Last December, my family and 3 of my besties' families went for a holiday trip to Taiwan. It was a super duper enjoyable trip for all, especially the children! It was loads of merry making wherever we went and the nights would always end with gathering sessions for the children (and adults) in one of our rooms before we finally hit the sack.
One of the popular meals among the group would be Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice (卤肉饭). My girl loved it so much she would ask for 2 bowls of rice most of the time!! Our guide shared that this is a very simple dish and there are only 2 reasons why it is so tasty...it all boils down to Taiwanese short grain rice and Taiwanese soy sauce. He even recommended us some Taiwanese brands that we could get in Singapore supermarkets so that we didn't have to lug back packets of rice and soy sauce from Taiwan. Lol!
The group of us loved the rice and sauce so much that we really sourced for them when were back in Singapore. We managed to find Taiwanese rice at NTUC Finest and the soy sauce at Yue Hua.
So I made this dish using Taiwanese soy sauce from Yue Hua. In addition, I also used Medella's Organic Premium Coconut Cooking Oil instead of the normal cooking oil to fry the ingredients. Many would wonder if the use of Medella's Organic Premium Coconut Cooking Oil will leave the dish with an unpleasant coconut smell. The answer is NO. Not only is there no unpleasant smell, it is also superb for cooking at high heat due to its high smoke point.
Other than 'spicing' this dish with five spice powder and star anise, I've also added a spoonful of peanut butter to give it more depth and ummmph.
This is a very easy dish to prepare and I made a big pot with some kept for the next day. Trust me, the braised meat taste even better the next day!
It was thumbs up from all.
Braised Pork Rice (卤肉饭)
25 oz of pork belly (either grounded or in small chunks) - that's about 710g. I used both small chunks and grounded. For the pork belly chunks, I poached in hot boiling water for a short while before cutting into chunks with skin on.
Hard boiled eggs (shell-off)
8 cloves of garlic (diced)
1 large onion (diced)
2 tbspn cooking oil (I used Medella's Organic Premium Coconut Cooking Oil)
Cooked rice - as much as you want
For the Braising Broth
Mix the following in a container and have it ready before you start cooking:
1 tbspn peanut butter
1/2 cup Taiwanese soy sauce (you can also use local brands but the ones from Taiwan would be better)
1 tbspn dark soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shao xing wine
1 tbspn white pepper powder
1-2 star anise
Pinch of five spice powder
1. Heat 2 tbspn of oil in a heated skillet or wok.
2. Stir fry the diced garlic and onion until they are nice and translucent.
3. Mix in the grounded pork belly or pork belly chunks and stir fry until they get a little color. (To get rid of the 'porky' smell, I poached the pork belly in hot boiling water for a short while. Then remove from the water and cut into chunks first before mixing with the grounded lean meat to stir fry.)
4. Pour in the braising broth that you prepared.
5. Add the boiled eggs without shells.
6. Put in some water to make sure that the broth covers everything in the skillet.
(Tips: DO NOT add any more soy sauce. Too much soy sauce will make it too salty and too dark in color.)
7. Bring it to boil and let it sit on fire simmering for at least 30 min.
(Tips: The longer it is braised, the better the tastes and color would be.)
8. Serve with nicely-cooked white rice.
- You can also add dried tofu, mushrooms and boiled 小白菜 to this dish to complete your meal.
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