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Taiwanese Meat Sauce (Chinese Spaghetti)

I bought a Costco sized pack of ground pork which needed to be used up. Initially, I had intended to make wontons with it but life got in the way.

I searched the Internet for some recipes and most of the pork recipes seem to be more complicated than I had time for, or needed ingredients that I did not have on hand.

Then I stumbled across a Taiwanese Meat Sauce recipe. It was just the recipe I was looking for: quick to prepare plus I had all of the ingredients on hand. It was a tasty meal that we'll sure to make again.

454 g fresh or dried noodles (I used spaghetti) or rice
3/4 cup reserved shitake mushroom liquid or vegetable broth
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp light (regular) soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cooking oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground pork
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
120 g dried shitake mushrooms*

Cornstarch Slurry
1 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water

*Note: If you do not have shitake mushrooms, you can use fresh portabello, cremini or white button mushrooms.

1. In a big bowl, soak the dried shitake mushrooms with just enough hot water to cover. Place a plate over the bowl and allow the mushrooms to soak for 30 minutes. Reserve liquid. Wash the mushroom under running water, squeeze dry and dice.

2. Boil water in a large pot and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain.

3. Combine 3/4 cup of reserved shitake liquid, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, vinegar, five spice powder and brown sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

4. In a large pan over medium-high heat, add oil.

5. Stir in the onion and cook until it is translucent.

6. Stir in the ground pork and cook until it is no longer pink.

7. Create a space in the middle of the pan to cook the garlic. Stir fry until it is fragrant.

8. Add in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft.

9. Pour in the liquid mixture, stir and bring the contents to a simmer.

10. In a small bowl, mix corn starch and cold water. Create a well in the middle of the mixture and add the corn starch slurry. Bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot over noodles or rice.

Source: Slightly adapted from Steamy Kitchen

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