recipes that teach you how to cook without recipes

(Taiwanese) Braised Pork

The dish this is based on is called Lou Rou Fan but I will refrain from calling this recipe by that name because I probably don’t make it the way it’s made in Taiwan with all the ingredients that are supposed to be in the dish. Nevertheless, this “recipe” produces something very similar and delicious and as always this recipe is very customisable to your tastes and what you have on hand. Don’t have dark soy sauce? Skip it. Love garlic? Double the amount. Don’t like pork? Use chicken. Don’t eat meat? Replace the meat with mushrooms and/or tofu. You get the idea. Feel free to experiment with amounts of everything while cooking according to your tastes. The amounts listed below are a minimum (I think) but you do you!

Serves 2-3


200-300 g pork (shoulder/neck/belly/combination), cut into ~1 cm cubes

5-6 shallots, sliced (or 1-2 onions)

4-5 garlic gloves, roughly chopped

2-3 cm piece of ginger, sliced

1-2 tsp Chinese five spice powder

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine

1 star anise

1 bay leaf

small cinnamon stick

handful of dried shiitake mushrooms

1-2 tbsp sugar (any kind you like, to taste)

chilies, chopped (optional, to taste)

green onion, sliced (for garnishing)

boiled eggs, peeled (optional)


  1. Add the pork to a heavy bottomed pot with a lid and stir fry on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the five spice, star anise, cinnamon, bay leaf, onions, garlic, ginger, chili and mushrooms and stir fry for 3-5 minutes, until the onions soften. 
  3. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and enough water to cover all the ingredients.
  4. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1.5-2 hours, until the pork is very tender, adding water if/when necessary to ensure the ingredients are covered.
  5. Taste the pork and braising liquid after about ~30 minutes and again after 1 hour and add any extra seasonings you like. Keep in mind, the braising liquid will reduce to a thick sauce so don’t add too much salt/soy sauce.
  6. In the last 20-30 min of cooking, add the boiled eggs, rotating every few minutes so the eggs absorb the colour and flavour of the braising liquid evenly.
  7. In the last 5-10 minutes turn the heat up to medium/high and let the braising liquid reduce to your desired consistency.
  8. Garnish with green onions and serve over rice.


Boil the eggs to the soft boiled stage so after they are braised with the pork, they will not be over done.

Leftovers make a fantastic filling for bao.

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