Minced Pork Adobo, Lu Rou Fan-Style

Difficulty
Easy
Servings
3–4 servings
Wait Time
1 Hr 30 Mins
Active Time
15 Mins

If you’ve never had lu rou fan, some will describe it as Taiwanese adobo. And that’s not too inaccurate, since the two dishes do share one premise: braised pork in a flavorful, soy-based sauce. But lu rou fan’s biggest distinction from adobo is its chunky, saucy texture—it’s less of a stew and more like a minced meat sauce.

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What is Adobo?
Adobo refers to the Filipino dish and cooking technique where ingredients are braised in vinegar with salt (usually soy sauce), garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Almost anything can be adobo: meat, fish, seafood, vegetables. You’ll find endless variations on adobo across the Philippines, each with their own unique flavors, ingredients, spices, and textures.

This adobo recipe follows the Taiwanese form by using hand-minced pork belly. This cooks much quicker than your standard-issue adobo cuts, and yields a tender, well-balanced bite of meat and fat. A cornstarch slurry creates a velvety sauce. If you have Chinese dark soy sauce on hand, a dash of it gives your adobo a richer color.

This adobo works wonderfully as a rice topping. Spoon over bowls of steaming hot rice, garnish with garlic chips, and prepare to come back for seconds.

  • 625g pork belly, chilled and firm
  • 1 whole garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 4-5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 ½ tbsp dark soy sauce, optional
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½–2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp cracked black pepper

Slurry

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

For Serving

  • steamed rice
  • fried garlic chips
1

Slice pork: Using a sharp knife, slice frozen pork belly into thin, ¼-inch slices.

2

Cook pork: Transfer pork to a cold pan and cook over medium heat, slowly frying it in its own rendered fat. Cook pork, stirring occasionally, until all pieces are browned, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white vinegar and let the acid cook off, 1 minute. Add soy sauces, water, sugar, bay leaves, and pepper. Once liquid is boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours until pork is tender.

3

Thicken sauce: Whisk together water and cornstarch. Add slurry to adobo and stir until sauce has thickened.

4

Serve: Divide steamed rice among bowls. Top rice with adobo, then garnish with fried garlic chips. Serve hot.

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