Slow-Cooker Chinese Beef Stew With Noodles (adapted from Food Network Kitchen)

2 pounds beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 pod star anise
1 9.5-ounce package dried udon noodles
1/2 bunch watercress, leaves picked (about 3 cups)
Sliced scallions, fresh cilantro and lime juice, for topping

Put the beef in a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker and season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk the flour and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl until smooth, then whisk in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste, chili-garlic sauce and ginger. Pour into the slow cooker and turn the beef to coat. Add the star anise. Cover and cook on low until the beef is tender, 7 to 8 hours.

Discard the star anise and transfer the meat to a plate. Shred into bite-size pieces, removing any large pieces of fat. Skim off any excess fat from the liquid in the slow cooker. Return the meat to the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs; drain. Divide the noodles and beef stew among bowls. Top with the watercress, scallions, cilantro and lime juice.

Fried Rice (adapted from Food Network)

3 cups of cooked brown rice
Slow-Cooker Chinese Beef Stew (see above)
Choose your favorite vegetables (such as broccoli, baby sweet peppers, snow peas, carrots, mushrooms, etc.)

Make the Fried Rice:

Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over hight heat. Add 1 beaten egg swirl the pan to coat and cook until half set, about 10 seconds. Remove to a plate.

Add the beef to reheat. Remove to a bowl.

Add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the skillet, then stir in your vegetables. Season with salt and add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, fish sauce, or Asian Chili sauce and 1 teaspoon grated ginger or garlic. Stir-fry until crisp-tender, 2 minutes.

Add the cooked rice, spreading it out; heat through, about 3 minutes. Return the egg and beef to the pan, stirring to break up the egg. Divide among bowls.

Top the fried rice with a choice of chili oil, chopped cashews or peanuts, fresh cilantro, lime juice, sliced scallions, OR toasted sesame oil.

Serve and enjoy!