Minced pork rice
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|Minced pork rice|
Minced pork rice served with pickles
|Literal meaning||braised meat rice|
Minced pork rice (Chinese: 滷肉飯; pinyin: lǔròufàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ló͘-bah-pn̄g) is a Taiwanese style rice dish commonly seen throughout Taiwan. The flavor may vary from one region to another, but the basic ingredients remain the same: ground pork marinated and boiled in soy sauce served on top of steamed rice.
How the dish was developed is not as clear. According to a study by a professor from the Department of History of Taiwan, a similar meat sauce dish dates back to at least China's Zhou Dynasty. The Book of Rites records: "In a saucepan cook meat, and stir after adding seasoning until mostly browned sauce, then pour the meat sauce on cooked rice." There is also a description of these foods in the novel "Water Margin". 
In time, that has developed into countless regional variations.
According to Shuowen Jiezi (說文解字, Explaining Simple and Analyzing Compound Characters), The word "Lu (滷)" has the closest meaning to "cooking in thick broth or sauce." This gives the term "滷肉飯" the direct meaning of "rice with braised meat."
However, for several decades, many Taiwanese people have used the homophone "魯" instead of "滷". Although people still use the original character in China, "魯肉飯" has become the most common name seen in Taiwanese restaurants and street vendors. 魯 is the ancient name for the Chinese province of Shandong, which led the Michelin Green Guide Taiwan to write in April 2011 that minced pork rice originated from Shandong. This confusion then led to a fierce debate in which most Taiwanese insisted that minced pork rice was in reality a true symbol of Taiwan, while others viewed it as a Chinese dish that caught on in Taiwan.
As the origin of the flavor, the key to making Minced pork rice is undeniably the sauce. The most popular way of preparation seen in Taiwan is stir-frying the ground meat with sliced shallot in oil before the material is later on boiled in soy sauce. In the frying process, one may customize his unique flavor by adding some condiments such as sugar, rice wine, pepper and other spices. When finished, the dark-brown meat sauce is called "bah-sò (肉燥)", which also goes well with noodles, soup, vegetables and many Taiwanese homemade dishes. 
While Minced pork rice is an important icon in typical Taiwanese folk cuisine, the variety of methods to customize flavors is so wide that it creates considerable differences between regions. In southern Taiwan, where people name it by the sauce "bah-sò-pn̄g (肉燥飯)" instead of the meat, Minced pork rice is preferably served with pork with less fat. People in the north of Taiwan favor a greasier version of meat sauce with rice, sometimes even with glutinous rice mixed in.
In southern Taiwan, while "bah-sò-pn̄g" is seen on the menu indicating Minced pork rice, "ló͘-bah-pn̄g (滷肉飯)" remains on the very same menu, referring to another dish where braised pork belly covers the rice. The same rice with braised pork belly is known as "khòng-bah-pn̄g (焢肉飯)" in northern Taiwan.
Minced pork rice can also be found in China, and a wider selection of vegetables such as corn is eaten along with it.
- huimin zhou, The best drinking party: Cultural history on the table, SanMin Book, 2018-01-05,ISBN：9789571463582 (Version (Traditional)
- "Taipei serves up free 'luroufan' to set record straight". Taipei Times. with CNA. Aug 30, 2011. p. 2. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- The dish is commonly served with stir-fried vegetables and a marinated hard boiled egg on the side.