I should probably re-title this post: “Pork Jay Will Happily Eat For 4+ Days in a Row Without Complaint, And Then Ask For More Next Week.”
That doesn’t sound impressive if you know that I will happily tuck into leftovers, eating the same thing over and over again for lunch and dinner for almost an entire week straight.
But Jay’s more of a one-and-done eater: not particularly keen on leftovers or repeats. So his desire to have this pork be a repeat player in multiple meals every single week says a lot, to me …
… as does the fact that, allegedly, my friend Joe’s first words the morning after a recent pork-featuring barbecue were, “That pork was delicious; I need the recipe.”
Besides being addictively delicious and abundantly flavorful, this pork is super easy to make. The marinade comes together as quickly as you can chop half an onion and a few garlic cloves, and stir them together with a bit of oil and five spice powder. Then you let the pork chill for an hour or twelve – depending on your schedule.
If you’re a dishwashing-avoider like me, you’ll have had the pork marinating in a plastic wrap-covered oven-safe baking dish. Then you’ll be able to pop it into the oven (sans plastic wrap) once you’re ready, and enjoy a cocktail while it roasts away. Or you can just toss it on a hot grill, and hand off the dirty marinade dish for someone else to wash.
Once the pork is done and has had a few minutes to rest, slice it up and serve over rice (with an egg, perhaps) with a fish sauce, chili paste and lime-dressed salad. Or cut the pork into even smaller strips for tacos, which are especially good topped with some cabbage, pickled carrots, Sriracha, and hoisin sauce.
Five Spice Marinated Pork
Serves 2 (or up to 4 if sliced for tacos)
I usually roast this in the oven. However, this is also a great marinade for grilling, as I found out recently when I doubled the marinade for two 1 1/4-pound pork loins, which I grilled on medium-high for about 10 minutes per side.
If pork isn’t your thing, I expect this would work equally well as a marinade for chicken or even beef.
1 lb. 1-inch thick boneless pork chops
1/4 c. red onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. five spice (star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, fennel)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Stir together all ingredients except pork until well combined. Thoroughly coat all sides of pork chops with the marinade, and let marinate in an airtight, refrigerated container for (hopefully) at least 2 hours or overnight. (Note: this can be done at room temperature if you only have 1 hour to let the marinade seep in.)
Preheat oven to 400F. Transfer pork to a baking sheet, and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest part of each pork chop reaches 145F, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let pork stand for 10 minutes before slicing into it.