This dish of braised pork in soy sauce is a southern Chinese stew that is primal in its simplicity. Different versions can be found in the Chinese diaspora across South East Asia. Rubbing the pork with five-spice powder before frying allows the spices to toast in the hot oil and caramelised sugar, bringing out their fragrance. Using home-made five-spice powder makes a world of difference. Like most stews, it tastes better when a day or two old.