Taiwanese Minced Pork Sauce over Rice (肉燥飯)
Yes yes I know I have been a little inactive on this site (OK quite inactive) lately but the truth is I’ve never stopped trying new dishes throughout the summer. I promise I’ll share all the dishes I cooked on this site as long as I am done with what’s keeping my busy elsewhere
If you like Chinese calligraphy or authentic Chinese food in general, you might remember the lu wei or braised aromatic goodness I wrote about some time ago. In that post, I broadly introduced you to an important Chinese cooking technical called lu or braised stuff with aromatic spice. As I mentioned that over the course, lu wei has developed into countless regional variations and one of the regional flavor is the famous Taiwanese Minced Pork Sauce over Rice dish.
Taiwanese Minced Pork Sauce over Rice holds an iconic status in Taiwanese cuisine. This stew like meat sauce dish is extremely popular and can be found anywhere in Taiwan from mom’s kitchen to night market street vendors to upscale restaurants. The aromatic meat sauce is normally served on rice or noodles but I also discovered that it goes very well with toasted bread.
This dish is also very easy to make at home. It freezes well so I tend to make a big portion every time so I can save the leftover for extra meals. And yes, feel free to substitute minced pork with other types of meat. I like to use meat with a little fat to create that rich juicy consistency.
The recipe calls for store bought fried shallot which can be found in some Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find it nearby, you can order it online or make your own by frying chopped shallots until crispy. Also, the traditional recipe calls of soy sauce paste (醬油膏) which is a thicker version of soy sauce commonly used in Taiwan. If you have no luck to score it locally you can substitute it regular soy sauce and a little more sugar.
Step by Step Illustration:
On a heavy skillet, add 1 tbsp of cooking oil and the minced pork over high heat. Stir the pork gently and constantly for about 4 minutes or until the pork turns slightly brown. Make sure your skillet is hot enough so you don’t lose the juice from the meat.
Add broth/ water and mix in the five spice powder, star anise, bay leaf, soy sauce paste, dark soy sauce, cooking wine, black pepper, and sugar. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Grind the fried shallot with mortar and pestle into coarse powder.
Add fried shallot to the meat sauce after 30 mins of simmering. Add salt if necessary. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Thicken the meat sauce with some corn starch.
Garnish with chopped scallion and serve the meat sauce over cooked rice or noodles or read of your choice.