Taiwanese minced meat sauce (Lu Rou Fan) is one of the most popular dishes in Taiwan in addition to beef noodle stew. Ground pork or pork belly is simmered in a soy sauce based sauce and served over rice. I’ve never had Taiwanese minced meat sauce at one restaurant that was exactly the same as another restaurant’s since the seasonings vary according to the cook. Regardless, the dish is incredibly flavorful wherever you go and easy enough to prepare yourself.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Ask any Taiwanese individual about this dish and I guarantee you that they will know what it is. There are many different variations out there, some including ginger, others with cinnamon, some even using pork butt, but this recipe is my version.
You can choose to use ground pork, pork belly or even ground beef. It’s preferable to use meat that has some fat so resist from purchasing the extra lean ground pork.
If using pork belly, cut the meat into small strips. If you have a large piece of pork butt, boil in water for 10 minutes to remove any blood, remove and rinse off the scum. Cut the pork into small strips and let cool before continuing with the recipe.
As mentioned before, the seasonings vary according to the household but I found that bay leaves, star anise, and fried shallots are included in almost every recipe. Fried shallots are sold at Asian markets, specifically Chinese markets. If you can’t locate the item, you can purchase fresh shallots and fry them yourself.
On the top right corner is rock sugar. Rock sugar, the purest form of cane sugar, is commonly used in Chinese dishes in place of white granulated sugar or brown sugar. Unlike white sugar, rock sugar helps round out the dish and is not as sweet.
Although this sauce may take a little over an hour, it’s mostly inactive time. You’re simply throwing everything into a pot and letting it cook over low heat, allowing the flavors to slowly develop.
Thirty minutes later and the sauce has already darkened in color. Add the boiled eggs and let the eggs absorb the flavors as the sauce continues to simmer.
Taiwanese minced meat sauce is typically served over rice but can also be tossed with noodles. The sauce should be glossy and slightly thickened while having sweet and salty elements. I particularly enjoy the subtle licorice flavor from the star anise and the spice from the Chinese 5 spice. Easy to prepare and delicious, what more can I ask for?
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