taiwanese meat sauce + a giveaway

i had a startling realization two days ago when eggboy made an observation that some friends of ours are well read. it occurred to me that, as someone who spends her days playing with sprinkles and spent her college years playing the xylophone at an institution where some teachers nearly pat you on the back if you almost fail your one non-music academic class in the name of more practice time, i am extremely far from being well read. extremely far.

but that wasn't my startling realization.  

my startling realization came when i told myself that after the wedding, by gum, i will read more with the intention of becoming better read, maybe even well read. and so i envisioned myself after the wedding, reading books and... suddenly having one million less things to stress out about, and a much much much shorter to-do list. and. ok. that was startling. 

what will i do when i don't have 1,000 feet of bunting to make? a seating chart to puzzle together? zillions of pies to bake??? where will i go on my monday nights that's not to my dress seamstress's house??

what do people do after they get married?1?!?!!!! 

i'll read things that aren't benedict cumberbatch gossip blogs, i'll go on a honeymoon, i'll write thank you cards, i'll sweep up all the sprinkles that people throw at us after we smooch. but then what? is getting married like getting into college, when you receive your acceptance letter and then only do dance dance revolution for the next four months until orientation? 

you guys, help!

should i join a curling league?

i guess i could start thinking about dinner more. i love making dinner, i just get into these ruts sometimes when i get carried away decorating a cake and then get so hungry for salty food that dinner becomes whatever i can make the quickest. (it's usually a vegetable and a starch covered in sesame sauce.) so when i'm a married woman, yes, i'd like to plan ahead for meals like this taiwanese meat sauce that requires over an hour and a few more utensils but is worth it in every way.

the first time i made it, i was such an impatient patty that i didn't even wait to get the proper ingredients. breakfast sausage was subbed for ground pork, onions for shallots, and rice noodles for egg noodles. it was great, but then when i finally got to the store and made it with all of the right ingredients, its secrets were revealed to me: the gloriousness that is chinese five spice, super soft egg noodles, all of those shallots... consider me in love.

this recipe is slightly adapted from short stack's brown sugar edition. if you don't know short stack editions, you must check them out! they're adorable little cookbooks centered around one main ingredient, and a new one comes out every other month. i imagine they'd make great holiday gifts :) 

taiwanese meat sauce

slightly adapted from short stack, vol 12: brown sugar

makes 4 servings


2 tsp vegetable oil

1 lb ground pork

1/3 c fried shallots (fry your own or purchase them at an asian grocery)

1/4 c soy sauce

3 tb dark brown sugar

1 tsp chinese five spice powder

1 tb rice wine vinegar

1 tsp black pepper

2 c pork stock or water

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled

6 c steamed rice or 1 lb cooked egg noodles

thinly sliced scallions, for garnish


heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat and cook the pork, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. add the shallots, soy sauce, brown sugar, five spice, vinegar, black pepper, and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

add the stock or water and bring it to a boil. pierce the eggs with a fork in four places and add them. 

cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour. the sauce will still be very thin.

pour over egg noodles, garnish with scallion, and serve.



if you'd like to win a copy of short stack, vol 12: brown sugar, leave a comment here with your favorite use for brown sugar! open to u.s. residents.