I love cooking, but I like to keep things relatively simple. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean quick. To me a simple recipe is using whole ingredients as much as possible. Taiwanese food is very much in line with that philosophy. Besides soy sauce and black vinegar, there’s very little additives in the classic dishes. One of my favorite recipes is a classic in EVERY Taiwanese household, Lu Ro Fan. It's sometimes known as Braised Pork or just Pork Bowl Rice.
The recipe is so simple – it's almost laughable.
The most complex part of the recipe is really is you want to include marinated eggs to it. Otherwise, it takes less than 20-30 mins to whip up and the flavor gets better day after day.
Hard boiled eggs, shells removed
3-4 tbsp dark soy sauce
3-4 tbsp black vinegar
1-2 tbsp hoisin sauce
Cook your hard-boiled eggs and remove the shells completely
Put the liquid ingredients in a close-lid container and allow the eggs to sit in there. Ideally the liquids cover the eggs completely, if they don’t then you just have to rotate the eggs around every 12 hours or so. It’s not super scientific, you just want to make sure the eggs get evenly covered with soy sauce as it’s marinating. Marinate between 24-72 hours.
1 lb minced pork
Chopped strips of pork belly *optional*
1 large onion, minced
0.5 - 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup rice wine/ sake
Liquid from the braised eggs
Chilli pepper or Sriracha sauce *optional to taste*
1 tsp of honey (some people use raw sugar)
Green onions, chopped for garnish
Drizzle of sesame oil.
Pinch of sesame seed
On high heat, if using the pork belly – pan fry them to get the grease out. Once they are nice and cooked through, remove the pork belly from the pan & set aside. Keep the oil in the pan.
Lower the temperature to mid-heat, toss in the onion, ginger and garlic and gently stir fry it to infuse the oil. Make sure to not burn the garlic. You would pan fry the chili in this step too if you’re using any.
Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and put the pork belly and the minced meat back into the pan and make sure the minced pork is broken down evenly.
Add all the liquid ingredients (rice wine, soy sauce, black vinegar) to the mix and stir thoroughly to ensure the meat is covered evenly.
Add the honey and stir.
Add the braised eggs here.
Once all the meat is cooked through, it’s ready to eat! The longer you let it simmer, the more flavourful it will be – but it’s technically ready right away! Lay it over a bed of rice or ramen, drizzle some sesame oil, sprinkle some green onions and sesame seeds as toppings. Voila!
I like to eat mine with some steamed vegetables to counterbalance the saltiness of the braised meat and some pickled radish.