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Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork (滷肉飯)

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Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork Recipe

This Taiwanese braised minced pork recipe, also called ‘ro zao’ in Mandarin (or Lu Rou Fan 滷肉飯) is probably my favorite dish that reminds me of home and childhood.

My mom would make this for us all the time and it is a traditional Taiwanese dish that we loved.

The braised minced pork would make the entire house smell so good. Honestly, whenever I make this, the scent immediately brings me back to the house I grew up in.

I remember when I first started living on my own, I had asked my mom to teach me how to make this because it was serious comfort food for me and it’s so easy to make a big batch of it to have throughout the week.

I think it’s fascinating that cooking can evoke such emotion and memory. The scent, the taste — it all brings you back.

What does braised minced pork taste like?

The predominant flavor is Chinese five spice and soy sauce, but it’s hard to explain how good these flavors are together.

Chinese five spice is a warming spice and it has anise in it, but I don’t think it particularly has a strong licorice flavor.

Honestly, this is one dish that you just have to make at home to truly understand what I mean about flavor and smell.

Can I make this with something other than ground pork?

I’ve tried it with ground turkey and ground chicken.

I definitely wouldn’t do ground beef.

How long does this take to make?

The longer it sits on the stove to braise, the better.

If you’re in a hurry, 30 minutes is just fine but oh man, after 1-2 hours, it is even more glorious!

What can I eat this with?

We always ate it over rice or rice noodles

How do I store leftovers?

In the fridge in a covered container.

Once you take it out of the fridge, you’ll see fatty bits that have floated to the top and hardened. You can either scrape it off or just reheat it with them and they just melt.

Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork (滷肉飯)

A classic Taiwanese comfort dish that brings me back to childhood. The flavors are incredible and unique.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 1 package of spiced dry tofu
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 ½ pounds ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cup or more of soy sauce
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of fried scallions, (you can usually find this at Asian marts, they come in a large plastic jar most of the time)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Prepare and cook your rice according to instructions (I have a rice cooker so I just popped my rice & water in there).
  • In a small pot, put your eggs in and fill it up with water to cover the eggs. Put on stove and hard-boil your 4 eggs for about 7-10 minutes.
  • Soak your dried mushrooms in hot water to soften them. While the mushrooms are soaking, dice the tofu into cubes.
  • After your mushrooms are softened, slice them into cubes as well.
  • Once your eggs are done, run them under cold water and then peel off the shells.
  • In a medium sized pot, on high heat, cook your pork. When the pork is halfway done cooking, add in the tofu, mushrooms and fried scallions.
  • Add in the soy sauce. You want a dark brown color from the soy sauce so you might need more than a cup of soy sauce. After you’ve added in the soy sauce, you can add in the 5 spice powder. Stir and cook everything for about 5 minutes then take 3.5 cups of water (more or less) to cover the entire pork mixture.
  • Add in your (whole) eggs. Bury them with the pork and liquid. Bring the liquid mixture to a boil and then let it simmer on low on the stove for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally (but be careful not to puncture the eggs, you want them to be pretty!).
    The longer you let it simmer, the more flavor, so I usually like keeping it on low for an hour or more and wait until the liquid is mostly cooked out. If you want the thicker liquid consistency, you can add in corn starch (prepare the corn starch by putting the corn starch in a small bowl and mixing it with water then pouring the corn starch mixture in the pork mixture while on the stove).
  • Serve over rice and enjoy!!

Recipe Notes

A lot of this recipe is based on taste. The recipe I gave above is what I used to achieve the way my mom has made it and the way I’ve grown up with. You can of course tailor it to your taste buds with more or less soy sauce, more or less 5 spice powder, more or less mushrooms..etc. If you have questions, feel free to ask!

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 453 kcal | Carbohydrates: 10 g | Protein: 37 g | Fat: 30 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: ground pork, shiitake, tofu

Photography by Ari Laing

Recipe Rating




Simon Squires

Monday 29th of November 2021

Hi. Tried your recipe and it seems to salty and too much like soy without any other flavors developing. Its nothing like the flavor I've tasted in Taiwan or here in China at Taiwanese restaurants. Do you know what the problem is? If so how van I rectify this? Thanks

Simon Squires

Monday 29th of November 2021

@Julie Chiou, Thanks for the reply. I had it simmering for around an hour and a half. The age of my Chinese Five Spice is probably an issue because it not something I use regularly so not sure how long its been in my cupboard. I'll have another try next week after bought new spices and I'll probably try a different brand of onions. The ones I bought tasted like the ones you sprinkle on a hotdog. I'll also add the soy in stages until reaches the salty soy level I prefer. I appreciate your help and I will let you know how I get on.

Julie Chiou

Monday 29th of November 2021

Hi, if it's too salty, add more water or use less soy sauce. How old is your Chinese Five Spice? How long are you letting this simmer to develop flavor?

Jennifer Russell

Monday 1st of June 2020

Hi! Can I use dried onions instead? That’s all I have. Thanks!!

Julie Wampler

Monday 1st of June 2020

Yep!

Sarah

Monday 10th of February 2020

My husband is Taiwanese and boy was he excited to hear me say I was going to try making ro zao. Wasn’t able to get to wegmans to pick up the dried shiitakes or fried scallions but it still turned out great (but I’ll pick them up for next time. Lol) I have young kids and they were just gobbling this up. The house smelled soooooooo good too!

Eve

Monday 3rd of February 2020

Can you give more information on the spiced dry tofu? I haven't been able to find any so far.

Julie Wampler

Friday 14th of February 2020

Hi sorry! Do you have an asian grocery store near you?

Sherin

Sunday 26th of January 2020

I’m making this right now and it already smells and tastes amazing!!! Thank you.

Julie Wampler

Monday 27th of January 2020

awesome!!