Combine soy sauce, five spice powder, garlic and salt then mix well.
Marinate the pork in the combined mixture for at least 1 hour. Heat a cooking pot then put in the pork along with the marinade and water then let boil.
Add bay leaf and star anise. Add brown sugar and stir to distribute evenly.
Simmer for about 40 minutes flipping the meat after 20 minutes or so. If sauce dries and pork is not yet done, add more water. Simmer over low heat until sauce thickens.
Turn off the heat and remove the meat from the cooking pot. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes then slice. Transfer to a serving plate and top with the thick sauce. Garnish with parsley or spring onions if you like.