It’s been two months since my magnificent trip to Taiwan, and I am still captivated by all the incredible food we devoured there. I constantly find my thoughts drifting towards the vivid food memories, of one of my best food centric holidays! In that one week, I savored a plethora of diverse dishes – each unique and delicious in its own way.
It’s impossible to pick a favorite dish, but I constantly pine for the oddles of noodles I relished on the trip. Noodles are an ubiquitous staple in Taiwanese cuisine. They are found just about everywhere and cooked in multitude ways. While Beef noodle soup (niu rou mian) is the quintessential Taiwanese comfort food and could hail national dish status, my favorite noodle preparations in Taiwan were the dry noodles topped with flavorful pork or beef mince.
We can’t locate Taiwanese food in India, but Asian spices and noodles are readily available here. So with a little effort and a lot of love, it’s not too difficult to create a Taiwanese inspired meal. This Taiwanese Meat Noodles Recipe is my ode to those delicious dry noodle bowls I wolfed down during my trip. It’s a warm comforting bowl of noodle goodness! It’s a perfect blend of ingredients that were common in many Taiwanese noodles dishes – scallions, star anise, cinnamon, Chinese 5 spice, sesame oil and soy sauce. I love using pork in this recipe, but it can just as well be substituted with beef or chicken. Add a nice Asian vegetable side to it, and you have a delicious well-balanced meal.
Taiwan is a remarkable food paradise and is justifiably referred to as one of the best food destinations in the world. Their noodle dishes will leave you awestruck and constantly craving for more. These Taiwanese Meat Noodles will either ease those cravings or create a massive appetite for a trip to Taiwan to get lost in all those noodles!
Taiwanese Meat Noodles Recipe
Recipe adapted from Taiwanese Minced Meat Noodles 台湾肉燥面
Yield: 3-4 servings
Time: Active 20 minutes Inactive 20 minutes
4 servings of noodles (Taiwanese style noodles or thin spaghetti noodles)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
½ cup of red onion, diced
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
300 grams ground pork (can substitute with beef or chicken)
8-10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced
1- 2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, chopped
Sauce Mixture Ingredients:
¾ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
½ tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, or sake (optional)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
¾ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice seasoning
Vegetable sides: Baby bok choy, morning glory, bean sprouts or shredded cucumber.
- Soak dried mushrooms until soft, about 20 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess water, then slice
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and divide the noodles into serving bowls.
- While the noodles are cooking, combine all the sauce mixture ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and set aside.
- Heat oil in a non stick wok over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook until the onions start to soften. Add in the minced garlic and cinnamon stick and star anise and cook for a minute.
- Add in the ground meat and use a wooden spoon to break it down. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes, until the meat starts to brown.
- Add in the mushrooms and cook everything together for another minute.
- Pour in the sauce mixture, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let everything simmer together, until the sauce reaches desired thickness and the meat is fully cooked through.
- Once cooked turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil, pepper and scallions.
- Serve this over the noodles along with blanched or stir fried vegetable sides.