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)
Prep Time: 10 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)
1/2 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.