This dish is also referred to as minced pork with brown bean sauce. I prefer to call it Beijing noodles with Chinese 'Bolognese' sauce. A typical one-dish meal, zhajiang mian calls for brown bean sauce made from fermented soy beans and wheat flour. A reputable brand is Pun Chun. In essence, the dish is nothing more than cooked noodles tossed with this meat sauce, topped with crunchy shredded cucumber.
- 80 ml vegetable oil (1/3 cup)
- 5 green onions, finely chopped, white and green parts separated
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 300 gm minced pork
- 1 tsp white sugar, or to taste
- 500 gm fresh Shanghai noodles (see note) or udon noodles
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed, cut into julienne
Brown bean sauce
- 2 tbsp brown bean sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 375 ml chicken stock (plus extra to thin, if necessary) (1½ cups)
- 1For brown bean sauce, combine ingredients and mix well.
- 2Heat a wok over high heat and when hot, add oil, white part of green onion and garlic. Stirfry for 20 seconds, add pork and fry until meat turns white and separates. Add sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes (add another cup of stock if you prefer a thinner consistency). Season to taste with sea salt, ground black pepper and sugar.
- 3Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, rinse off excess starch, if necessary, add to wok with remaining green onion and toss through mince mixture. Serve topped with cucumber.
Note Shanghai noodles, eggless noodles made from wheat flour, are available from Asian grocers. To prevent them sticking together after cooking, add a splash of oil and toss through. This is especially helpful if you are cooking them ahead of time.