Lu Rou Fan, a.k.a Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl or just “Lu Rou”, is a super yummy Taiwanese dish that people love to eat. It’s like a big warm hug for your tummy! You get this super tender pork belly that’s been cooked all nice and slow, and then it’s served on top of a bowl of fluffy white rice. And to make it even more delicious, you can add some crispy green onions, tangy pickled veggies, and a rich and flavorful braising sauce. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

WHAT IS LU ROU FAN?

Lu Rou Fan, also known as Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl or simply “Lu Rou,” is a popular Taiwanese dish and a comfort food enjoyed by many. It consists of tender, braised pork belly served over a bowl of steamed white rice. The dish is often garnished with sliced green onions, pickled vegetables, and a braising sauce that adds flavor and richness to the meal.

The preparation of Lu Rou Fan typically involves slowly simmering pork belly in a savory and aromatic sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and various spices. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and results in melt-in-your-mouth, succulent pork.

The dish is commonly served in local eateries, night markets, and restaurants across Taiwan, and it has also gained popularity in other parts of the world due to the delicious combination of tender pork and flavorful sauce. The balance of sweetness and saltiness, along with the tenderness of the pork, makes Lu Rou Fan a beloved and sought-after Taiwanese delicacy. It is a must-try for anyone visiting Taiwan or exploring Taiwanese cuisine.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

Ingredient quantities please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  • Water (1200g) – This is the liquid used for cooking the rice and steaming the vegetables and eggs.
  • Rice – The main grain component of the dish, which is cooked using the water.
  • Bak Choy (also known as Bok Choy) – A type of Chinese cabbage with dark green leaves and white stalks. It is a nutritious vegetable that adds freshness and crunch to the dish. If you can’t find Bak Choy, you can use other leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or even Napa cabbage.
  • Eggs – A protein-rich ingredient that is boiled and served with the dish. They add richness and texture.
  • Cooking Oil – Used for sautéing the pork belly and enhancing the flavor of the dish.
  • Garlic – Adds a pungent and aromatic flavor to the pork marinade and sauce.
  • Fried Shallot – Adds a savory, crispy element to the dish. If fried shallots are not available, you can use thinly sliced fresh shallots and sauté them until golden brown.
  • Pork Belly – A fatty and tender cut of pork that becomes melt-in-your-mouth delicious when braised. As a substitute for pork belly, you can use pork shoulder (also known as pork butt) or pork loin. While they might have slightly different textures and flavors, they will still work well in the dish.
  • Light Soy Sauce – Adds a salty and umami flavor to the marinade and sauce. Regular soy sauce can be used as a substitute, but keep in mind that it is saltier than light soy sauce, so you might want to use a little less to avoid over-salting the dish.
  • Dark Soy Sauce – Provides a darker color and richer flavor to the dish. If you don’t have dark soy sauce, you can use regular soy sauce. However, the color of the dish will be lighter, and you might want to add a touch of molasses or brown sugar to mimic the richer flavor of dark soy sauce.
  • Oyster Sauce – Adds a deep savory flavor to the marinade and sauce. If you don’t have oyster sauce, hoisin sauce can be used as a substitute. It will have a different flavor profile, but it will still provide a sweet and savory element to the dish.
  • Black Vinegar – Provides a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to balance the richness of the pork. Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute for black vinegar. While the flavor won’t be exactly the same, they will add a tangy element to the dish.
  • Mirin – A sweet rice wine used to add sweetness and depth to the marinade.
  • White Pepper – Adds a subtle heat to the dish.
  • Five Spice Powder – A Chinese spice blend that typically includes star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon (or cassia), Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. It adds a complex and aromatic flavor to the pork.If you don’t have five spice powder, you can create your own blend using ground star anise, ground cloves, ground Chinese cinnamon (or regular cinnamon), ground Sichuan pepper, and ground fennel seeds.
  • Sesame Oil – Adds a nutty and aromatic essence to the marinade and sauce.
  • Honey – Provides sweetness and caramelization to the pork.
  • Water – Additional liquid used for the sauce.
  • Rock Sugar  – Provides sweetness and helps balance the flavors of the sauce. Regular granulated sugar can be used instead of rock sugar. Keep in mind that the sweetness level might vary, so adjust the quantity to your taste.
  • Spice Bag (Wrap in Cheese Cloth / Tea Bag) – A small bag containing whole spices that are added to the sauce to infuse their flavors. The spice bag is removed before serving. If you don’t have cheesecloth or a tea bag, you can use a fine mesh strainer or simply add the whole spices directly to the dish. Just remember to remove them before serving. Alternatively, you can tie the spices in a small piece of muslin cloth or use a reusable spice bag if you have one.
  • Star Anise – Star anise is a spice with a distinct, star-shaped appearance and a strong, licorice-like flavor. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian dishes. Star anise adds a warm, sweet, and aromatic taste to the food. If you don’t have star anise, you can use anise seeds or Chinese five-spice powder, which usually contains star anise as one of its components. Use a small amount to avoid overpowering the dish.
  • Cinnamon Stick – Cinnamon is a sweet and woody spice commonly used in both sweet and savory dishes. The stick form is the bark of a cinnamon tree and adds a warm and comforting flavor to the food. If you don’t have a cinnamon stick, you can use ground cinnamon. However, keep in mind that the flavor might be slightly more intense, so use about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon as a substitute for 1 cinnamon stick.
  • Cloves – Cloves are small, dried flower buds with a strong, aromatic, and slightly sweet flavor. They are commonly used in spice blends and add depth and warmth to various dishes. If you don’t have whole cloves, you can use ground cloves. Use a small pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) of ground cloves as a substitute for 3 whole cloves.
  • Ginger Slices – Ginger is a versatile root with a spicy and slightly sweet flavor. It is often used in Asian and Indian cuisines to add warmth and depth to dishes. The slices are used to infuse the sauce or broth with ginger flavor. If you don’t have fresh ginger slices, you can use ground ginger. Use about 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger as a substitute for 2 fresh ginger slices. Alternatively, you can use grated fresh ginger instead of slices for a stronger ginger flavor.

RECIPES TIPS

  • Choose the Right Cut of Pork: For the best results, use pork belly for this dish. Its marbling and tenderness make it perfect for braising. You can also use pork shoulder or pork butt if you prefer leaner meat.
  • Render the Fat: Before adding the pork to the pot, you can briefly render the fat by cooking it in the dry pot on medium heat. This step helps release some fat from the pork belly, which adds extra flavor to the dish.
  • Balance the Sweetness: Lu Rou Fan is meant to have a balanced sweet and savory flavor. Adjust the amount of honey or sugar in the recipe according to your taste preference. If it’s too sweet for you, reduce the sweetener, and if you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more.
  • Slow and Low Cooking: To achieve tender and flavorful pork, braise it slowly and at a low temperature. This allows the pork to absorb all the delicious flavors of the sauce while becoming tender and succulent.
  • Use Whole Spices: The spice bag (containing star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger) adds aromatic flavors to the dish without overpowering it. Using whole spices wrapped in cheesecloth or a tea bag makes it easy to remove them before serving.
  • Marinate the Pork: For even better flavor, marinate the pork belly in the sauce mixture for a few hours or overnight before cooking. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and enhances the overall taste.
  • Don’t Skip the Rock Sugar: Rock sugar adds a unique sweetness and helps to balance the flavors of the sauce. If you can’t find rock sugar, you can use regular granulated sugar, but it won’t have the same depth of flavor.
  • Garnish with Care: When serving, garnish the Lu Rou Fan with sliced green onions or chopped cilantro. This adds freshness and a pop of color to the dish.
  • Serve with Proper Accompaniments: Lu Rou Fan is traditionally served over steamed white rice. Make sure the rice is cooked to perfection and serves as a fluffy and neutral base for the flavorful pork.
  • Make Extra Sauce: The braising sauce is incredibly tasty, and you might want some extra to drizzle over the rice or vegetables. Consider making a slightly larger batch of the sauce to have some for extra flavor.
  • Reheating and Storing: Lu Rou Fan often tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld. You can make it ahead of time and reheat it gently on the stovetop. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Full recipes and Thermomix® instructions please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  1. Sauté the Pork: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and pork and sauté until slightly browned.
  2. Braise the Pork: Add the fried shallot, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, black vinegar, mirin, white pepper, five spice powder, sesame oil, honey, water, rock sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, ginger slices to the pot with the pork. Stir everything together and bring it to a simmer.
  3. Simmer and Cook: Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the pork simmer on low heat for about 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Serve: Remove the spice bag (star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger slices) from the pot. Serve the braised pork over steamed white rice and garnish with halved hard-boiled eggs and steamed Bak Choy (or leafy greens).

WHAT ELSE TO SERVE WITH ?

Lu Rou Fan (Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl) is a complete and satisfying dish on its own, but if you want to complement it with additional side dishes, here are some traditional and popular options:

  1. Braised Eggs: To enhance the meal, you can braise some eggs in the same sauce used for the pork. These flavorful braised eggs are a common accompaniment to Lu Rou Fan.
  2. Pickled Vegetables: Serve the dish with pickled vegetables, such as pickled mustard greens or cucumbers. Their tangy and refreshing taste pairs well with the rich and savory flavors of the pork.
  3. Blanched or Steamed Vegetables: Aside from Bak Choy, you can add a variety of blanched or steamed vegetables to the meal. Broccoli, snow peas, or baby bok choy are excellent choices.
  4. Fried Tofu: Fried tofu can be a tasty vegetarian option that complements the savory pork and adds extra texture to the meal.
  5. Preserved Vegetables: Consider serving some preserved vegetables, such as radish or mustard greens. These have a unique, tangy flavor that contrasts nicely with the rich pork.
  6. Spicy Condiments: If you enjoy some heat, serve the Lu Rou Fan with a side of spicy condiments like chili oil or chili sauce. The spiciness adds a wonderful kick to the dish.
  7. Soup: A light and clear soup, such as a vegetable or chicken broth, can be a comforting addition to balance the meal.
  8. Fried Shallots or Garlic: Crispy fried shallots or garlic can be sprinkled on top of the Lu Rou Fan to add crunch and extra flavor.
  9. Chinese Pickles: Try serving the dish with various Chinese pickles, such as Sichuan pickles or sweet and sour pickles, for a delightful taste contrast.

Remember that the side dishes you choose can be customized based on your preferences and the availability of ingredients. Feel free to mix and match to create a well-rounded and enjoyable meal experience.

MADE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

If you’d like to prepare Lu Rou Fan (Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl) ahead of time, here are some instructions to make it ahead and reheat later:

  1. Cook the Pork: Follow the recipe instructions to cook the pork as usual. Once the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened, let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Refrigerate: Transfer the cooked and cooled Lu Rou Fan to an airtight container and refrigerate it. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  3. Reheating: When you’re ready to serve, gently reheat the Lu Rou Fan. You can do this on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through.
  4. Steam Rice and Vegetables: Prepare fresh steamed white rice and steamed Bak Choy (or any leafy greens) and hard-boiled eggs just before serving.
  5. Assemble and Serve: Place the reheated Lu Rou over the steamed rice and garnish with halved hard-boiled eggs and steamed Bak Choy. Enjoy your delicious Lu Rou Fan!

By following these made-ahead instructions, you can save time on the day of serving while still enjoying the delightful flavors of Lu Rou Fan. Just make sure to properly store the cooked pork in the refrigerator and reheat it gently to maintain its tenderness and taste.

STORAGE & REHEATING

Storage:

  1. Let the cooked Lu Rou Fan cool to room temperature before storing.
  2. Transfer the Lu Rou Fan to an airtight container or a covered dish.
  3. Store the dish in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent any odors from transferring to the food.

Reheating:

  1. To reheat Lu Rou Fan, gently warm it on the stovetop over low to medium-low heat.
  2. Add a splash of water or broth to the pork while reheating to prevent it from drying out.
  3. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating and to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Alternative Reheating Method:

  1. If you prefer to use a microwave, transfer a portion of Lu Rou Fan to a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small vent.
  3. Microwave on medium power in short intervals, stirring between each interval, until the dish is heated through.

Important Note: When reheating Lu Rou Fan, avoid overheating it to prevent the pork from becoming tough or dry. Gradual and gentle reheating helps maintain the tenderness and flavors of the dish.

Always ensure that the reheated Lu Rou Fan reaches a safe internal temperature (above 165°F or 74°C) before consuming to prevent foodborne illnesses.

With these storage and reheating instructions, you can enjoy your leftover Lu Rou Fan and savor its delicious flavors even after it’s been prepared in advance.

RECIPES FAQS

What is Lu Rou Fan (Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl)?

Lu Rou Fan is a popular Taiwanese dish made of braised pork belly served over steamed white rice. It is a comforting and flavorful rice bowl that is commonly enjoyed as a comfort food in Taiwan.

Can I use a different cut of pork for Lu Rou Fan?

Yes, you can use other cuts of pork such as pork shoulder or pork loin if you prefer a leaner option. However, pork belly is the traditional choice and provides the best texture and flavor for this dish.

Can I make Lu Rou Fan ahead of time and reheat it?

Yes, you can prepare Lu Rou Fan ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Just make sure to properly store the cooked pork in an airtight container. To reheat, gently warm it on the stovetop or use a microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent drying out.

What can I serve with Lu Rou Fan to make a complete meal?

Lu Rou Fan is a complete meal on its own, but you can complement it with side dishes such as soy sauce eggs, pickled vegetables, stir-fried vegetables, Chinese cucumber salad, or hot and sour soup.

Is Lu Rou Fan spicy?

The level of spiciness in Lu Rou Fan can vary depending on the recipe used. Traditionally, it is not a spicy dish, but you can add chili oil or chili sauce if you prefer some heat.

Can I make Lu Rou Fan vegetarian or halal?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian or halal version of Lu Rou Fan by using plant-based meat or chicken, beef / lamb substitutes instead of pork. Adjust the seasonings and sauces accordingly for the desired flavors.

Can I freeze Lu Rou Fan?

While it is possible to freeze Lu Rou Fan, the texture of the pork may change slightly upon thawing. It is best to enjoy the dish fresh or store it in the refrigerator for a few days rather than freezing it.

Can I adjust the portion size of the recipes?

You can adjust the recipe by clicking the serving size in the recipe in recipes card to your liking!
If you can find the exact portion that you like, you can, also, adjust this in manual mode. Make sure that the cooking times and temperatures have been adjusted for different quantities of ingredients. Even preparation time (such as for cutting) may be different than in the original recipe. Please do not pass the max line indicated inside of the mixing bowl. The capacity of the mixing bowl is 2.2 liters.

This recipes is compatible with which model of Thermomix®?

This recipes suitable for TM31 / TM5 / TM6

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RECIPES CARD

Lu Rou Fan (Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl)

Category, DifficultyBeginner

Lu Rou Fan, a.k.a Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl or just “Lu Rou”, is a super yummy Taiwanese dish that people love to eat. It’s like a big warm hug for your tummy! You get this super tender pork belly that’s been cooked all nice and slow, and then it’s served on top of a bowl of fluffy white rice. And to make it even more delicious, you can add some crispy green onions, tangy pickled veggies, and a rich and flavorful braising sauce. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time10 minsCook Time1 hr 15 minsTotal Time1 hr 25 mins

Rice, Eggs & Vegetables
 1200 g water
 150 g rice
 3 bunch of BakChoy
 2 eggs
Pork & Marinate
 15 g cooking oil
 45 g garlic
 45 g fried shallot
 350 g pork belly, cut into 1 cm cubes
 35 g light soy sauce
 25 g dark soy sauce
 25 g oyster sauce
 10 g black vinegar
 60 g mirin
 ½ tsp white pepper
 ½ tsp five spice powder
 10 g sesame oil
 15 g honey
 350 g water
 15 g rock sugar
Spice Bag (Wrap in Cheese Cloth / Tea Bag)
 2 star anise
 1 cinnamon stick
 3 cloves
 2 ginger slices

Rice
1

Place 1200g water in the mixing bowl, insert the simmering basket, and add the rice. Cook for 18 min | Varoma | Speed 2. Place the Bak Choy and eggs into the Varoma dish and set aside.

Eggs & Marinate
2

Set the Varoma into position for the last 9 minutes of cooking time. Meanwhile, prepare the pork belly by cutting it into pieces and set aside.

3

Remove Varoma and place bakchoy and eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop the eggs from cooking. Leave them there for 10 min. Remove simmering basket with aid of spatula, transfer rice to a serving bowl and cover to keep warm. Discard cooking water.

Braised Pork Sauce
4

Place garlic cloves and fried shallots in mixing bowl, chop 5 sec | Speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

5

Add oil and pork belly, sauté 15 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed Spoon. Meanwhile, take a small bowl and mix together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, black vinegar, mirin, white pepper, five spice powder, sesame oil, honey, and 350g water. Set aside.

6

Add the reserved sauce mixture, rock sugar, and the spice bag. Cook for 30 min | 100ºC | ⤺ Speed spoon. While the pork is simmering, peel the eggs that were set aside earlier.

7

Remove the spice bag from the sauce, to reduce the sauce continue cooking for an 10 min | Varoma | ⤺ Speed spoon by replacing the measuring cup with Varoma dish to avoid splashing. Serve the braised pork hot with the rice and halved eggs. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Rice, Eggs & Vegetables
 1200 g water
 150 g rice
 3 bunch of BakChoy
 2 eggs
Pork & Marinate
 15 g cooking oil
 45 g garlic
 45 g fried shallot
 350 g pork belly, cut into 1 cm cubes
 35 g light soy sauce
 25 g dark soy sauce
 25 g oyster sauce
 10 g black vinegar
 60 g mirin
 ½ tsp white pepper
 ½ tsp five spice powder
 10 g sesame oil
 15 g honey
 350 g water
 15 g rock sugar
Spice Bag (Wrap in Cheese Cloth / Tea Bag)
 2 star anise
 1 cinnamon stick
 3 cloves
 2 ginger slices

Directions

Rice
1

Place 1200g water in the mixing bowl, insert the simmering basket, and add the rice. Cook for 18 min | Varoma | Speed 2. Place the Bak Choy and eggs into the Varoma dish and set aside.

Eggs & Marinate
2

Set the Varoma into position for the last 9 minutes of cooking time. Meanwhile, prepare the pork belly by cutting it into pieces and set aside.

3

Remove Varoma and place bakchoy and eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop the eggs from cooking. Leave them there for 10 min. Remove simmering basket with aid of spatula, transfer rice to a serving bowl and cover to keep warm. Discard cooking water.

Braised Pork Sauce
4

Place garlic cloves and fried shallots in mixing bowl, chop 5 sec | Speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

5

Add oil and pork belly, sauté 15 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed Spoon. Meanwhile, take a small bowl and mix together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, black vinegar, mirin, white pepper, five spice powder, sesame oil, honey, and 350g water. Set aside.

6

Add the reserved sauce mixture, rock sugar, and the spice bag. Cook for 30 min | 100ºC | ⤺ Speed spoon. While the pork is simmering, peel the eggs that were set aside earlier.

7

Remove the spice bag from the sauce, to reduce the sauce continue cooking for an 10 min | Varoma | ⤺ Speed spoon by replacing the measuring cup with Varoma dish to avoid splashing. Serve the braised pork hot with the rice and halved eggs. Enjoy!

Lu Rou Fan (Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl)

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