Five-Spice Potatoes


"Po-po [Grandma] used to cook potatoes with salt pork, soy sauce, five spice (it had a cinnamon smell), and some kind of green onion. That was my favorite. She would cook it just because I liked it," says Alan Lau, Seattle artist, greengrocer, and author of the forthcoming book Blues and Greens - A Produce Worker's Journal.


Makes 4 servings

Recipe from


Nutritional Information

Calories 440
Caloriesfromfat 6.6 %
Protein 17 g
Fat 3.2 g
Satfat 0.9 g
Carbohydrate 84 g
Fiber 2.8 g
Sodium 636 mg
Cholesterol 25 mg


1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice (or equal parts ground cinnamon, ground clove, ground ginger, and anise seed)
6 ounces boned lean pork loin, fat trimmed
1 pound thin-skinned potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, including green tops
1 tablespoon cornstarch


1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine rice and 2 3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until most of the water is absorbed, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender to bite, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

2. In 3- to 4-quart pan, bring soy sauce, fresh ginger, sugar, five spice, and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil over high heat.

3. Meanwhile, slice pork into strips about 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches long. Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thick.

4. When soy mixture is boiling, stir in pork and potatoes. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 to 18 minutes. Stir in onions.

5. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Add to potato mixture and stir until sauce boils. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with rice.

January 1998
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