Taiwanese Noodles with Meat Sauce Recipe (Taiwanese Spaghetti!)

Taiwanese Noodle Recipe

Despite having an embarrassing amount of cookbooks on my shelves, my family’s favorite recipes are the ones I’ve riffed on from my Mom’s cooking. Earlier this summer, when we took a little vacation to visit parents, Mom made a Taiwanese noodle dish with a hearty meat sauce. To “sell” it to my kids, she called  it, “Taiwanese Spaghetti.” Though, in all honesty, meat + noodles need no selling to my kids, they’ll happily eat without reservation.

Taiwanese meat sauce is something nearly every Taiwanese mama cooks in weekly rotation, and it’s served over rice or noodles. It’s traditionally made with ground pork, Chinese black mushrooms and lots of shallots. The seasonings include warm Chinese five-spice powder, both dark and light soy sauce, black vinegar and a touch of brown sugar.

To make an easy version with everyday ingredients from the local supermarket, I’ve made a few substitutions.

How to cook Taiwanese Noodles with Meat Sauce (video)

Short 2 minute video on how to make this recipe.

Full written recipe is below!


Taiwanese Noodles with Meat Sauce Recipe (Taiwanese Spaghetti)

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes

For Gluten free version - substitute the regular soy sauce with gluten-free soy sauce and substitute the dark soy sauce with gluten free oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand)


1 pound noodles or rice of your choice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (or oyster sauce)
2 teaspoon light (regular) soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar (or young balsamic vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pound ground pork (or ground beef/chicken/turkey)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
One 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained and diced
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
1 stalk green onion, chopped


1. Cook the noodles or rice according to package instructions. Drain.

2. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, vinegar, five spice powder and brown sugar. Set aside.

3. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in the cooking oil. Add in the onion and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ground meat and cook for 2 minutes. Push aside the onion and ground beef to one side of the wok to create a small spot to fry the garlic. Add in the garlic and stir fry for a few seconds or until you begin smelling the garlic. Add in the bamboo shoots and mushrooms. Toss everything in the wok together.

4. Pour in the broth/soy sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the green onions. Serve the ground beef mixture over the noodles or rice.

Comments 54

  1. Cler

    Looks really good, got to try it for my kids… and me. Jaden, I’m looking for a Shaoxing rice wine, is there any brand you can recommend me? Thank you!

    1. SteamyKitchen

      There are so many small brands! look for a wine with rich, amber color. Here’s a tip: when you have leftover ginger slices (uncooked), slice them and add them to the Shaoxing wine. The ginger really gives the wine a wonderful flavor — and you don’t waste the leftover bits of ginger.

  2. Elizabeth @Mango_Queen

    Wow, this Taiwanese noodles look terrific. My family will love this! This recipe comes just in time — I rearranged my pantry and found a gazillion bags of assorted Asian noodles. Off to the kitchen to start with this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Jaden!

  3. LivLaughEat

    Thanks for this recipe! It arrived just in time as I was trying to figure out what to do with the ground beef I defrosted for dinner last night. It was a hit and my picky almost 2 year old ate it all and he usually doesn’t like beef!

  4. Chris

    Just saved this to try soon. A long time ago we went to a PF Changs as a family get together and Trevor liked a dish called dan dan or don don noodles. This looks SO MUCH better.

  5. Becca

    Ohmygoodness! I can’t wait to try making this! One of my favorite childhood foods from Taiwan <3<3<3

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  7. Alexander

    Can I leave out the vinegar, or is it essential?
    (Sorry for my bad English, but I’m German ^^)

  8. Pingback: Modified Taiwanese Noodles (courtesy of Steamy Kitchen) « Clickin' Kitchen

  9. joey

    Omg! My friend’s family makes something similar which they call “Chinese spaghetti” :) We love it and can never get enough. I am definitely trying this soon!

  10. Karla Hamann

    lol, I think so too. Just got the recipe so that i can purchase the ingredients this weekend. We are spaghetti junkies at our house, and I just bet my fam will love this!

  11. Becca

    Currently scarfing down a second helping of this. Just about like my Taiwanese grandma used to make! Eee! You’re my favorite food blogger ^_^

  12. Beth

    This is a classic that I am sure every Taiwanese would remember from their childhood. Thank you for sharing the recipe and video! They are very helpful.

    Question – Would it be weird to put the sauce on top of thick rice noodles instead of semolina pasta?

  13. Rachel

    Thank you for a delicious recipe! I made it tonight for my Bible study group, everyone loved it! I used an angel hair type of Japanese somen noodles, it was great together. Also, I didn’t have the Chinese five spice powder so I used a mix of all spice, ginger, red pepper flakes and cinnamon, and still got rave reviews from my eaters. Let me know if you have a better recommendation for a substitute for the Chinese five spice powder, of if this is an irreplaceable spice! I also used ground pork which was of course delicious but fatty. Has anyone tried it with the ground turkey or chicken? If so, how was it?

  14. Nancy

    Made this last night using Morningstar crumbles instead of ground meat…delicious and made all the vegetarians in my family happy :)

  15. Nadine in VA

    Just made this tonight. Since I already had oyster sauce and black vinegar, it was a snap to pull the ingredients together. My husband and son took a bite and both said this was a keeper. In fact, my husband reminded me a couple of times to be sure not to lose this one. On top of that, it was very easy to make. My husband likes as many fresh vegetables as possible, so when I added the shitake mushrooms, I also added some fresh asparagus and broccoli. I didn’t have bamboo shoots so I subbed water cehstnuts. The recipe felt very flexible. Thanks Jaden.

  16. Meesh

    yum! this was awesome Jaden. For spicy food lovers out there…def add a green chili or two.

  17. tawney

    Didn’t have any bamboo shoots, but couldn’t wait so subbed celery which worked out. It’s a great recipe (and bamboo shoots are on my grocery list.)

  18. MC

    I made this for dinner tonight and my husband said it tasted like restaurant-quality! I’ll definitely be making this again.

  19. michelle

    i forgot to put the brown sugar but it was STILL awesome. i am not really a fan of ground meat so i thin sliced some chicken breast. i added cilantro and some sriracha for presentation…. and taste!

  20. chewoutloud

    The ingredients look perfect together, and it’s not a coincidence that I’ve been craving some Taiwanese noodles! Funny what you wrote about always going back to Mom’s unwritten recipes, despite so many fancy cookbooks on my shelves. I do love those cookbooks, but nothing replaces what Mom dishes up :)

  21. Tiffany

    Ahhhhh it’s…….. Asian Comfort Food! A foodie’s Hamburger Helper :) This dish has such a warm earthy flavor; hubby commented he could smell it coming up the walk. Did I make changes? “Of Course” Went with 90% ground beef which was a little dry. I doubled the sauce using the Oyster sauce & standard Rice Vinegar. I added a few drops of Chili Oil, a sprinkle of Crushed Peppers, and 2Tbsp. of the Shiitake Broth and dumped in some Bean Sprouts and White Mushrooms and more like 4 green onions. Thickened with a little bit of Corn Starch. Well I’m still glowing from a great meal and already thinking of spinning it into a Fall Stew or maybe it’s a Chili?

  22. Janis

    Two quick questions. I live in the SF Bay Area and went into my local Asian market to find the black vinegar. Um, wow, 50 varieties it seemed. I guessed and bought one with an interesting label :-) But could you give a recommendation for a couple of brands? Or does it really matter? Also, you mention in your intro that this dish usually uses shallots. I actually have a lot in my kitchen right now. What’s a good equivalent amount? Thanks!

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Look for “Chinkiang” black vinegar on the label, which tells you that it’s from a specific region in Southern China where they make the best black vinegar.

      Sub the onion with 2 or 3 whole shallots (or more if you have lots and love shallots!)

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  26. dorothy

    This recipe sounds great.Both my Husband and I enjoy asian food
    very much. I live on the west coast of Florida and find it difficult to access oriental products. Local grocery stores have some but not great selections. Can you suggest a place in Florida that sells black vinegar. Is this also known as black rice wine vinegar or is that a different product…Thank you for your help…

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Black rice vinegar should be the same, but any Asian market should have it. I saw it at our local Publix here in Sarasota Fl. Perhaps you can find it at yours as well?

  27. Julia

    Just got back from my Taiwan trip and miss the food SOOOO much! thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  28. Chrystal

    I just made this and it is awesome… my family loves it .. thank you so much for sharing…

  29. Jarod

    That’s great. Looks very good.
    I like to top it off with lots of fried shallots, cilantro, chopped chili peppers, and slices of boiled egg.

  30. Lindiz

    Thanks for the recipe. It was delicious. I was just wondering – do you end up having a lot of sauce for the meat or just a little (to mix in with the rice or noodles)? I like the sauce, and like my noodles or rice with sauce, but wasn’t sure if I cooked it too long so a lot of the liquid evaporated or if it’s just supposed to have a little to begin with. Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks!

  31. Becky

    This was so good!!! I served the sauce over udon noodles and went back for second helpings–sooo happy and full right now. It took longer than 15 minutes though, possibly because it was my first time making this, also possibly because I used ground pork…? I ended up using button mushrooms instead of shiitake because they were cheaper and a mix of dark soy sauce & oyster sauce. Added some chopped ginger too because I went out and bought it thinking that it was on the ingredients list. Forgot to dice the bamboo shoots, but I like the long slices anyway. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  32. Wendy

    I cooked this tonight for friends who are adopting from Taiwan & everyone loved it! Definitely on our go to list of quick easy tasty meals to make. Thanks!

  33. Regine

    Hello, I made this dish last night for dinner, and just had some for lunch at work. It is really tasty. I love it. However, I had to add a few more things to make it more “tasty.” First, I had to cook the meat longer than the minutes listed in the recipe. Second, when I tried the dish I felt it was lacking in salt, so I added more salt (next time, I will add more salt to the water used to boil the noodles). I also added about 3-4 tbsp of sesame oil, and maybe 1-2 tsp of sriracha sauce. Also, but this is because I am a “turmeric” girl LOL, I added some turmeric powder. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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