This vegan Lu Rou Fan 素滷肉飯 (Sù Lǔ ròu fàn) is a comforting meal made with simple ingredients that my family loves. The recipe is vegan, family-friendly, and super easy to make, perfect for your weeknight meals.
What is Lu Rou Fan ‘滷肉飯’?
‘Lu’ translates to braise, ‘Rou’ is meat and ‘Fan’ means rice in Chinese. So, it’s basically braised meat rice. It is an iconic Taiwan comfort food that is traditionally made from minced pork.
If you have been to Taiwan, you may have seen this at street food or specialized stalls just for this dish. I veganized mine by using tofu, mushrooms, and spices to recreate that wonderful aroma.
If you are a tofu lover like me, you’ll want to make a big batch; it tastes even better the next day. That said, it’s definitely a perfect lunchbox dish for work or school.
Please check the steps below on how to create this dish with the amazing ‘meaty’ texture.
KEY ingredients to a delicious vegan Lu Rou Fan:
- Tofu – Firm tofu works the best. Check out how I cook my tofu to create the texture for this dish.
- Chinese Cooking wine or Michiu – can be substituted with dry sherry or vegetable broth
- Chinese 5-spice powder – gives the dish an aromatic flavor, so use your favorite brand. If you can’t find this blend at the store, see my notes for the substitution.
- Mushrooms – add an umami touch to this dish. I prefer to use low moisture content mushrooms such as Bella, Shiitake, and King Oyster Mushrooms.
How to cook Vegan Lu Rou Fan
Step 1: Prepare your tofu.
I’m using firm tofu to create the best meaty texture but how? You’ll need to dry the mashed tofu in a non-stick pan, then crisp them up with oil. With just a little patience, you’ll have the best-textured tofu later.
Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients
Drizzle in with a little more oil, and sauté mushrooms and shallots until fragrant or until shallots turn translucent.
Then, in goes the scallions and garlic. Give it a good stir to release the garlic’s aroma.
Step 3: Seasoning
Season with white pepper, 5-spice powder, and sugar. Stir to combine.
Continue to season with soy sauce, cooking wine, and finally add in the water. Tip: I like to quickly stir the soy sauce with the ingredients to coat the tofu before adding cooking wine.
Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let the mixture cook until it reduced to half.
Thicken the sauce further with a cornstarch slurry.
Step 4: Serve warm with a bowl of rice
Important steps while cooking
- Pan fry mashed tofu until golden brown in a non-stick pan. Add enough oil to cook the tofu until you get a crispy outer layer. This will give the tofu the ‘meaty’ texture once you add the sauce. Do not rush on this step.
- Use your favorite 5-spice powder with the aroma that you like. I also love to use white pepper but black pepper can be substituted.
- Once you add the ingredients to the tofu mixture, let it simmer over low-medium heat and allow enough time for tofu to absorbs the sauce.
- The rule of thumb is to let the mixture thickened to more than half of the original volume. Then, slowly add cornstarch slurry over low heat while stirring continuously. It will take a few seconds for the sauce to thicken
Check out my other Tofu recipes:
This braised tofu bowl ‘Lu Rou Fan’ is:
- Delicious with a great texture
- Perfect for meal-prep
- Customizable – for gluten-free, substitute soy sauce with tamari
- SUPER Tasty!!
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear and see your beautiful creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng on Instagram. Happy cooking, friends!
Lu Rou Fan – Braised Tofu Rice Bowl ‘素滷肉飯’
- 16 oz [397g] firm tofu pressed, drained & mashed
- 4 oz [130g] mushrooms chopped (used King Oyster)
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 large shallots finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons [18g] green onions chopped
- 3 cups [700ml] of water
- cornstarch slurry mix 1 tablespoon corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water
- oil for cooking
- salt to taste
- blanched veggies
- 3 servings cooked rice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce/tamari
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- ¼ cup [60g] Chinese cooking wine Michiu
- Heat up a large non-stick pan and cook mashed tofu until slightly dry, add 2 tablespoons of oil and continue to stir fry until golden brown and crispy.
- Push the tofu to the side of the pan, add in more oil (if needed), then sauté mushrooms and shallots until shallots turn translucent and mushrooms are fully cooked through.
- Add in the chopped scallions and garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds or until garlic is aromatic.
- Season with white pepper, 5-spice powder, and sugar, then stir to combine.
- Add in the soy sauce, cooking wine, water and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
- Then continue to cook until the sauce is reduced to almost half.
- Taste test and season accordingly. If you need more sauce, add a little more water here.
- Finally, add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce by stirring constantly over low-medium heat.
- Serve warm with rice and a side of blanched veggies.
- If you prefer a darker color sauce, feel free to add a tad of thick caramel sauce (thick dark soy sauce).
- 5-spice powder – if you can’t find this powder, please use below and add it along with the water, then remove them before serving.
- 1 star-anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 2-3 fennel seeds
- a few Sichuan peppercorn
Super recipe!! And I am a meat eater. The texture of the tofu is fabulous. Jucy and meaty. I added a little oyster sauce and sweet flour paste. Not authentic I am sure but I liked the extra depth. This dish will appear on my table regularly
I made this and it was super yummy. I even kind of messed it up and didn’t fry the tofu until it was crispy, but in the end it didn’t seem to matter because I still found it to be totally delicious. So excited to try some of your other recipes! Thank you!
Thanks for your kind feedback.
So delicious! As stated, very easy to make and it does taste even better the next day. Leftovers are a must, Thank you WoonHeng. PS: Ift’s not to personal to ask, I would love to know what your name means.
Is there a sub for the cooking wine? I would love to make this! Thank you!!
Hello Jennifer, you can use dry sherry or use vegetable stock or just water but will have to adjust the taste accordingly. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks, WoonHeng
Incredible recipe, better than my own recipe with pork that I’ve been cooking for years! Didn’t even realize it was Vegan it was so good! I will 100% make this again!
I’ve been following Woon since I became vegan. I lover her recipes although some of the ingredients can be hard to find in the U.K. I have made this dish a few times now…very few ingredients, really easy & healthy and so tasty!
Many, many thanks Ali! I’m so glad to hear you liked this recipe. yay! Hope you get to try other recipes soon. Have a beautiful weekend. Best, WoonHeng
Can we use ShaoXing wine instead of Michiu?
Beautiful recipe 🤩
Very easy, super quick meal that does not require a lot of ingredients at all.
It’s also very satisfying- tasty, healthy comfort food. We loved it.
I try to incorporate more vegan meals for a healthier and more sustainable diet (let alone the fact that it’s actually cheaper for me) and these recipes are a godsend.
Thank you SO much, Eve! I’m so glad you loved this recipe and I think it’s always easy and delicious to incorporate tofu in a meal. Thank you for sharing your feedback. Super grateful for you. Best, WoonHeng
The depth of flavour was incredible. It stands up to any braised meet dish alike.
I only had white mushrooms and sherry from Spain on hand and it worked out great – didn’t seem to change texture of flavour profile too much.
Give this dish a try! Its easy and extremely delicious.
Woonheng your recipes are on point!! Thank you!
Hello Steph, thanks so much for your wonderful feedback and your sweet message. I’m so happy to hear that the mushrooms and sherry worked out great for you. Yay! I hope you give other recipes a try too. Wishing you a wonderful day. Best, WoonHeng.