It's sometimes referred to as "Chinese Bolognese", but this Beijing dish translates to "fried sauce noodles". It's a winning combo – just-cooked wheat noodles, an ultra-savoury sauce turbocharged with chilli bean sauce, soy and Chinkiang vinegar, plus cooling shredded cucumber. Toss it through. Slurp it up. It's the only way.
- 75 ml vegetable oil, plus extra for bowls to taste
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1½ tsp finely chopped ginger
- 400 gm coarsely minced pork
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 100 ml chicken stock or water
- 3 tsp chilli bean sauce (see note)
- 1 tbsp sweet sauce (see note)
- 3 tsp Chinese dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp Chinkiang vinegar, plus extra for bowls, to taste
- 800 gm fresh thin Chinese wheat noodles (see note)
- 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways, seeded, cut into thin batons
- 80 ml hot pepper condiment (see note) (1/3 cup)
- 1 cup (firmly packed) coriander leaves
- 1Place oil in a wok over medium-high heat, add onion and stir-fry until transparent but not coloured (1 minute). Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant (20-30 seconds), then add pork and stir-fry until browned (3-5 minutes). Add sugar and ¼ tsp salt, stir to dissolve sugar (30-40 seconds), then add stock, chilli bean sauce, sweet sauce and dark soy sauce, and stir until liquid has reduced (1-2 minutes). Add vinegar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, sauce is thick and coats the meat (3-5 minutes). Keep warm.
- 2Cook noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente (3-5 minutes). Season 4 serving bowls with a little Chinkiang vinegar (about ½ tsp) and oil (about 1 tsp). Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with stir-fried pork, cucumber, hot pepper condiment to taste and coriander leaves.
Note Chilli bean sauce, sweet sauce, Chinese wheat noodles and hot pepper condiment (Lao Gan Mao brand) are available from most Asian food shops. The restaurant uses Fu Chi brand sweet sauce, available from most Asian supermarkets.