Did you know that Chinese 5-spice brings the flavors and scents of the holidays to home?  The components of Chinese 5-spice vary a bit, but most contain an aromatic blend of cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel and peppercorns.  These wonderful spices brought together with a slow-cooked pork roast make for a versatile pulled pork which can be used in many dishes.
This recipe is super easy, and the trick is creating brown bits or what we like to call flavor bombs in the final step.  We will take you through the technique to create this crazy-good meat. Once the pork is prepared, it can be used in many different dishes.  We have included some ideas below but feel free to use your imagination. Now is the time to pull out your favorite wine from your Napa trip to pair with this tasty dish.

TOTAL TIME: 8-9 hours
SERVINGS: 8-10 depending on size of roast


  • 1 3.5 lbs. – 4.5 lbs. center cut port lion roast
  • ¾ cup broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chinese 5-spice
  • Olive oil


  • Find you good ‘ol fashioned slow cooker. Add pork roast and sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides.  Add broth, cover and set to low for 8-9 hours.  The pork is ready when it begins to fall apart using a fork.
  • Remove the roast and reserve all the cooking liquid. Cut roast into 3”-4” chunks.  Using two forks, begin to shred the pork into small bite-size bits.
  • Now for the technique to create the flavor bombs: Heat a large, non-stick skillet to medium. Working in batches, add shredded pork and a small portion of the reserved cooking liquid (usually ½ cup to ¾ cup cooking liquid depending on the size of the pan).  Add 1 tps. Chinese 5-spice and a pinch of salt.  Mix well.  Reduce the liquid until nearly gone stirring to break down the pork further.  Add additional Chinese 5-spice and salt to taste.  Don’t be shy adding the spices but do taste as you go.
  • Once liquid is nearly gone, add 1 tbls. olive oil. Mix to coat the pork and cook without stirring until pork begins to brown.  Mix infrequently while you create lots of browned pork.  Add additional olive oil if it looks dry. Taste again and add Chinese 5-spice and salt if you like.  Move to the next batch until all your pork is done.

Ideas for Chinese 5-spice pulled pork:

  • For breakfast, add to diced potatoes/sweet potatoes, onion, kale, mushrooms and top with a sunnyside up egg.
  • For lunch, add to your favorite sandwich.
  • For dinner, swap for your favorite protein. Add pork over steamed spaghetti squash with coconut milk. Add pork over steamed rice and your favorite vegetables.

Pair with your favorite Sangiovese or a Pinot Noir from any Napa wineries. Enjoy your own Napa wine tasting and food pairing experience!