BEIJING FRIED SAUCE NOODLES: ZHA JIANG MIAN
It is commonly referred to as “Fried Sauce Noodles,” or Zha Jiang Mian. It’s so well-known in China that the simple mention of it conjures up images of the capital city. From street sellers to five-star hotels, it’s widely available.
Just another one of those foods that you don’t mess with too much, Zha Jiang Mian is one of those flawless dishes.
Of course, all the elements were present. However, there was no mention of how much money was involved.
It reminded me of getting lost in Beijing and having to ask for directions. “It’s ahead!” is the most common response you’ll get. Apparently, no one thinks you’ll need any more knowledge than what you already have. Is there still time? My search for landmarks begins here. The question is whether I should walk or take a cab.
I was both perplexed and perplexed as I studied the recipe. And grateful that she seemed to believe that I would be able to follow her obscure and ambiguous instructions without any difficulty.
With her seemingly incomplete Zha Jiang Mian recipe, it took two attempts to get it just right. Don’t be alarmed; it’s simple.
The noodles can be any kind of thick, flour-based noodle you like.
THE NOODLES: We enjoyed these wide, flat ones, but you may use whatever you choose.
If you can’t find it in your local Asian market, you can always get it online. Making the thick, dark brown sauce known as “tian mian jiang,” or wheat flour, sugar, salt, and sometimes fermented yellow soybeans, is a labor-intensive process. Fermented wheat flour should be the principal ingredient in the recipe.
It comes in a variety of packaging, including cans and plastic tubs. Hoisin sauce and sweet bean sauce can be used interchangeably, but in general, I prefer hoisin sauce since it is thinner, lighter, and sweeter than sweet bean sauce.
This meal is best served with a darker, more intense version. Just keep an eye out for the characters. Find it with the help of the staff at your local Chinese supermarket!
- 170 g of ground pork
- 8 oz. of dried wheat noodles
- 6 fresh finely minced shiitake mushrooms
- 4 cloves of finely minced garlic
- 3 slices of finely minced ginger
- 3 tablespoons of ground bean sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sweet bean sauce
- 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of julienned carrots
- 1 cup of julienned cucumbers
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon of oil (plus 1 tablespoon)
- 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1 oz. of finely minced pork fat (optional)
- 1/2 cup of julienned scallions
- For 15 minutes, marinate the pork in 14 teaspoon salt, 12 teaspoon cornstarch, 18 teaspoon oil, and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper.
- Stir-fry the pig fat in a tablespoon of oil over medium heat (if using). After 1 minute of cooking to render the fat, add the marinated ground pork to the wok. Cook for a minute to brown the meat, then add the ginger, garlic, and mushrooms and continue cooking. For the final 2-3 minutes of cooking, combine all of the ingredients in a large skillet.
- You’ll need to mix in all of the ingredients thoroughly before adding the water. Cover the wok and lower the heat. Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes, frequently stirring to prevent it from adhering to the bottom of the pan.
- While that’s going on, cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Toss the julienned carrots, cucumbers, and scallions in the sauce mixture.