Zhaijiangmian (炸醬麵) is one of my favourite Chinese noodle dish. There are many countries in the East that serve this delicious noodle dish with many different ingredients.
For example, Korean people serve this dish with julienned cucumber, onion and yellow pickled radish. Beijing people like to cook the Zhajiangmian sauce with small diced pork belly and serve it with julienne cucumber, the white part of spring onions and bean sprouts. Taiwanese people like to cook the sauce with mince, extra firm tofu (豆干 or 豆腐干), chili bean sauce (豆瓣醬) and sweet bean sauce (甜麵醬).
A final example is people from Hong Kong who like to cook Zhaijangmian sauce with chili bean sauce and ketchup as the main seasoning ingredients then serve with julienned carrot, julienned pork and black vinegar. As with a lot of Cantonese cooked food the flavour of the Hong Kong style Zhajiangmian is sweet than in other places.
My grandfather and my mother like to cook Zhajiangmian sauce with pork mince, extra firm tofu and chopped finely green beans. They serve it with julienne cucumber and noodles. I personally use edamame beans instead of green beans and I normally replace the cucumber with julienned carrots and bean sprouts but you can change the ingredients to suit your personal taste. You can also use broad beans for this dish if you don’t like edamame beans or if they are not easy to get hold of. But remember to remove the thick outer skin from broad beans for better texture. If you use frozen broad beans bought from the supermarket you can soak them in warm water for 15-20 minutes then use your finger tips to gently squeeze the broad beans out of the skin.
When choosing your noodles try to go for a slightly thicker noodle than normal. These are a little more chewy and really add to the dish. I personally like my noodles slightly al dente so the sauce and the noodles combined taste better. If you want your noodles cooked all the way through that’s fine as well, entirely your choice.
You can also store the sauce in the freezer in small portions and heat up in your microwave. This will save you a lot of time when cooking dinner.
- 400 g noodles (You can use dried noodles from Chinese super market.)
- 300 g pork mince (or beef mince. I prefer to use pork mince that has at least 30% fat for the better taste and texture but you don’t have to do this)
- 6 pieces of extra firm tofu (finely chopped, you can find it in Chinese supermarkets, usually stored in the fridge area)
- 120 g bean sprouts
- 1 carrot (julienned)
- 1 bowl of edamame beans
- 2 tablespoons shallots (finely chopped)
- 3 spring onions (finely chopped)
- 1 chili (remove seed and finely chopped)
- For the Seasonings:
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons corn flour
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons chili bean sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- Heat up two tablespoons of oil in a wok and stir-fry the spring onions, chili and shallots until soft.
- Keep the stove at full power and add the pork mince and stir-fry until cooked. Add extra firm tofu and stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add sweet bean sauce and chili bean sauce. Stir-fry for another couple minutes and add edamame beans, water, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Mix evenly.
- Mix corn flour with a couple tablespoons of cold water and add into step 4 and mix evenly. Cook for another couple minutes and the sauce should be thick and look almost dry.
- Boil a big pot of water and blanch the carrot and bean sprouts. Use the same water to cook the noodles. Once the noodles are cooked, refresh in cold water and toss some oil on the noodles to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Put the noodles, carrot and bean sprouts in a bowl and put the sauce on top. Dish is now ready to serve.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||16 g|
|Saturated Fat||4 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||5 g|
|Dietary Fiber||13 g|