Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

I recently started dabbling in Taiwanese cuisine and came across this recipe that is commonly made in Taiwan, comparable to the American spaghetti and meatballs made for children here in the States. It's considered a comfort food, served on either rice or Japanese somen noodles. It has a sweet taste to it so children like it, and you can make it with or without tofu. It is also traditionally served with sliced cucumber, but I have found that it doesn't make that much of a difference to the food. It is usually made with ground pork, but I avoid pork so I have only had it using turkey. I imagine it probably tastes just as good with ground beef as well. I will post my somen noodle sauce recipe soon, too - it tastes much better than plain somen noodles.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak the dried shiitake mushroom until soft and cut into bits.
  2. Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat and sautee the garlic
  3. Once garlic is slightly browned, add the mushroom and chopped shallots Add the small dried shrimp (you can purchase at any Asian market).
  4. After browning all the ingredients, add the ground turkey.
  5. Add soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, and 5 spice powder.
  6. Cover and cook until sauce thickens, allowing it to boil first then on low heat.
  7. NOTE: Not covering the meat will cause for your "sauce" to evaporate.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sliced cucumber on the side.
Most Helpful

I really enjoyed how different this recipe was! The changes I made were using 6 fresh mushrooms in place of dried mushrooms which aren't available in my grocery store. I also did not use the tofu. Other than that, made exactly as is. My only complaint was that I never got what I would consider a "sauce", it never quite thickened up, so I added a little cornstarch. I served it over rice noodles. The end result was definitely interesting, most notably the taste of cinnamon from the five spice. Was told to by the family to put this in the make again stack, so thanks for the new recipe!

jessiethebestie October 04, 2013

I'm sure that what I made likely didn't even approach Taiwanese cooking, but then I'm pretty new to that cuisine, so . . . What I do know is that I left out the shrimp & the tofu & used a double amount of the cucumber, along with the ground pork, & we was very satisfied with the results! Thanks for sharing the recipe! [Made & reviewed for one of my adopted chefs in this Spring's Pick A Chef event]

Sydney Mike March 25, 2011

Very tasty, and typical Taiwanese "little bite" or "small eats" (a.k.a snacks). It's too bad I didn't have cilantro on hand, because that would have complemented the flavor nicely. Other mods I made were to sub the olive oil for 1 tblspn sesame oil and 1 tblspn stir fry tea oil for more authenticity, since I've never seen olive oil used in homestyle Taiwanese cooking before. I also added a dash of chili oil for extra kick. ETA: I think the time frame must be a mistake, because it took me nowhere near 1 hr to put together. Also, the next time I made this, I added more tofu and cucumber to balance out the meat. I also took out some of the rice wine to add some chicken broth and soy sauce for more flavor.

melilia July 01, 2010