Taiwanese Meat Sauce on Rice (肉燥飯 / Rou Zao Fan)

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Once again it is Monday (almost Tuesday). The weekends always fly by too fast.

This past week was good. It was the annual Users Group Meeting (UGM) at Epic, so I stayed with a friend in Verona for a couple days to avoid morning traffic. The week went by really fast. The school year just started so my weeks get a whole lot busier. With AAIV small groups on Wednesdays, Harvest family groups on Thursdays, and AAIV large groups on Fridays, I have 3/5 of my weekday nights booked up already. This week was also my church’s week to serve food at a local homeless shelter, so Tuesday night was spent prepping chicken salad for ~80 people. This is to say I had a long, busy, albeit good week.

Weekends in general are just as busy as weekdays. On Saturday I went apple picking in Mt Horeb with a couple of friends. Got lots of Honeycrisp apples and had some hot cider. After apple picking we went to “downtown” Mt Horeb, had lunch at a place called The Grumpy Troll (we shared a 1.5 lb soft pretzel!!), and then wandered around the town looking for trolls. When we got back, we needed to get 150 servings of sandwich material for church lunch on Sunday, so we headed to Costco and I ended up getting a membership. I had been thinking of getting one for a while, but was never sure how often I’d use it. But these days between getting things for church and for the homeless shelter, I end up going to Costco more often that you would expect someone of my demographic to go. Plus, I really like wandering Costco. Not just because of the free samples, but also because they have a lot of random things that you won’t find at a normal supermarket like Korean BBQ pork jerky. It turned out to be quite delicious but a little too chewy for my jaw. After the Costco run, we grabbed some supplies to make apple crisp before meeting a bunch of other friends at Perkins for dinner. After dinner we made apple crisp to bring to church on Sunday. And then it was Sunday.

Sunday morning. I forgot to set my alarm and woke up at 7:45. What time did I need to be at practice? 8:00. Ruh-roh. Jumped out of bed and thankfully was only 10 minutes late. Sunday afternoon. Decided to make a Taiwanese dish for dinner. Went shopping and spent the rest of the afternoon cooking. Made a second apple crisp because most of us who made it on Saturday didn’t actually manage to get a piece of the first one. Just for reference if anyone wants to make the crisp, it’s just the recipe link that I pasted above, but halve the water (1/4 cup) and double all the ingredients in the “crisp” part.

So onward to the Taiwanese food. I adapted the recipe from Tiny Urban Kitchen but made some adjustments. I was aiming for 20 people or so, so I scaled the recipe up a bit. I skipped the mushrooms because one friend doesn’t eat mushrooms, replaced ground pork with ground turkey because one friend doesn’t eat pork, and replaced the shallots with onions and garlic (just ‘cuz). It turned out to be really good, but a tad salty. Next time I’ll cut the soy sauce more. But I’ll definitely be making this again.

Ingredients
5 lbs ground turkey
2 medium onions, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2.5 cups soy sauce
5 tbsp rice wine
5 tbsp sugar
2.5 tbsp five spice powder
2 cups water
10 cups cooked rice

In a large frying pan, cook onions and garlic until brown. Add turkey and brown. Transfer the meat, onions and garlic to a large pot.

Add soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, five spice powder and water. Bring to a boil then lower heat and let simmer for an hour or so.

Serve over rice. (I also served with stir-fried broccoli).

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