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Beijing-style Noodles (Zha Jiang Mian)

Think of this as a Chinese bolognese sauce! It’s full of rich, satisfying, porky flavours, with mushrooms added for a bit more vegie goodness. It’s easy to make, plus as the flavours are mild enough for kids, it’s bound to become a family staple. A noodle recipe you can all get behind!

WATCH THIS RECIPE

Beijing-style Noodles (Zha Jiang Mian)

PREP TIME
20 minutes
COOK TIME
15 minutes
SERVES
4
Ingredients

4 tbsp soybean paste

2 tbsp sweet bean paste (or hoisin sauce)*

2 tsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine

2 tbsp vegetable oil

400g (14 oz) pork mince

200g (7 oz) fresh mushrooms , finely chopped

¼ tsp ground white pepper

1 tbsp grated ginger

4 cloves of garlic, grated

1 whole star anise

3 tsp cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with 1 tbsp water

600g (1 lb 5 oz) fresh Hokkien or egg noodles

 

Garnishes

1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into 8cm (roughly 3”) matchsticks

1 carrot, peeled, cut into 8cm (roughly 3”) matchsticks

2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed, cut into 8cm (roughly 3”) matchsticks

Steps
  • Step 1

    Combine the soybean paste, sweet bean paste (or hoisin), soy sauces, Shaoxing wine and 250ml (8¾ fl oz) water in a bowl, then set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil for the noodles.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or medium-size heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Add the pork mince and spread out so as much meat is in contact with the base of the wok as possible. Leave it to sear until golden, then stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until just cooked. Season with white pepper.

  • Step 3

    Add in the chopped mushrooms, ginger, garlic and star anise. Stir-fry for around 3 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened.

  • Step 4

    Add the sauce to the pork mixture and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the pork to cook and flavours to combine. Add the cornflour mixture, and keep stirring until everything is lovely and thickened. Remove star anise and discard.

  • Step 5

    In the meantime, boil the noodles according to packet directions, then drain well. Divide the noodles among serving bowls, then spoon over the sauce.

  • Step 6

    Add some of the garnish vegetables to each bowl and serve.

  • Notes
    Notes:

    – A key ingredient is sweet bean sauce, or tian mean jiang, a sweet, fermented sauce based on wheat flour… that isn’t actually made from beans! You can find it in Asian or Chinese grocery stores, but if you have any difficulties getting your hands on some, substitute with hoisin sauce.

Is zha jiang mian Korean or Chinese?

Zha Jiang Mian is an iconic Chinese dish. Zha Jiang Mian originated in the Shandong province and has cemented itself as one of the most popular and notable dishes in Northern China. It is generally pretty unknown how Zha Jiang Mian came to be, or how it managed to spread far and wide throughout China.

What is zha jiang mian in English?

Zha Jiang Mian means ‘fried sauce noodles’. However, it is also commonly translated as ‘noodles served with fried bean sauce’. Zha Jiang Mian is also occasionally referred to as Zha Jiang Ramen.

What is zha jiang ramen?

Zha Jiang Ramen is another name for Zha Jiang Mian! They relate to the same dish, which consists of three main elements. The first is a meat component – generally, this is minced beef or pork but can also be diced stir-fried meat. This meat is then simmered in a dark, thick, salty, soybean sauce. Secondly, there’s noodles: zha jiang mian is served over thick wheat noodles. The dish is also commonly served with fresh veggies, most commonly cucumber, cut into matchsticks.

What are some other popular Chinese noodle dishes?

China has so many super delicious noodle dishes to choose from, and we have so many delicious Chinese recipes where noodles are the hero ingredient! There’s everything from Sichuan Bang Bang Chicken NoodlesCantonese Beef Chow Fun NoodlesShanghai Hot Sauce Noodles (La Jiang Mian)Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles and of course everyone’s favourite Chinese takeaway staple, delicious Chicken Chow Mein. 

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

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Debbie
February 15, 2024

Proper Chinese!

This dish is comfort food personified! It is so easy to make and the ingredients are all pretty accessible (or easily substituted, like the Lebanese cucumbers). My house smelt amazing whilst making this and tastes like proper Chinese food. I am already planning a remake very soon!

Anonymous
April 17, 2023

Lovely Marion.

How incredible your ease and technique is. Your flavours are inspirational. Never limited to a cuisine centric limitation. It’s has great space for growth for most watchers and learners. I run a Japanese delivery kitchen and you inspire my dishes.

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