Zha Jiang Mian, or Fried Sauce Noodles, is a classic Chinese comfort food made from a luscious dark soybean sauce and ground pork, served over a bowl of thick wheat noodles. This recipe pumps up the meat and veggies per bowl to make a complete main dish serving.
So you know those tubs of black bean paste or sauce you see in Asian grocery stores? Well drop that can and walk away from the bean aisle in your regular supermarket if in a pinch because these are not black turtle beans at all! Nope and hopefully I am not the only one that feel a bit dumb right now. Turns out the main ingredient of these pastes/sauces is fermented black soybeans (douchi in Chinese). They are the base of many Chinese dishes with their sharp, salty and pungent flavors. Black bean sauce is truly the backbone of the Zha Jiang Mian dish.
China here I come
OMG guess what? I have huge exciting news! I am going to Beijing, China in February. Cannot tell you how freaking excited I am, I cannot stop talking about it. It’s a crazy time of the year to go but I found a ticket Montreal to Beijing for 507$ CAD.
Yep, you read that right and yes that is a round trip! And I already have my Chinese Visa in hand!
It will still be winter (infinitely milder than Quebec), polluted, and I arrive just after the first part of the Lunar New Year, days after the most insane time to travel in China. Quieter in the second week of the Spring Festival, the celebrations end with the Lantern Festival.
I will see the Lantern Festival in real life. And I will skip over to the Great Wall of China as well. It is going to be so amazing and this trip will become part of my crazy vacations list which will inspire many future posts I am sure. They eat weird stuff over there ya’know!
Chinese Comfort Food
What better way to celebrate this news with you than with a Beijing dish. And it would be a perfect side dish to these Honey Soy Chicken Thighs with Baby Bok Choi. Well technically it is a common dish found all over China and it slightly varies from one region to another. But it is particularly common in Beijing because the dish is served on wheat noodles rather than rice, a northern Chinese cuisine trait. I slightly modified this recipe on the Chinese Grandma blog so a serving would satisfy as a single main dish. Zha Jiang Mian is the ultimate comfort food in China, it is their Mac and Cheese.
Zha Jiang Mian is luscious, meaty, hearty and salty. But impossible (for me) to eat with chopsticks lol!
Zha Jiang Mian | Chinese Pork Sauce Noodles
- 1 pound ground pork
- Cooking oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cups napa cabbage
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 cup thin sliced mushrooms
- 2 slices ginger
- 1/3 cup black bean sauce ground
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure sesame oil
- cooked zha jiang noodles or udon noodles
- small cucumber julienned
- Prep your veggies: Chop onions in 1/4" dice. Chop the leafy part of the napa cabbage in large pieces around 2 inches big and chop in 1/4" dice the stalk (white parts). Chop zucchini in 1/4" dice. Slice mushrooms in thin slices.
- Over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Cook onions until softened; remove and set aside in a big bowl. Add a little oil and cook cabbage until almost translucent; remove and add to onions in bowl. Add zucchini and mushrooms, cook briefly until softened, add to the bowl.
- Add a bit more oil to the skillet and cook ground pork until no more pink is visible, remove and set aside in a bowl.
- Add 3 tablespoons of oil and the slices of ginger to the skillet. Mix in the ground bean sauce and hoisin sauce. Stir until the sauces are just bubbling. Mix the pork back into the skillet and cook for another minute. Remove the ginger slices and mix back in all the vegetables. Stir well until everything is coated.
- Stir in the soy sauce, water and chicken broth. Mix cornstarch with water and add it to the skillet. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in well the sesame oil at the end.
- Slice cucumber thinly on the diagonal. Then take one little stack of cucumber slices at a time and cut thin matchsticks. Set aside for garnish.
- Serve the sauce over a portion of cooked noddles and top with a small bunch of julienned cucumbers.
Here are a few more authentic Chinese recipes for you to try: