la rou fan-chinese bacon rice

lard rice...i said it...lard rice

This is not your vegan post.  There is no veggie option.  There are no similar flavors that can be replicated with tofu, seitan, veggies, or fake meat.  This is a post purely about the joy of lard and its flavors.  Yum.

The joy of some fatty substance mixed with starch is, as I find it, pretty common across borders.  Most people I talk to about it says it comes from memories of their youth. I heard of stories of butter mixed with soy sauce and rice given to young Koreans, tortillas slathered with butter for my Chicano friends, and myself enjoying the joys of lard, scallions, and cooked noodles mixed in a bowl.  Awesome!  It was so delicious, creamy, and wonderful.  The thought of it reminds me both of my youth and how the “waste not” pioneers started with the working class and trying to survive with what they had.  There is a  Chinese dish that roughly translated is called “Idiot Noodles”.  Concept being that an idiot can make it, however the noodle dish was created out of the fact that people in areas of China could not afford to throw away every part of the pig.  That after all the meat had been eaten, there still needed to be a way to feed the family, so they created a simple meal that was both filling and flavorful.

I’ve been doing some consulting work for a community based organization here in New York City.  It’s been a really great experience, and I have been brushing up on my Mandarin… so don’t be surprised when you find a post about 午餐肉 (dang, it took me like 5 minutes to type SPAM in Chinese).  In addition to the benefit of becoming a UN interpreter from my limited knowledge of mandarin, I also have been getting to know more about food.  Working with a working class community, I’ve been able to build relationships and really value the work and experiences of the members.  I’ve also been generously given homemade moonshine and Chinese bacon.  Both have brought me much squealing delight, one maybe more than the other.

Now, the bacon is somewhat of a mystery to me.  I haven’t really been able to get a sense of its history or any interesting facts, so if folks have any; leave it in the comments.  You can get the bacon in most Chinese supermarkets.  In the aisles or butcher section there is dried up sticks of pork belly fat that almost look like a mini meat club.  They can either be found hanging up or in vacuum packs, both will work for this dish.   This dish couldn’t be any simpler and tastes amazing as a side.  I have a rice cooker so I used that, but you can also cook it stovetop.  I just don’t know how.  You can also use this bacon for my brussel sprout with duck prociutto and substitute the duck for the best bacon you will ever taste!  And now, my ode to lard, in haiku form:

My Love of Lard

my love knows no bounds

provides rich flavor of joy

you do me no wrong


1 cup uncooked rice

1 cup water, plus some for rinsing

6 ½ inch slices of Chinese Bacon/La Rou/Lap Yuk

½ tbs soy sauce

minced scallion for garnish, optional


rinse rice with water until liquid runs clear

mix all ingredients with water, rice, bacon and soy sauce

cook rice per direction of method (rice cooker or stove top)

serve topped with scallion

-serves 2-


16 Responses to “la rou fan-chinese bacon rice”

  1. 1 Greg
    April 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I hear cellulite is the main ingredient in lard…..who am I kidding, I have had it before, many times and loved it.

    • 2 scott
      April 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      G: For a second, I was tempted to take down the post at just the thought of cellulite in my food…but then I realized the flavor was too important.

    • 3 scott
      April 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      G: For a second, I was tempted to take down the post at just the thought of cellulite in my food…but then I realized the flavor was too important.

  2. April 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Who doesn’t love bacon? Scott…I just love your writing style and your recipes! The moonshine comment made me literally LOL… xoxo

  3. 6 ckawez
    April 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Mmmmm looks soooo good. I want to go to there!

  4. April 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Tony would so agree with this love of yours 😛

  5. April 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I like your declaration of love for lard 🙂

  6. 12 juyeon
    May 1, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    New dish, new posting and so many comments!!!

    I don’t think I have seen this dish before but it sure looks good and easy to make. Lard? movement? LOL.

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