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Thai Five Spice Pork Loin ~ Slow Cooker


Thai Five Spice combines the rich, savory spices of Thai cuisine. Thai Five Spice actually derives from China and was to be the base for this rub, but I accidentally grabbed my bottle of Thai Five Spice instead of my bottle of Chinese Five Spice. So rather than dump out an entire bowl of freshly mixed spices, I decided to just run with it and I’ll do something else down the road with Chinese Five Spice.

chinese five spice

Is there really a difference between Thai and Chinese Five Spice?

thai five spice

Yes, there is clearly a difference in the two.

Chinese Five Spice is a traditional blend of the five most popular Chinese spices, used primarily in Chinese cuisine but it is also used in Asian and Arabic cooking. This sweet and pungent spice can be used with fatty meats such as pork, duck or goose, in red cooking recipes, or added to the breading for fried foods.


Five spice is used in recipes for Cantonese roasted duck, as well as beef stew. It’s used as a marinade for Vietnamese broiled chicken.

While there are many variants, the most common mix of Chinese five spice is Star anise, Cloves, Chinese Cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and Fennel seeds. Other recipes may contain anise seed or ginger root, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom pods, licorice, Sichuan pepper or Mandarin orange peel to name a few.


Although this mixture is used in restaurant cooking, many Chinese households do not use it in day-to-day cooking. In Hawaii, some restaurants place a shaker of the spice on each patron’s table.

The Thai Spice Blend I am using has the following ingredients: sesame seeds, paprika, coriander, garlic, onion, cilantro leaf, basil, red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, natural shrimp flavor and lemon oil.


I just added a few other ingredients to my rub, gave the pork a good rub down and allowed 12 hours for these spices to soak into the pork, then turned my slow cooker on high, went about my daily routine, then took a nap a few hours later I woke up and Holy Guacamole!


Wow ……


What I made was not only extremely easy to make using a slow cooker, but was so delicious and fork tender, it was gone before I had a chance to prepare a side dish!


G O N E ……….G O N E ……….G O N E ……….


3-4 lbs Pork loin, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 c brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp Thai five spice
1 tsp anise seed
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp Coriander
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves; finely minced
1 large onion; cut into thin slices



In a small or medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients and set aside.


Using paper towels, pat dry both sides of pork loin.


Cover both sides of pork with dry rub.


Place in a container and allow to marinate over night.

Turn slow cooker on high and cut onion in half and then into long slices. Place  onion slices on bottom of slow cooker, add minced garlic. Add pork to slow cooker and leave undisturbed for six to eight hours.

Turn slow cooker on high and cut onion in half and then into long slices. Place
onion slices on bottom of slow cooker, add minced garlic.
Add pork to slow cooker and leave undisturbed for six to eight hours.






Slow cooked in its own juices with a blend of spice




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About Dish With Clarissa

Clarissa Ellis grew up learning to cook with her mom. In a time where traditional home-cooked food was going out of style, Clarissa learned to love and make those simple 'comfort foods' and family favorites. As she grew - and her mom got busier with long work hours, Clarissa supported her mom by taking over most of the cooking duties around the home. By the time Clarissa started high school - she had absorbed her mother's approach to traditional, homestyle Italian dishes; and thanks to So Cal's great weather year round... a love of cooking on the grill. Fast forward 30 years and Clarissa has never stopped cooking. She continued to explore food, learning more from So Cal's amazing cultural variety, trying things out on her family and her friends... and always learning. Never content to merely cook a good meal, Clarissa developed the habit of talking sharing her ideas with family, friends and coworkers. After a lifetime of learning and experimenting, Clarissa's love affair with traditional Italian cooking, and 'comfort foods' has grown into a robust, creative and cross-cultural approach to cooking that still manages to remain 'accessible' to the rest of us. Now Clarissa brings her experience and her approach online through her blog - giving all of us a chance give ourselves, our friends and our family the benefits of a lifetime of passion and joy in cooking simply great meals.

4 responses »

  1. Oh, this looks and would taste so savory and spicy. I would love this, my mouth is watering… I will check out your recent posts now!



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