Skill level

Average: 4.3 (4 votes)


  • 1.5 kg pork shoulder (see Note)
  • 60 ml peanut oil
  • 165 ml Chinese soy sauce (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 375 ml hot water
  • 45 g dried chestnuts

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 2 hours

Soaking time 20 minutes

Place the pork shoulder, peanut oil, soy sauce, rice wine, ground white pepper, five-spice, cinnamon, star anise and garlic in a large, heavy-based pan and marinate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 140°C.

Soak the mushrooms in the hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 250 ml soaking liquid.

Remove stems, then add mushrooms and reserved liquid to pork mixture. Place over low heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, turning pork halfway.

Transfer pan to oven and cook, covered, for 2 hours, turning pork occasionally.

Soak the chestnuts in hot water for 20 minutes, drain and add to pan. Cook for a further 30 minutes or until pork is meltingly tender.

Slice pork and serve in mantou (steamed buns) (see Note) with lettuce and cucumber, or with rice and vegetables.


• Substitute pork belly for shoulder; omit peanut oil if using.
• Chinese soy sauce is available from Asian food shops.
• Mantou are from Asian food shops; substitute white rolls.


As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 8, pg162.

Photography by Katie Kaars