Lu Rou Fan (Taiwanese Meat Sauce with Rice)

Cathy Erway

Note: You can make your own five-spice powder by combining 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seed, plus 1 cinnamon stick and 1 clove star anise. If using whole pork belly, trim any bones from the slab of meat. Slice into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise, then slice each piece into 1/4-inch slivers.

July 2013

Recipe Details

Lu Rou Fan (Taiwanese Meat Sauce with Rice)

Active 30 mins
Total 4 hrs
Serves 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 cups vegetable or canola oil

  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 6 medium)

  • 2 pounds ground pork (or 2 pounds whole, fresh, skin-on pork belly, see note)

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder (see note)

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce

  • 1 cup Chinese rice cooking wine

  • Water


  1. Line a large plate with a triple layer of paper towels. Heat oil to 325°F in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and adjust flame to maintain temperature. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly with a slotted spoon or wire mesh spider, until shallots are a pale golden and barely turning brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to paper towel lined-plate to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon oil and reserve the rest for another use. When shallots are cool, lightly crush. Set aside.

  2. Heat reserved oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and the crushed fried shallots to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Add the five-spice powder and sugar and stir to combine. Add both soy sauces, wine, and just enough water to cover, if necessary, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover partially. Cook until pork is completely tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 4 hours. Serve with steamed rice.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
532 Calories
37g Fat
11g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 532
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 107mg 36%
Sodium 2054mg 89%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 709mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)