"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.
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
How to Make It
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.
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.
Meanwhile, slice pork into strips about 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches long. Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thick.
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.
Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Add to potato mixture and stir until sauce boils. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with rice.