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.
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
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- steamed rice
- fried garlic chips
Slice pork: Using a sharp knife, slice frozen pork belly into thin, ¼-inch slices.
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.
Serve: Divide steamed rice among bowls. Top rice with adobo, then garnish with fried garlic chips. Serve hot.