Adobo fans will adore lu rou fan, or Taiwanese braised pork over rice. The classic comfort food consists of pork belly braised in a fragrant, soy-based gravy until rich and chunky, almost like an Asian meat sauce. The flavor profile bears similarities to Filipino adobo: garlicky, a bit sweet, the tang of vinegar replaced by heady five spice.
Some versions of lu rou fan call for ground pork, but we prefer pork belly for its fat content. The fat renders out during the braise, creating a sticky, lip-smacking texture in the final sauce. To achieve thin slices, par-freeze your pork belly until firm but not frozen solid. This gives you a safer, more solid base to work with.
- 3 tbsp oil
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onions
- 800g pork belly, thinly sliced then sliced into strips
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- ½ tbsp five spice powder
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- 1 cup light or regular soy sauce
- ¼ cup Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- minced spring onions, for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add pork belly into the pot and cook, stirring continuously, until brown.
Stir in garlic, five spice powder, and cloves. Cook until aromatics are fragrant, 5 minutes.
Add sugar, dark and light soy sauce, and cooking wine to the pot. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the pork belly is completely tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally to avoid burning the bottom of the pot.
Mix cornstarch and water in a separate bowl until cornstarch is dissolved, creating a slurry. Add slurry to the pot and stir until incorporated and sauce has thickened. Serve over white rice and garnish with spring onions.
Dark soy sauce adds flavor and color to the final dish. It is darker, more flavorful, and slightly sweeter than regular soy sauce.