Your guide to the food and culture of the tropics


3 Crock Pot Recipes Inspired by the Tropics

When trying to stay well-fed in our fast paced, and often busy lifestyle, easy crock pot recipes often make for healthy, simple, and effective options in your kitchen. Exotic tropical recipes may seem complicated or intimidating at first but, believe it or not, there are quick and easy healthy recipes from around the world that will work perfectly for your crock pot.

Let’s take a minute to discuss the borderline-magical wonderfulness that is the crock pot (or slow cooker, if you prefer). They are the greatest of the kitchen gadgetry because they do a lot of the work while you can go on living your life. If you’re uncomfortable with leaving the house, taking a long nap, or letting it do its culinary sorcery overnight then take the time to “treat yo self” and get caught up on the latest episodes of Scandal or The Walking Dead or finally sit down with that Deepak Chopra book that’s been on your mind all week. As an added bonus, slow cooking intensifies the flavor of the ingredients and any meat comes out tender and full of the spices and herbs it has absorbed.  Here are three recipes that are guaranteed to make your mouth water and tantalize your taste buds!

By Afrofoodie (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Afrofoodie (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Nigerian ngwo-ngwo, or goat meat pepper soup is like the cousin of chicken noodle soup, in that it is often used to soothe cold and flu symptoms. There are a plethora of meat options — from beef to crawfish — when it comes to pepper soup, but goat remains a traditional favorite. Additions often include yams, potatoes, plantains or other flavors depending on the region. For example: the Igbo and Rivers people use tomatoes, onions, and spices while those who originate in the Delta will use ataiko, uda, gbafilo, rigije, and lemon grass.  For the authentic dining experience, pepper soup is commonly served with pounded yams or rice and it pairs well with palm wine and beer.

  • 3 lbs of Goat meat, cut into small pieces
  • 1 chopped onion
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp bouillon granules
  • 1 Cameroon pepper
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves
  1. Throw it all ingredients your crock pot.
  2. Add plenty of water since you’re making soup.
  3. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Photo: Flickr Javier Lastras

Photo: Flickr Javier Lastras


Pollo Guisado

Pollo guisado, or braised stewed chicken, is a popular dish amongst Dominicans. Chicken is a favored meat not only in the Dominican Republic but throughout all of the Caribbean because of its versatility, inexpensiveness,  and short cooking time. Culturally in the Dominican Republic, every part of an animal is of some use, thus nothing is wasted. It’s not uncommon to dine upon chicken feet, giblets, and the other parts of a chicken that Westerners usually discard. You could serve this on rice or plantains. For the full experience, try it with your favorite white wine.

Pollo Guisado
To prepare the pollo:
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4-5 chicken thighs, bone-in
Now, for the guisado part of this recipe, you will also need:
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken stock, plus 2-3 cups
  • 1 large
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, plus 1-2 tbsp cold water
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and add enough olive oil to create a paste-like substance.
  2. Toss the chicken into the bowl and cover the chicken completely and evenly.
  3. Allow the chicken to sit for about 20 minutes to allow the already meat to absorb the marinade.
  1. Heat the oil and sugar at a medium-high heat.
  2. Briefly add the marinated chicken to brown both sides.
  3. Remove the chicken and place it in your crock pot with the skin facing up.
  4. Sautee your onions and peppers and add the garlic and tomato paste.
  5. After about a minute, deglaze this mixture with the half cup of chicken stock.
  6. Add your vegetable mixture to the crock pot and add the remaining chicken stock.
  7. Finally, dilute the cornstarch in the cold water and add to the pot.
  8. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours

Photo: Flickr pulaw

Photo: Flickr pulaw


Filipino Adobo Pork

This dish is so popular in the Philippines that many consider it to be the national dish and it’s incredibly easy to make. Adobo is not limited to pork or chicken but can also be applied to the likes of squid, shrimp, veal, goat meat, or even vegetables. When basking in the simplistic satisfaction of adobo pork, you will want to serve this on rice. Since pork shares chicken’s flavor versatility, you should consider matching your wine to the sauce rather than the pork and since it can sometimes be a fatty meat, you’ll want to cut through with a red or white wine with some freshness and acidity.

3 Crock Pot Recipes Inspired by the Tropics
  • 3 lbs pork
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 crumbled bay leaves
  • 2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped onion
  • ¾ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in your crock pot but allow the meat to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  2. Cook on low for 6 hours and enjoy!
Secret tip: Put all the spices into a stainless steel tea ball so all the flavors transfer while cooking while ensuring that you won’t bite into any peppercorns when you eat.




Written by

Travis believes that life should be full of flavor and indiscriminately spends his time eating all the tasty food he can find without apology. He is a proud graduate of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California and finds peace in the kitchen.