First off, this recipe is poorly written. I assumed the carrots were shredded? And when does the 5-spice and garlic go in? To the meat mix or into the topping? I added both to the meat. But, sorry, this didn't work for us. Too many flavors going on, with the Italian seasoning, garlic, cayenne and 5-spice. And the vinegar in the topping was overpowering. I would leave out the vinegar and 5-spice if I were to make this again. The texture of the meatloaf was great, though.