One Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I was watching a show in Netflix in the den and DH went to the basement. He turned on the TV, only to find that one was recording the day’s Milk Street show on PBS. He watched for a bit, and decided the recipe being demonstrated looked pretty good. He mentioned it to me, and I went to my Milk Street cookbook to see if it was there. Sure enough, it was! And, I only needed a couple more ingredients to try it. So, next time at the store, I picked up a few more things, and we gave it a go.
My only problem was the sherry called for in the recipe. The grocery which has beer and wine didn’t have it. I also didn’t want to buy a big bottle for just a little amount. No, I absolutely will not use cooking sherry, it has too much salt added. Never cook with something you wouldn’t drink. I looked up sherry online, and found it is a combination of wine and brandy, which is said to add a woodsy and fruity flavor. A substitute is Apple Cider. That got me thinking, I did have some Apple Bourbon. What the hey, I’ll just use that.
I wanted to cut the recipe in half for just the two of us, and I find it best to carefully set up a mis-en-place making sure all the measurements are right before beginning.
The recipe starts with marinating the pork in some of the soy sauce. I started the rice cooking too.
Then you have to cook the onions until brown, so I chopped them first.
Saute in grapeseed oil.
Keep going until they are browned. The recipe says 25 minutes, but I got to this point around 10 minutes and went ahead. We were hungry and the aroma was starting to permeate the kitchen. I also chopped my onions rather than the long strips the recipe wanted. The garlic was chopped while this was cooking, and then added for a one minute saute.
Add the spices and liquids, then bring the mixture to a simmer.
Keep going until the sauce become syrupy. You’ll know when it is enough when a spoon dragged across the pan leaves a trail. It was hard to get a picture of this as the steam kept fogging the lens, but you get the idea.
Then add the pork to the pan, and cook until no longer pink, stirring often.
I wanted to do the whole recipe, which involves a new way to cook eggs. The recipe says to steam them for seven minutes, then plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When I pulled them out with tongs, I put broccoli into the steamer as our side dish while I peeled the eggs.
I did that while the pork was cooking. Peeling these little suckers wasn’t easy as they are soft and squishy, but I managed it.
Pork is served over jasmine rice with a garnish of green onion and half of a soft cooked egg. Broccoli on the side gives the dish a nice color. I like my eggs just a bit more done than this, but it did turn out exactly as the recipe photo. Next time I’ll let it go just a bit more.
The dish has a sweet and savory blend of flavors, from the cinnamon in the five spice powder contrasting with the smoky flavors of browned onions and garlic.
The Taiwanese 5-Spice Pork recipe on Milk Street is free until November 10. You do have to give an email address for their mailing list, but there is no charge for it. (Update – For those new to Milk Street, the recipe is not in their new download, it is on the site. If you don’t get to it after you enter your email, just search for the title.) This is not an affiliate link. There is a print button there to download the recipe. You can also do a free 14-day trial for their online subscription.
Or, get the Milk Street Annual Cookbook on Amazon with my affiliate link.
Do you like to cook Asian dishes?