March 4, 2019

Zha Jiang Mian Fried Sauce Noodles 炸醬麵

Zha Jiang Mian Fried Sauce Noodles 炸醬麵

chinese noodle, Fried Bean Paste Noodles, pork sauce, recipe, Soybean Paste Noodles, Zha Jiang Mian, zha jiang noodles, 炸醬麵, fried sauce noodles
By Published: 2019-03-04
Here's a yummilicious and easy to make bowl of Chinese noodles that is an all-in-one kind of dinner.  I love making these noodles for dinner when I'm feeling a wee bit lazy or just plain ol' out of time.  This Zha Jiang Mian Fried Sauce Noodles 炸醬麪 is a classic Northern Chinese noodle dish that is topped with freshly slivered vegetables and minced pork sauce fried with soybean and tianmianjiang paste until fragrant.  It's a comfort dish that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  For such a simple to make dish, the rewards are super tasty and satisfying!  

chinese noodle, Fried Bean Paste Noodles, pork sauce, recipe, Soybean Paste Noodles, Zha Jiang Mian, zha jiang noodles, 炸醬麵, fried sauce noodles

We'll start with the toppings.  For the vegetable side of things cucumbers are fresh and crunchy and provide just the right snappy textural contrast to your noodles.  The cucumber is slivered to matchsticks to match the noodles.  Carrot is treated the same way but as it is harder I like to give my slivered carrots a quick blanch to cook partway, thus softening them slightly.  The colors look lovely, don't they?

You could add in or substitute with any vegetable you think would tasty good, like mung bean sprouts 綠豆芽, soybean sprouts 大豆芽, edamame 毛豆, radish, or even toss on some thinly sliced dried tofu 豆腐干.

chinese noodle, Fried Bean Paste Noodles, pork sauce, recipe, Soybean Paste Noodles, Zha Jiang Mian, zha jiang noodles, 炸醬麵, fried sauce noodles

The saucy meat topping is fried with two types of traditional Chinese pastes.  The first paste is the soybean paste 黃豆醬, also known as ground bean sauce or broad bean paste, a fermented paste made with yellow soy beans (the jar on the left).  This rich, slightly salty paste enhances the savoriness of the meat and provides the structure for the sauce.

The second paste is the tianmianjiang paste 甜麵醬 (jar on the right), also known as sweet bean sauce or sweet wheat paste,  a dark brown paste made of fermented wheat flour.  I love this sauce, it's finger lickin delicious, with a sweet yet slightly savoury taste that is just crazy yummy.  You might have tried tianmianjiang paste before while eating Peking Duck.

If you can't find tianmianjiang you can use Hoisin Paste 海鮮醬 as an alternative.  They are similar but definitely go for tianmianjiang paste if you can find it.

chinese noodle, Fried Bean Paste Noodles, pork sauce, recipe, Soybean Paste Noodles, Zha Jiang Mian, zha jiang noodles, 炸醬麵, fried sauce noodles

Stir fry the ground pork with minced garlic and ginger until well browned.


chinese noodle, Fried Bean Paste Noodles, pork sauce, recipe, Soybean Paste Noodles, Zha Jiang Mian, zha jiang noodles, 炸醬麵, fried sauce noodles

The soybean paste and tianmianjiang paste are added to fry with the ground pork and your meat sauce is starting to look good.  The sauce is reduced until thick, goopey, shining and gorgeous.

chinese noodle, Fried Bean Paste Noodles, pork sauce, recipe, Soybean Paste Noodles, Zha Jiang Mian, zha jiang noodles, 炸醬麵, fried sauce noodles

For the noodles we used Chinese oil noodles 油麵, also known as yow mein, which is egg noodles made with a bit of alkaline water 鹼水, also known as lye water or kansui.  This makes yellowed colored noodles that are springy and slightly slippery.  The noodles are cooked, cooled and then coated with oil so that the noodles stay separate.  We used the fresh noodles so we just needed to poach in boiling water for a bit to warm up.  If using dried noodles cook according to the package, making sure the noodles are al dente and not overcooked.

Note that traditionally Chinese wheat noodles (i.e. no egg) were used for this noodle dish but I think you can use any Chinese noodles that aren't going to end up sticking together.  To encourage not sticking together run noodles immediately under cool water after leaving the pot and then mix in a bit of sesame oil.

Everything ready!  The noodles are divided into noodle bowls and topped with a couple of scoops of glossy fried meat sauce and finished with handfuls of slivered vegetables.  Pretty as a picture, this noodle dish.  And if you want to go all the way and serve it authentic Beijing style, add a toss of roasted peanuts and a raw clove of garlic as well.  (The raw garlic is nibbled on as the noodles are eaten.)  Each person then mixes everything in their own bowl of noodles before tucking in.  Fun and yummilicious, what more can one ask for?

chinese noodle, Fried Bean Paste Noodles, pork sauce, recipe, Soybean Paste Noodles, Zha Jiang Mian, zha jiang noodles, 炸醬麵, fried sauce noodles


Zha Jiang Mian Soybean Paste Noodles Recipe  炸醬麵
(makes 3 big bowls of noodles) Prep time: Cooking time:

Ingredients 

1/2 carrot
1/2 cucumber
4 cloves garlic,  minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
10.5 oz ground pork, 600g
1 tbsp Shao Hsing rice wine
3 tbsp soybean paste 黃豆醬
1 1/2 tbsp tianmianjiang paste 甜麵醬 (or hoisin paste 海鮮醬)
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 servings oil noodles 油麵
1 tbsp spring onion, chopped to rounds
3 raw garlic cloves (optional)
3 tbsp roasted peanuts (optional)

Directions:
Wash and slice cucumber into 1/8" thick matchsticks 2" long.  Wash and peel carrot, then slice into 1/8" thick matchsticks 2" long.  Boil 3" water in medium pot.  When water boils blanch carrot for 1 min.  Remove carrots and let cool.  Keep the water in pot for use later to heat up noodles.

Heat wok over medium heat until hot, add 2 tbsp oil.  Add in minced garlic and ginger, stir for a few seconds, then add in the pork.  Use a spatula to stir, add in rice wine and break up the ground pork as it cooks.  After 2 mins or when the pork is completely cooked add in soybean and tianmianjiang pastes, water, sugar, and dark soy sauce.  Stir to mix, cover and turn heat to low.  Simmer for 10-12 mins or until the sauce thickens and is glossy.

If using fresh noodles warm by heating up the water in the pot again.  When water boils add in the noodles for 1- 2 minutes or until warmed and loosened then pour noodles into a strainer.  If using dried noodles cook according to the package instructions.  Separate cooked noodles equally into noodle bowls.  For each bowl of noodles scoop 1/2 cup fried sauce over then add a handful each of cucumber and carrots.  Sprinkle spring onion over all.  Add raw garlic and peanuts if using.  Ready to serve!




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