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Rice Noodles with Five-Spice Pork and Braised Leeks in Anise Broth

This aromatic broth has hints of fresh ginger, anise and black pepper—and slices of tender, five-spice pork. Pair with California Viognier or California Rosé.

Ingredients
  • 4 medium leeks
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed (for the broth)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 whole dried star anise pods
  • 1 (2-inch/5cm) piece (30g) fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cups (1-1/2 liters) water
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 (6-ounce/170g) center-cut boneless pork loin chops, 1-inch (2.5cm) thick
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) five-spice powder
  • 1 package (8 ounces/ 225g) dry thin round rice noodles
  • 2 cups (8 ounce/225g) mung bean sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) sugar
  • ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4



Directions
  • Cut off and discard the root end of the leeks and cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Cut off and reserve the dark green ends of the stalks, leaving the light green and white parts intact.
  • Rinse the dark green ends thoroughly and place them in a large saucepan with the crushed garlic, tomatoes, anise, ginger, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour with the lid slightly ajar.
  • Strain the broth into a large bowl and discard the solids. Return the broth to the pan and keep hot.
  • Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces and rinse them thoroughly.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and sliced garlic and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly browned. Add 1/2 cup (125ml) of the broth to the leeks and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
  • Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops generously with salt and pepper and coat them with five-spice powder.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Sear the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the chops to a shallow baking pan and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the meat rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat in very thin strips.
  • Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain the noodles and divide them among 4 large soup bowls. Divide and arrange the leeks, pork slices and bean sprouts on top of the noodles.
  • Add the sugar and soy sauce to the broth and ladle it into the soup bowls, then serve.
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