Lu Rou Fan (卤肉饭)-Taiwanese braised pork over rice is a comforting family food.
Taiwanese food now enjoys high popularity in mainland China. My family is a big fan of Taiwanese food including the best sport game partner, Taiwanese peppercorn chicken (Yan Su Ji) and this braised pork over rice (Lu Rou fan). Food is always closely related to culture and history. This taiwanese food is quite similar to a popular braised pork belly popular in Mainland China: red-cooked pork belly(Hong Shao Rou).
Well, this is a recipe I have been thinking about to write for quite a long time. As a fan of Taiwanese rou zao dishes, it may appear with rice or noodles even sticky rice. Along with the strong aroma of small shallots, I can always find some memory back to my university life when the four roommates enjoying this Lu Rou Fan almost once a week at a chain store.
Several tips before making your own lu rou fan at home.
The best ingredient for Lu Rou fan is pork belly. Cut it into long strips and then into small dices. Try to guarantee each piece has both fat and lean meat. Skin is recommended for lu rou fan recipes as it contains rich collagen which can make the soup even flavory. But if you really do not like the skin, feel free to remove them.
Another secret ingredient for Lu Rou Fan is fried shallot: firstly cut the shallots into long shreds (not small pieces, otherwise they will easily get burnt.)
Heat all the vegetable oil in a wok or sauce pan, add sliced onion in to fry until they becomes dark golden brown. Control your fire especially in the later part to medium or slow and stir continuously. The process may take 10 to 15 minutes.
Set aside to cool down. After cooled, the fried onions will become quite crispy, cut them into smaller pieces.
You can use either fresh or dried shitake mushroom, but the later one yield a stronger taste. Save the soaking liquid.
Seasonings are also keys to the authentic taste, I get Taiwan Kimlan soy sauce and Taiwanese thickened soy sauce, also known as soy paste (酱油膏) from online food stores. If they are unavailable, you can use high quality light soy sauce to replace Taiwan soy sauce and dark soy sauce to replace thickened soy sauce. The wine I am using in this recipe is Shaoxing rice wine.
Serve with steamed rice and blanched Bok Choy.
- 1000 g pork belly , either skin on or skin off
- 4 middle shallots , peeled and sliced
- 1 cup of oil
- 6 dried shiitake mushroom , pre-hydrated
- 25 g rock sugar
- 4 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. thickened soy sauce , also known as soy paste. (or 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce)
- 4 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
- 4 hard boiled eggs , unshelled
- 4-5 garlic cloves , sliced
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper powder
- 2 green onions
- 2-3 trees of Bok Choy
- 4 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 Sichuan peppercorns , optional
- 1/8 tsp. cumin seeds , optional
- 1 slice of sand ginger , optional
Cut the pork belly into small diced (around 2-3 cm).
Heat around 1 cup of oil in a wok or sauce pan, add sliced onion in to fry until they becomes golden brown. Control your fire especially in the final stage and stir continuously. Transfer out to cool down. After cooled, the fried onions will become quite crispy, you crack them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or chop with a knife.
Leave around 1 tablespoon of oil and then fry pork belly until slightly browned and they begin to release oil.
Get a iron cast deep pot, transfer pork belly in, add shaoxing wine, soy sauce, thickened soy sauce, garlic slices, spices, white pepper, scallion, rock sugar, diced mushrooms and then strained mushroom soaking water. Then add stock or water until 2-3 cm higher than the pork belly. If you are using regular pot with more escaping steam, slightly add more water. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes over slowest fire.
Add fried shallots and hard boiled eggs. Cover the pot and simmer for around 30 minutes to 40 minutes over slowest fire. You may need another 20 to 30 minutes if using regular pot.
Use high fire to slightly thicken the soup in the last stage. You can serve directly. But the best taste comes several hours later. When all the flavors are well combined several hours later, re-heat it and stir to prevent sticking. Then serve with steamed rice and blanched vegetables.
Since different brands of soy sauce have different salinities. You can taste the meat after simmer and then adjust the taste by add more light soy sauce.
There should be a shallow layer of sauce at the end, do not dry up it.