Growing up with a mom who cooks lots of traditional and delicious taiwanese foods has really influenced how I make meals for my family at home. This is one of those dishes that we had once in awhile growing up and we never got tired of it. The combo of shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, and shallots is pretty classic for taiwanese cuisine. Just the aromas of the sauce simmering away brings me comfort. I would equate this meat sauce to a bolognese; slowly simmered to marry all the flavours and then it’s good to go on top of noodles, rice, or a bed of thinly chopped up raw veggies if you’re carb free. It’s super easy and it freezes well – make extra so that you can store it in your freezer and pull it out anytime for a quick meal.
This sauce does well in our house because piepie and boss don’t eat anything tomato (not even ketchup!), and my husband isn’t too keen on marinara sauce (I know…crazy). I think it goes particularly well tossed with noodles (e.g. ramen or egg noodles). You can go to your local Asian grocer and find a variety of dried noodles – my favourites are Japanese Ramen Noodles (Hime brand) or Taiwanese dry noodles (Wu-Mu brand). A lot of the ingredients for the sauce are also found in the Asian food aisle or your local Asian grocer, however you can easily substitute with what you already have in your pantry.
prep time: 15 min cook time: 30 min yield: 4-6 servings
what you need:
- 1 lb (~450 g) package lean ground pork
- 1/2 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 large shallots (or 1 small cooking onion)
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- rock sugar (about 4 small pieces) or you can use 1 tbsp regular sugar
- 2 tbsp dried fried shallots (*optional, if you can’t find this ingredient don’t worry!)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp grape seed oil (or other cooking oil)
what to do:
- Rehydrate shiitake mushrooms with boiling water in a small bowl (about 15 minutes). When softened and cool enough to handle, chop finely.
- Chop shallots finely.
- In a bowl, combine the liquids: water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
- In a pot over medium heat, add about 1 tsp cooking oil. Lightly brown shallots (add in dried ones if you have them as well) – then add in ground pork, breaking up loosely with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes.
- Add liquids carefully to deglaze, then add in sugar and stir. Cover and bring to gentle boil, then turn the heat as low as possible but keep a slow simmer, for about 20 more minutes.
- Cook noodles (see package for instructions), then toss with desired amount of meat sauce. Optional to garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Enjoy!