One 3-inch piece Chinese cinnamon
3 whole star anise
10 whole cloves
1 whole cho guor, whole black cardamom
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 pound lean pork butt, cut in fourths
1 small onion, sliced
1 2-ounce piece fresh ginger, crushed
½ teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cups soy sauce
8 ounces rock sugar or light brown sugar
In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom and cloves until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds. Set spices aside.
Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add grapeseed oil and sear pork. Once all sides of pork are browned, transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, add onions and ginger. Add soy sauce, five-spice powder and brown sugar.
Place caramelized pork and reserved toasted spices into cooking liquid. Add enough water to the liquid so that the pork meat is just covered, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove pot from heat and and let pork cool in liquid for 30 minutes.
Remove pork and place on a rack over a small sheet pan and let cool completely before slicing.
Thinly slice pork for soup.
Skim any scum (fat?) off the lo soi, strain, discarding solids. This liquid is not for wonton soup broth, it is only for cooking the pork. If you would like to use this liquid for future use, make sure it was brought to a boil before storing in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Before you use it again, bring it up to a boil.