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Five-Spice Potatoes

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.

Sunset JANUARY 1998

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings


  • 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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 440
  • Calories from fat: 6.6%
  • Protein: 17g
  • Fat: 3.2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 84g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sodium: 636mg
  • Cholesterol: 25mg

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Five-Spice Potatoes recipe