5 Spice Braised Pork with Pickled Mustard Greens

Super saucy, fall-apart braised pork in a sauce laden with miso and 5 spice anyone? I fell in love with pickled mustard greens in Thailand, and they are the perfect compliment to cut through the richness of the luscious pork. Plan ahead, as your pork will need at least 3 hours to reach ultimate tenderness. If you’ve never attempted braised meat before, fear not! It’s incredibly easy and hard to mess up. If your pork isn’t as tender as you would like at the 3 hour mark, just keep cooking.


  • Can’t find Chinese mustard greens? Kale or collards will be a bit different, but still delicious.
  • The pickled mustard greens will be best after a day or two. If you have foresight, make them in advance. If not, a few hours will suffice.

Serves 6-8


For the pork

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • Salt
  • 2-3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2.5 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Scallions and chili crisp (or sambal) for topping.

For the pickled mustard greens

  • 5 cups de-stemmed Chinese mustard greens, cut into ribbons.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 thai red chilies, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

For the pickled mustard greens

  1. Ideally 1 day in advance of eating (or just prior to starting the pork), de-stem the mustard greens and chop into ribbons. You want about 5 cups once de-stemmed.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, and salt and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  3. Pack the greens, garlic, and chilies into a 1 quart jar or container. Pour over the vinegar mixture. Let cool. then cover and stick in the fridge.

For the braised pork

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine the soy, mirin, chili paste, 5 spice, miso, and hot water and set aside. Make sure the miso is fully blended with the other ingredients.
  3. Cut the pork into into a few larger pieces and season very lightly with salt.
  4. Heat a dutch oven over high heat and add 2 tbsp of canola oil.
  5. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Add more oil throughout the process if needed.
  6. Turn the heat down and add the slivered onions. Saute until browned and softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Nestle in the pork pieces so that they are in one layer if possible.
  8. Use a fork to stir the soy mixture one more time, then pour over the pork until the mixture reaches 3/4 of the way up the pork. You don’t water to fully submerge the pork.
  9. Bring to a simmer, then cover and place in the oven for 2 hours.
  10. After 2 hours, remove the lid from the dutch oven and continue to bake for another hour, or until completely fall apart tender.
  11. When the pork is done, remove the pork pieces and set aside on a plate. Use an immersion blender to blend together the onions with the sauce. Add the pork back to sauce and bring to a simmer on the stove top for 5 minutes, until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  12. Serve with steamed rice, pickled mustard greens, sliced scallions, and chili crisp or extra chili paste to taste.