For this recipe, you can choose your favourite noodles, your side ingredients or even your seasonings depending if you wanted it a sweeter or a savoury noodle dishes. This recipe is full of variations and when I stayed in PRC many years ago, I have a lot of exposure on this noodle and I found that none of them have identical taste..
Some minced meat sauce are very salty, really salty but some are on a sweeter side. Some used beef yet some used minced pork..Some have lots of side ingredients and some has none or as simple as a few cucumber strips or chopped spring onion being placed on top on the noodles. Some has very chewy big flat noodles but some used fine noodles. Some used the sweet bean paste (甜面酱） yet some used salted and spicy fermented soya bean paste (辣豆瓣酱）。Some sauces are very dark in colour yet some are much lighter.
This is a very common household dish for Chinese families in the Northern China. It’s popularity has extended to many fast food outlets, airport cafes, small restaurants or simple eating outlets. This noodle dish is sold because the sauce or gravy can be prepared in advance and when the customer ordered the dish, they just blanched the noodles and pour the sauce on top of the noodles and a no frill noodle dish is done within minutes. Customers like to order this dish because it is fast and tasty and economical that will not cost you a bomb.
When preparing this noodle dish, housewives usually prepare a big tub of the sauce that can use for months. This will be very convenience in cases where the housewives who do not have time to cook a dinner. They just cooked the noodles, reheat the sauce and an aromatic noodle dish can be served to family members. Therefore, it is very logical that for this recipe, you can prepare the sauce in advance and keep it in the fridge. You can eat it anytime when you feel like it.
i brought my kid to a Taiwanese restaurant in Singapore last night and my boy ordered this dish.. Obviously I am not impressed looking at the simple presentation of the noodle compared to the price I paid. I believed in a restaurant setting, the presentation can be much better and therefore I have decided to cook it at home since my kids like it.
This is my recipe and you can use this recipe as a guideline and adjust to suit your taste bud. I prepared about 500 grams of minced pork so that I can keep some of this for future use. I have used the spicy fermented soya bean paste commonly used in Chinese Sichuan cuisines. I have simplify the recipe as much as I can such that the preparation shall be fast and easy.
As per Wikipedia:
“Zhajiangmian (Traditional Chinese:炸醬麵, Simplified Chinese:炸酱面. Literally “fried sauce noodles”), also noodles in soybean paste, is a Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with zhajiang sauce (炸醬). Zhajiang sauce is normally made by simmering stir-fried ground pork or beef with salty fermented soybean paste. In Beijing cuisine, yellow soybean paste (黃醬) is used, while in Tianjin and other parts of China sweet bean sauce (甜麵醬),hoisin sauce (海鮮醬), or broad (fava) bean sauce (荳瓣醬) may be used in place of the yellow soybean paste. Soy sauce can also be used instead of the soybean paste. Zhajiang (Simplified Chinese: 炸酱) sauce also means fried sauce in Chinese. Although the sauce itself is made by stir-frying, this homonym does not carry over into the Traditional Chinese term, which describes the actual bean paste.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhajiangmian)
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings : 3-4 adults
Minced Meat Sauce
- 250 grams of minced pork or beef (牛肉或猪肉末）
- 50 grams of Sichuan vegetables (optional) （榨菜）
- 5 tablespoons of spicy fermented soya beans （辣豆瓣酱）
- 2 tablespoons of minced ginger garlic （姜蒜蓉）
- 1 tablespoon of sugar （白糖）
- 1 tablespoon of sweet dark soya sauce (optional) （甜黑酱油）
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water （1大匙玉米粉加3大匙清水）
- Dashes of white pepper （胡椒粉少许）
- 1 small cucumber （黄瓜）
- 2 eggs （鸡蛋）
- 1 small carrots （红萝卜）
- 200 grams of noodles of your choice （面条）
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut the Sichuan vegetables in 1/2 cm cubes and soak in the water for at least 15 minutes. Set aside. This is optional as the main purpose is to provide some thing crunchy to go with the noodles.
- Prepare the egg omelette and cut into thin slices. Set aside.
- Shred the cucumber until thin slices. Set aide.
- Shred the carrots and blanch in hot water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Carrots can be eaten raw, if you wish, you can omit this step.
- In a wok, put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, saute the minced ginger garlic until aromatic and light brown. Add the spicy fermented soya beans and the Sichuan vegetable cubes. Stir fry for 1 minute before adding the minced meat. Add 1/3 cups of water followed by the sugar, white pepper powder and dark soya sauce. Stir fry until well combined and let it simmer for 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken. Before off the heat, add the starch solution and once the sauce thickens, off the heat and let it sit in the wok for at least 15 minutes before serving. This will the meat to develop the flavour. You can take this opportunity to adjust the seasoning. Seasonings have to high handed as the noodles and other side ingredients are rather bland.
- Cook the noodles as per the instruction in the noodle package. Every noodle will come with the instruction . For this noodles, I blanched the noodle in the hot water with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil until soft, drain and set aside.
- For servings, put some noodle on the plate, add the side ingredients and pour on top of the noodles with some meat sauce. The serving is exactly like the the serving of spaghettis. If the noodles and sauces are too dry, add one tablespoon of hot water to the noodles to loosen it.
It make sense to prepare more sauce and keep in the fridge and when you are running out of time, you can still easily churn up a noodle dish for your family. Again, you choose the type of noodles and the side ingredients. This recipe is for reference as it is full of variations.
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