Five Spice Brasied Brisket

This recipe is compliments of Karen Lee. My mom used to take her classes and we started eating this meal a long time ago and now it is a family favorite! It’s very delicious, easy to make and can feed a lot of people.

We have slightly altered it, but I will make note where I do so.


  • 3 Small leeks (Karen Lee says 1…we love leeks!)
  • 1 lean brisket of beef (first cut), weighing 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 thin slices of ginger
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Karen Lee says 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce (Karen Lee says 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup medium-dry vermouth (Karen Lee says 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably salt free (Karen Lee says 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder (Karen Lee says 1/2 teaspoon)


  1. Remove the root end of the leek, then split the leek in half lengthwise all the way through. Place is under forcefully running warm water to remove all traces of sand. Then cut the leeks into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Sprinkle the brisket on all sides with flour.
  3. Place a Dutch oven over high heat for about 1 minute. Add the peanut oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the brisket and brown on all sides. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger; let sizzle a few seconds. Add the leeks; stir until they are coated with oil.
  4. Add the hoisin sauce and soy sauce directly on top of the brisket. Turn the heat to low. Pour the vermouth and chicken stock on the side of the brisket, then add the five spice powder to the liquid. Stir until dissolved. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the brisket is fork tender. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid.
  5. Remove the brisket from the Dutch oven; place it on a serving dish.
  6. Using a fat separator, defat the sauce.
  7. Reduce the sauce by placing the Dutch oven over high heat and stirring until the sauce reached the consistency of a thick, syrupy glaze. Pour the sauce over the brisket. Serve immediately.

Notes: I come from a big family, which is why we double all the parts of the sauce. We also don’t reduce it, because we like more sauce for more people, as we drizzle it over the brisket and some Japanese sticky rice that we always serve with it.

Photos to follow.

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