We’ve been on a Taiwanese kick lately. I think it all started when my mom told me that the food court in Flushing Mall had closed. Taiwanese restaurants are already hard to find and now some of the last little booths standing are forever gone. Where will we get our Stinky Tofu (my family loves but I don’t), Oyster Pancakes, Pork Chop Rice, and Taiwanese Ice? When we were kids, we used to go to Lai Food but it changed to 66 Lu’s (Chinese name stayed the same) and it never tasted the same. There was a place in Elmhurst called David’s Taiwanese that also changed it’s name to something like Taiwanese Specialties Corp. It’s still decent but again, not the same.

We were at that restaurant, formerly David’s Taiwanese, and had the Lu Ro Fan. It was so sub par that the next week, my mom insisted on making me a good one. Of course, I did not protest. The secret is having the right mix of lean and fatty pork meat in little chunks, dancing together in a rich sauce that spills over onto the rice. The Pickled Mustard Green Relish is essential for the acid that balances the fatty juices. It is an ultra comforting home-style dish.

Lu Ro Fan

My mom explained that long ago, Lu Ro Fan was originally made of scraps, but after the popularity of this dish soared, restaurants had to make it in large quantities. Now, it is often made with pork belly, a nice mix of lean meat and fat. My mom likes to include the skin but you can remove it if you want.

It’s actually a very easy dish to make. You can’t over-cook it really (though make sure all your liquid doesn’t evaporate). It also stores well for a few weeks in the fridge, and left-overs taste just as good as the one made that day. Maybe even better.

Lu Ro Fan
~6 to 8 servings

  • 1.35 pounds pork belly
  • 4 pieces (about quarter sized) ginger
  • 1  star anise
  • 2″ piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fried shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • rice and pickled mustard green relish to serve

Instructions –

1. Dice pork belly in 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

pork belly chopping pork belly

2. Make a sachet with ginger, star anise, and cinnamon. Set aside.

ginger, anise, cinnamon spice sachet

3. Heat oil in a wok on medium heat. Add pork belly and stir until just turning color.

frying chopped pork belly frying chopped pork belly 2

4. Stir in soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Add the sachet and 2 cups of water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.

Stewed Pork Belly

5. Allow to boil for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with fried shallots and Chinese 5 spice powder. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Remove sachet. Serve on rice with pickled mustard green relish.

Lu Ro Fan 5

posted by jessica at 09:41 AM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.