• Nicola

Taiwanese Braised Pork Belly

Updated: Apr 15

Lu rou fan is a home-style dish of pork braised in a fragrant five-spice sauce and served with rice. It is a common dish seen throughout Taiwan and Shandong Province with flavours varying from region to region. There seems to be a fierce debate over where this dish originates, but I just know that the dish tastes amazing and I appreciate the flavours from differing regions.

I find that the dish has many similarities to Italian Ragu. Ever since I’ve started making this, it has become a household favourite. It’s a easy One-pot dish to make in bulk and then stored in the freezer for a later use.

Taiwanese Braised Pork Belly

Serves 4

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 small onion or a couple shallots, diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 4 rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, diced 1 lb pork belly, cut into 1/2” cubes 1 tablespoon shao hsing rice wine

Sauce Mixture: 2 tablespoon soy paste 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 Cup Water 50 grams Fried Onions 15 grams Sugar Cane Sugar 2 Thai Chili Spice Bag: 5 grams ginger, sliced 1 Cinnamon Stick/Cassia Bark 2 cloves 1 bay leaf 2 Star Anise 1 red dried chili 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled (optional) Serve with: Rice Noodles Steamed Buns Eggs Vegetable


  1. In a small bowl add the soy paste, dark soy sauce, five spice powder, cinnamon, white pepper, salt, and cornstarch. Stir to combine and set aside.

  2. Make spice bag.

  3. On high heat add a the cooking oil to a pot.

  4. When the oil is hot, switch to medium-low heat, add the diced onion/shallot. Saute till translucent, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add the minced garlic. Saute for a minute.

  6. Add the diced shiitake. Saute for about 2 minutes.

  7. On medium-high heat, add the pork belly. Saute and cook until it is no longer pink.

  8. Lower back to medium-low heat. Add the shao hsing rice wine. Deglaze the pan and make sure to get off all the yummy fond bits off the bottom of the pan.

  9. Add in the soy paste sauce mixture. Stir into the meat.

  10. Next add the water. Stir until evenly mixed together.

  11. Next add cane sugar, spice bag, and fried shallots. Feel free to add peeled hardboiled eggs here, I didn’t because I wanted to put soft cooked eggs to my finished product. I added thai chili because I like to crush it into the sauce when I eat it. This is a personal preference.

  12. Bring to a boil on high heat, then lower to low and simmer with the lid covered for 1 hour.

  13. Stir on occasion to make sure nothing sticks.

  14. When the sauce is ready you can remove the spice bag and discard.

  15. Serve overtop rice or noodles or with steamed buns. Enjoy!

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