Slow Cooker Char Siu Lamb with Aromatic Steamed Bok Choy

Hello everyone, Jess here.  

Today we celebrated my oldest son’s 7th birthday, which is a bit hard to believe. To celebrate, we had quick Slow Cooker Char Siu Lamb Shoulder Roast on a bed of Steamed Bok Choy with Aromatics and Jasmine Rice. Micro basil made a lovely garnish!  For dessert, Sarah made a lovely Pokemon cake for B, featuring his favorite Pokemon, Charmander.  

As we were out galavanting for much of the day I prepped as much of tonight’s meal as I could in advance.  

I picked up this lovely lamb shoulder roast from the farm.  Last time I experimented with some Mediterranean flavors with my lamb, which came out delicious, but today I’m going Asian. I know that Char Siu Pork is a favorite recipe of my son’s, and since it’s his birthday and all, I’ve decided to try out these flavors with the lamb. Char Siu has a very accessible flavor, a subtle sweetness against the ginger and five spice, a bit of saltiness from the soy sauce, it’s yummy with pork, so perhaps with the lamb as well?

First, I mixed together these ingredients and poured them over the roast.  

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (substitute Tamari for a gluten free version)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (ensure there are no fillers in your spice if you need it to be gluten free)

I kept the layer of fat on the roast and slow cooked with the fattiest side down.  If you choose to trim the fat, 1/2-1 cup of chicken broth can be used to provide a bit some liquid in place of the fat.  If you’re home and want to rotate it occasionally, that’s fine too.  A slow cook on low for about 8 hours is good.  

You can take to it with a knife, it falls apart pretty easily and slicing against the grain helps to exploit the tenderness of this cut.  If you’re like me and don’t trim the fat, you’ll find that much of it renders on the top layer of your slow cooker once you take out the meat.  Use a baster to suck up the tastiest gravy from the bottom part of your cooker (leaving the oil and fat floating at the top).  Squirt this sauce into a gravy bowl and serve with your meat!  

With the array of flavors that comes with Char Siu, a simple steamed bok choy is a great accompaniment!  In my steamer water I added 2 star anise, 1 lemon wedge, 1 clove of garlic halved, and one 1/2 inch piece of ginger.  This imparted a subtle flavor to the bok choy, which I steamed for about  7 minutes.  

Next comes some micro basil from Johnny Putt Farms. This stuff is so cool, a subtle and tender flavor is great for garnish. You simply snip what you need, and when it’s gone, you can compost the entire box as-is!  We’ll be enjoying more of this throughout the week, so stay tuned!

The flavor did not disappoint! I had a backup of chicken ready for the kids but they all ate the lamb without question. (B was a bit suspicious of the texture, but that didn’t keep him from cleaning his plate in moments.) Us grown-ups liked it, too!

If you’re looking to try some lamb, you may like this one!  

About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.