource Economics, I now know it is a more nuanced issue than I previously suspected.
The authors state in the abstract: We concentrate on the tradeoff between production and transport emissions reductions by testing the following hypothesis: Substitution of domestic for imported food will reduce the direct and indirect Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with consumption. We focus on ruminant livestock since it has the highest emissions intensity across food sectors… While shifting consumption patterns in wealthy countries from imported to domestic livestock products reduces GHG emissions associated with international trade and transport activity, we find that these transport emissions reductions are swamped by changes in global emissions due to differences in GHG emissions intensities of production.
This means that the environmental benefit of eating food produced locally is outweighed by the environmental cost of said local production. Why? Because producing food “intensively” (on a mass scale, in a location that enjoys advantages of climate and other environmental factors, with the addition of specialized technology, etc.) may, at least in some dimensions, be more environmentally-friendly than areas with less intensified production (because greater intensity often means more efficient).
For further reading on this topic, take a look at the following articles:
- Food Miles Don’t Go the Distance
- Food Miles are Just a Form of Protectionism
- How the Myth of Food Miles Hurts the Planet
- The Inefficiency of Local Food
Perhaps as much as we would hope that buying local food is the most environmentally-friendly option, in some cases, it isn’t. Let’s be clear, locally-produced food provides many benefits aside from fewer food miles. In addition to probable advantages of freshness, local food production can:
- Anchor communities and beautify blighted areas
- Be an educational resource
- Solve an important problem of access for disadvantaged populations
- Support the local economy
- Be more likely to avoid the misuse of chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, or other substances that endanger the environment and human health
- Bolster insect diversity, enrich the soil, and create border areas for wildlife
- Be tastier (since industrial food is bred to withstand long-distance shipping and mechanical harvesting)
This Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen recipe honors our global food system with its internationally-inspired flavors. It is also a wonderful thing to prep on Sunday night and enjoy throughout the week… just hold off on cooking the mushrooms and heating the noodles until the night you’ll enjoy it. Add the toppings fresh each time, too!Print
Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 8 hrs
- Total Time: 8 hrs 20 min
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 2–3 lbs pork shoulder roast (or butt)
- 4 cups broth, plus more if needed
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 tbsp ginger juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp chili paste
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- For Serving
- 1 lb sliced button mushrooms
- 2 packs shirataki noodles, drained
- 4 soft-boiled or fried eggs
- Sliced jalapeño or fresno peppers, chili flakes, cilantro, green onions
- Place the pork in a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients for the slow cooker, and cook on high for 8 hours.
- Turn off the heat, and remove the pork from the slow cooker. Shred the pork with two forks or your tools of choice, then place a large skillet over medium heat.
- Place the shredded pork in the skillet and add all of the skillet ingredients. Toss to combine, then cook, stirring/turning frequently, until brown and crispy and all of the liquid has cooked away.
- Place the broth in the freezer while you crisp the pork. The goal is to cool the liquid enough so that the fat can be skimmed off. When the fat has been removed, heat the broth in a medium soup pot. Add the sliced mushrooms and the drained shirataki noodles. Bring to a boil, then ladle into serving bowls and top with the crispy spiced pork, eggs, peppers, chili flakes, cilantro, and green onions.
Pamela Li (Rookie Parenting)
A very interesting combination of analysis of local production efficiency and a tasty recipe!
Fresh Planet FlavorPamela Li (Rookie Parenting)
Ha, yes. It’s my new format these days…
Oh yum. I am obsessed with raman at the moment. This recipe sounds just divine!
Fresh Planet FlavorYvette
Ramen is an easy thing to be obsessed with. 🙂
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness
Ramen is all the rage now! Understandably! This bowl looks soooo comforting. I must make it this fall when all I want to do is be in my sweat pants and lounge around. Love that egg on top!
Fresh Planet FlavorChrissa – Physical Kitchness
Egg is one of the best parts!
Amazing as always! Pinned!
Pinned! I’m always looking for more pork shoulder recipes, I think this will be a new favorite, thank you!
Fresh Planet FlavorAbby
The pork shoulder is wonderful, and you don’t have to make ramen with it! Very versatile.
THIS looks so amazing! I am a sucker for anything with noodles! 🙂
Fresh Planet FlavorLogan
These are those yam fiber ones, very low in carbs and calories, but still have the noodle texture.
first, your pictures are so beautiful! and yum, this looks amazing! I love ramen and this recipe looks incredible.
I need to make this tonight!
Fresh Planet Flavormonique
Do itttttt 😀
Oh my gosh my mouth is watering this looks soo good!!! I have to make this.
Wow this looks amazing! Almost too beautiful to eat!
Ohh I just had a huge ramen bowl at a chain restaurant but this looks 100 times better – yum!!
Fresh Planet FlavorLauren
Homemade usually is! 😉
This looks so good. I am all about slow cooker meals!
What a great ramen recipe. I am going to have to give this a try. I know my family would just love it.
Fresh Planet FlavorAnnMarie Brown
I think the slow cooker would make it very family friendly. 🙂
"Goes-with-Everything" Weeknight Curry (with Kettle & Fire) | Fresh Planet Flavor
[…] broth in some of my favorite recipes, such as my Easy Sunny-Side-Up Eggs in Chili Garlic Yogurt, Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen, and Wild Thing Texas […]
Outstanding!! Everyone in my family from 8yo to 54yo gobbled it up and came back for seconds. They loved the boiled egg on top too. Easy to make for busy families and healthy.
could i sear the pork before the slow cooking stage? and then still brown it in the skillet after? or would searing it first ruin the skillet’s effect? thanks!
Fresh Planet Flavorzelda
Searing it first would actually be an improvement, actually… just make sure to crisp it in the skillet after, too.