My family went to visit Taiwan in 2008. I remember there were lots of night markets and seeing brown eggs that had been infused with a spiced broth. We went sightseeing to a gold mine of some sort and along the way up to the mine, we had lunch. The lunch came in a metal souvenir lunch box which contained rice and lu rou fan – Taiwanese braised pork with a brown egg. I remember wolfing it down and thinking it was the tastiest meal I’ve had in Taiwan. This dish is often cooked with diced pork belly but the one I had in the metal lunch box had minced pork.
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 1 hour
500g minced pork or diced pork belly
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crused
40g brown sugar
6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (I used dried ones)
4 tbsp Chinese rice wine
4 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 cups water (or the water used to soak the mushrooms)
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 cm piece ginger, sliced
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
If you’re using dry shiitake mushrooms, soak them in 2 cups of boiling water for about 30 minutes before using. Retain the water for adding later.
In a large pot, dry fry the minced pork until cooked. You can add a little bit of oil but usually the fat within the mince is enough. Remove the pork from the pot leaving the fat in the pot.
Sautee the onion and garlic until softened. You can add a bit of oil here if the fat left behind from the pork isn’t enough.
Add the sugar and stir until melted. This should only take a few seconds. Then Add the mushrooms and sautee for about 30 seconds.
Add the pork mince back into the pot along with the Chinese rice wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, water (or the water retained from soaking the mushrooms), star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger and Chinese five spice powder.
Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile you can boil the eggs and peel it.
After 30 minutes, add the hard boiled eggs and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Make sure that you add more water if it evaporates. Turn the egg halfway through to coat it in the sauce.
Serve with rice and greens.