Slow-Cooker Asian Flank Steak With Bok Choy

I pulled a package
of frozen flank steak out the my freezer to thaw one day with no idea what I wanted to do with it. Usually I make some sort of south of the border dish that involves my crockpot, seasonings and then either slicing (can add to a salad salad, wrap in tortillas or serve as is with sides) or shredding (great for burritos or casseroles or stuffing veggies).  For some reason I decided to stretch my wings a bit and see what else was possible.

In a web search I found a recipe for an Asian flavoured beef and bok choy crockpot meal on the Food Network website. What I had wasn't exactly what was on the list, so I threw caution to the wind and made the following substitutions -  a sweet onion in place of 4 leeks, flank steak in place of beef chuck roast, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper in place of a jalapeno and I used Shanghai Bok Choy which is a medium size bunch instead of baby bok choy. I'm pretty sure I ended up adding more bok choy by volume, but I like my dishes with more veggies in them anyway.  They also didn't peel the ginger or garlic, but I chose too as I didn't know what flavor the skin would add. 

This really is super easy.
  You layer all the ingredients except the bok choy in the crockpot and cook on low. Then you scatter the bok choy on top, turn to high, and continue cooking just until it's wilted.  I included 4 options for what you could serve this on - rice, noodles, noodle/zoodle combo or all zoodles.  I loved a mix of noodles and zoodles, but what you chose will depends on your preference and if you're watching calories or carbs.

In the end, the meal was warm end to a cool fall day and I enjoyed the flavours. You're supposed to pull out the garlic and ginger before serving but I forgot. My husband pulled them out of his dish, but I loved the extra pop of flavour, so just ate whatever made it's way onto my plate. 

You can see the original recipe HERE. Enjoy!

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Slow-Cooker Asian Flank Steak and Bok Choy

1                Large Sweet Onion cut in chunks
6 cloves     Garlic, peeled and left whole
4                Thin slices peeled ginge (I like ginger so did thicker slices)
1/2 tsp       Crushed Red Pepper (or 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced)
3 T            All-purpose flour
1-1/2 lbs   Flank Steak (halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into thin strips
1/4 C        Hoisin 
1/4 C        Rice wine, dry sherry or cooking sherry
3 T            Soy sauce
2 T            Packed light brown sugar
Shanghai bok choy (or baby bok choy) cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. The original recipe says 4 head of baby bok choy which isn't a lot. I used a full package of the medium size Shanghai Bok Choy - just over 1.25 lbs - as I prefer a lot of veggies in my meals. 

4 options for what to serve the above on. 
  • Cooked Rice
  • Cooked Asian Noodles
  • A mixture of half Asian noodles and half zoodles (place the zoodles in a strainer and pour the cooked noodles and cooking water over the top to drain. Toss. This will soften the zoodles but leave them a little crisp
  • Zoodles - if using only zoodles I would saute lightly to partially cook and warm through. 
What I used and is reflected in the instructions below - 1 med. yellow zucchini spiralized.  90 grams thin dry Hakubaku Udon Noodles that I had in my pantry. It's all about using what I have for me.


Combine the onion, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper in a 7-quart slow cooker (I used my duo crisp instant pot slow cooker option). Sprinkle in the flour and toss to coat. Place the flank steak in a thin layer on top of vegetable mixture. Whisk the hoisin sauce, rice wine, soy sauce, brown sugar and 1/3 cup warm water in a bowl; pour over the meat. Cook for 7 hours. 

Remove the whole garlics and the ginger slices. Add the bok choy to the crock pot, increase the heat to high and cook, uncovered, until the bok choy wilts, about 5 minutes. Serve with the noodles, cooked rice or a mix of noodles and zoodles.  (Note - My beef mixture was done early so I just scattered the bok choy on top, put the crockpot lid back and turned it off. My instant pot lid seals very tight, so the mixture stayed warm over the hour wait to dinner time and the bok choy wilted perfectly. I didn't need to heat it up.)

My noodle/zoodle combo - I spiralized the zucchini and then cross cut a few times for shorter pieces.  I put the fresh uncooked zoodles in a strainer in the sink.  Then I brought a pan of salted water to a boil and added the 90 grams of Udon noodles, breaking them into shorter pieces as I added them.  I cooked according to package directions, then poured the pot of boiling water and noodles over the zoodles in the strainer and tossed.  I find this method softens and warms the spiralized squash while still leaving it with a bit of crunch.