Not that you need an excuse to whip up some good Chinese food—but it being Chinese New Year and all, what better time to get busy in the kitchen? Try this one on for size: Lu Rou Fang, a.k.a. braised pork belly atop a steaming bowl of rice. Some believe it to originate from Taiwan (where it is especially popular), others will argue it hails from Shandong, China; no matter, the dish is a well-loved favorite in both countries for its savory, comforting profile. And you can make it at home too.
For some next-level nomz, serve with a soy egg or two.
Here, pork belly (chunks are traditional, but we cut ours into strips) gets simmered in a savory-sweet soy-based mix that gets reduced into a luscious, sticky sauce as the pork gets soft and tender. The result is an incredibly flavorful stew that’s not unlike Filipino adobo, sans the vinegar and spiked with garlic, five spice, and clove—and begging to be sopped up by the warm rice below.
Lu Rou Fan
Serves: 4 servings
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Lu Rou Fan
3 tbsp. oil
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
800g pork belly, thinly sliced then sliced into
½ tbsp. five spice
1 tsp. clove
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup sweet soy sauce
1 cup soy sauce
¼ cup Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onion and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add pork belly into the pot and cook, stirring continuously, until brown.
Add garlic, five spice, and cloves, and stir until combined.
Cook the mixture for 5 minutes or until fragrant.
Add sugar, sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, and cooking wine to the pot.
Mix thoroughly until combined, then bring mixture up to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down and cover the pot with a lid.
Cook until pork belly is completely tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally to avoid burning the bottom of the dish.
Mix cornstarch and water together in a separate bowl until cornstarch is dissolved.
Add slurry to the pot and stir until lu rou fang is thickened.
Serve over white rice and garnish with spring onions.
Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.