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Low sodium five spice roast pork

This is something I like to make when I don't feel like cooking. The pork marinates overnight so it requires a little planning, but there's very little hands on cooking involved. I usually marinate the pork at night, roast it in the morning while we're having breakfast, and then reheat it for dinner. In the summer when it's really hot and I don't want to use my oven, I'll make these on the grill.

Servings: Makes about 8 three-ounce servings

Sodium: 75 mg per serving

Time: 1 hour, plus time to marinate overnight


2 pounds pork shoulder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon unsalted mustard (or 2 teaspoons ground dry mustard)

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or unseasoned rice vinegar)

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons water*

2 teaspoons five spice powder*

*See Notes below

FOR OVEN ROASTING (see below for grilling):

1) Cut the pork into 2-inch wide strips or use boneless country style pork ribs which is just pork shoulder cut into strips. I like to use a fatty cut like shoulder or butt, and then trim off any big chunks of fat. Set the pork aside and mix all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add pork to the marinade and combine so that the meat is thoroughly coated by the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2) Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange the pork on a roasting rack lined with foil (just to make cleanup easier). Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and roast for about another 25 minutes. Baking time will depend on how thick your meat is and also how lean it is. The best way to tell if it's done is by using a meat thermometer. Pork is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. If you don't have a thermometer, cut into one of the pieces to check if it's done. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


These are really great on the grill but between the sugar, molasses, and honey, the meat can burn really easily. If you're grilling, cut 1/2 inch steaks of pork so they'll cook faster. Cook over low heat until done. On my propane grill it takes about 8 minutes on one side for a 1/2 inch steak, then about 2-3 on the other side. Use a meat thermometer if you're not sure.

Slice and sprinkle with sesame seeds or sliced scallions. Serve with rice or noodles or over a salad. Save the pan drippings to drizzle over the meat or try this with some low sodium chili garlic oil.


-I've been able to find Chinese five spice powder easily at most grocery stores, but you can also make your own with this recipe from the Woks of Life. I really like this one that I buy at my local Korean market:

-Adding water is optional. If you find the marinade is too thick to coat the meat nicely then thin it out a little.

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