Taiwanese minced meat (Lu Rou Fan) is one of the most popular dishes in Taiwan in addition to beef noodle stew. Ground pork or pork belly is simmered in a soy sauce-based sauce and served over rice. I've never had Taiwanese minced meat sauce at one restaurant that was exactly the same as another restaurant since the seasonings vary according to the cook. Regardless, the dish is incredibly flavorful wherever you go and easy enough to prepare yourself.
Taiwanese Minced Meat
- 1 lb pork belly
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup fried shallots
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine
- 1.5 ounce rock sugar
- 2 cups water
- 3 star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
- 6 boiled eggs shells removed
- salt and pepper
- Slice the pork belly into small chunks, about ½ inch thick. Set aside.
- Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and fried shallots. Saute for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the pork belly and stir to combine.
- Add soy sauce - Chinese 5 spice and stir to combine. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the boiled eggs and simmer for another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve over rice or noodles.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Ask any Taiwanese individual about this dish and I guarantee you that they will know what it is. There are many different variations out there, some including ginger, others with cinnamon, some even using pork butt, but this recipe is my version.
You can choose to use ground pork, pork belly, or even ground beef. It's preferable to use meat that has some fat so resist purchasing the extra lean ground pork. If using pork belly, cut the meat into small strips. If you have a large piece of pork butt, boil in water for 10 minutes to remove any blood, remove and rinse off the scum. Cut the pork into small strips and let cool before continuing with the recipe.
As mentioned before, every recipe varies slightly but most include bay leaves, star anise, and fried shallots. You can find fried shallots at Asian markets, specifically Chinese markets. If you can't locate the item, you can purchase fresh shallots and fry them yourself.
Many Chinese dishes use rock sugar instead of brown sugar or granulated sugar. Unlike white sugar, rock sugar helps round out the dish and is not as sweet.
Although this sauce may take a little over an hour, it's mostly inactive time. You're simply throwing everything into a pot and letting it cook over low heat, allowing the flavors to slowly develop. Thirty minutes later and the sauce has already darkened in color. Add the boiled eggs and let the eggs absorb the flavors as the sauce continues to simmer.
Taiwanese minced meat sauce is typically served over rice but can also be tossed with noodles. I particularly enjoy the subtle licorice flavor from the star anise and the spice from the Chinese 5 spice. Easy to prepare and delicious, what more can I ask for?
For more Taiwanese inspiration check out this Taiwanese oyster omelette!