• Blanca Valencia

Zhajiang Noodles

Updated: Mar 11

Zhajiang Noodles is the recipe equivalent of Bolognese sauce with spaghetti in Northern

China and one of our staple family meals.


I lived in Northern China for two years where I fell in love with Northern Chinese food which includes a lot of wheat buns and noodles, like these.



Let’s examine what ingredients you should stock up on if you are novice. Don’t be afraid to bring a list to show to the shop or market assistants.



Serves 4

2 tbsp peanut oil

300g minced pork

1 tbsp ginger, chopped

1 green onion, sliced

A splash of Shaoxing wine

½ cup sweet fermented sauce (tian mian jiang) or hoisin sauce

Salt

400g wheat noodles

Various vegetables: cucumber, cabbage, carrots, peas


  • Put the oil in a wok and heat up.

  • Add the pork and sauté.

  • Add the ginger, green onion and the wine.

  • Add salt, hoisin sauce and water to cover the meat. Cook for 20 minutes at low heat until the liquid is reduced. Sauce should be seasoned with salt generously.

  • Julienne the vegetables.

  • Blanch the carrot, cabbage and peas.

  • Cook the noodles.

  • Serve noodles with meat sauce and vegetables on top.



A few shopping tips


Let’s examine what ingredients you should stock up on if you are novice. Don’t be afraid to bring a list to show to the shop or market assistants.


Sesame paste: used in Dan Dan Noodles and in countless other recipes.

Sesame oil: use to finish off fish and stir-fries.

Sweet bean sauce: goes by many names including Hoisin. It is made from soybeans and it is sweetened. For Zhajiang noodles I use tian mian jiang.

Sichuanese chili bean sauce: made from soybeans and chili. Amazing with ground pork and tofu.

Cooking oil: rapeseed, peanut or sunflower

Potato flour: key ingredient to thicken sauces

Dried shiitake mushrooms: umami flavouring in many recipes.

Smoked tofu, silken tofu, firm tofu: versatile and cheap. They absorb all the flavours.

Chili oil: drizzle over dishes

Sichuanese peppers: unexpected numbing and tingly lemony flavour.

Star anise: one of the most used spices in the Chinese kitchen, especially used in braising.

Chinese wind dried sausage: the key to amazing fried rice.

Chinese wheat noodles: different texture (chewy) to other wheat noodles.

Dried shrimp: Used in vegetable stir-fries to provide flavour.

Fermented black beans: earthy and salty ingredient. Provides a lot of flavour.



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