Nostalgia, comfort food is and will be always in our soul
How do you do?
It is officially the end of 2020 in the lunar year. Often I feel only after the celebration of the lunar new year, a new year (in this case 2021) truly begins! Here I would like to take this opportunity to say happy lunar new year! I wish you prosperity and happiness all year round!
As an Asia girl, born and raised in Taiwan, this is the time when you enjoy a tremendous amount of good foods.
In general, the lunar new year celebration will take a whole week, with people back to their hometowns, reunion with families. grandmas and mothers or the chefs in a household take a serious charge in shopping for groceries! Traditional markets or supermarkets will be super full so that we are all prepared with two weeks of food in advance! 😛 yes, it’s a war of shopping foods, hehe!
When I was in Taiwan, I always went back to my grandma’s house. It’s a lovely old house, small, cozy, but full of warmth and of my grandma’s gourmet foods. If you know me a while, you may have heard me talk about how my grandma inspired me in cooking. She is a talented cook, and even when she was 80, she cooked whole 8 course meals, from entrees to desserts by herself without any help!
However, now I am married in the States, our household is two people, 8 dishes are simply too much, but there is one dish that we all agree should be on the repertoire no matter it is a new year celebration or not- the Taiwanese Minced pork rice 肉燥飯!
Minced pork rice has a pretty humble beginning, the ingredients are not expensive, and it is initially from the suburbs people make it to easily go with rice, with a spoon of broth, everything immediately getting tastier. As it is well-loved by people in almost every household, the restaurants now all have it in Taiwan. In recent years this classic recipe got upgraded to high-end restaurants as a signature of Taiwan!
Believe me, this is truly a simple but addictive dish that I want to share the recipe for so long, but every time I made it, it was the quickest one to be finished from the table, no time to stop my husband before I photograph it. Sorry babe, this time, you have to wait a bit!
Serve 2-6 people, cooking time: approximately: 1.5 hr
- 1 cup=240 CC
- Highly recommend buying a pork belly with skin and some fat potion on it, the skin will create an al dente, chewy texture. Separate the skin and fat from thin meat, cook the skin part first for natural pork oil.
Pork belly (better with skin): 1 pound (450g), cubed
Shallot: 1 cup, diced
Garlic: 2 tablespoons, diced
Ginger: 1 tablespoon, diced
Green onion: the white part, 1 tablespoon, diced
Onion: 1/2 cup, diced
White wine (or any other leftover wine): 2 tablespoons
White pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
Five-spices powder: 2 teaspoon
Water: 720 CC
Soy sauce: 1 1/2cup (360 CC)
Soy sauce glaze: 2 tablespoons
sugar: 1/2 teaspoon
Peanut butter or almond butter: 2 tablespoon, add some nutty sweetness!
Dried mushroom: 1/2 cup, cubed, which adds some umami flavor
Boiled eggs, unshelled: 8, it’s just too good to miss!
Cilantro or green onion for garnishing
- If you prepared dried mushroom, put it in water, let it soft, in the meantime, using medium heat to stir-fried the pork belly, skin part first then the thin meat, until it releases the oil, take it out, and set it aside.
- Use the pork oil to fry the shallot in small to medium heat, until it’s golden. add the mushroom in, stir-fried both.
- Add ginger, garlic, the white part of green onion, stir-fried for about 3 mins, then add the pork belly in, stir-fried them all.
- Turn the heat to high, add the wine, stir the whole part evenly for 1 min, then add in the half of soy sauce, stir them until everything has the brown color on.
- Add sugar, five-spice powder, soy sauce glaze, stir them, then turn the heat back to medium, add water all in. stir then all, cover with the lid. let it boil for about 20 mins. If you prepared the unshelled boiled eggs, add them to the pot.
- Check the pot, lid on, turn the heat to small for another 30 mins, and stir it occasionally, the water will start to evaporate, the broth will get thicker and thicker, check the taste if is too salty, add in some water, if it’s too sweet, add a little bit soy sauce to your taste, but note minced pork rice tends towards the salty side.
- Add the peanut butter into the pot, since butter will make the broth get really thick, you will have to stir it frequently for about 5 mins. Now you are ready to serve!
It’s really easier to make than you thought, right?
I didn’t know how easy it was until I tried, now I no longer feel sad that I can’t find a Taiwanese restaurant near me.
The broth is so magical, with the pork natural flavor infused, put one spoon of the small cube of pork skin in the mouth, it melts on your tongue, the peanut butter’s nutty sweetness makes the texture-rich and adds the balance of savory. Not to mention the egg is super fun than the normal boiled egg. I almost want to make another pot of it, and preserve it in a jar! however, it was just too good, my love keeps asking me for another bowl, another egg, there is no chance to save it hehe!
I wish you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do, this versatile broth can go with anything, from rice to noodles, even add on stir fried vegetables. Let me know what is your favorite combo! Happy lunar new year!