Literally translated as ‘fried sauce noodles’, zha jiang mian (炸酱面) is a Chinese wheat noodle dish with a chunky salty-sweet meat sauce that is made from fermented soy bean paste. It is what I call the Chinese version of Spaghetti Bolognese. The classic zha jiang mian normally uses minced pork in the sauce but I substituted that with minced (lean) chicken instead. Making the sauce is incredibly easy – the main condiments required are just yellow soy bean paste and sweet bean paste that are readily available from the supermarket. Enjoy!
Zha Jiang Mian Recipe
Ingredients (serves 3)
400g fresh Chinese noodles (la mian)
200g minced chicken
300g Japanese cucumber, shredded
250g carrot, diced
2 stalks spring onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp yellow soy bean paste
2 tbsp sweet bean paste 甜面酱
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the noodles for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly and divide into 3 equal portions.
2. Heat oil in pan and stir fry the minced chicken till meat is no longer pink.
3. Add all ingredients for the sauce and the diced carrots. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes till carrots are tender.
4. Ladle the meat sauce over the noodles, serve with shredded cucumber and garnish with spring onions.