Zha Jiang Mian

If you’ve never heard of Zha Jiang Mian, you have been missing out.  It is literally translated to “Fried Sauce Noodles.” The dish is comprised of a sweet & spicy sauce with ground pork on top of noodles and often served with julienned cucumbers.  It is one of my all time favorite Chinese dishes. It is really hard to find good Zha Jiang Mian, but it is surprisingly easy to make.

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Ingredients for Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 scallion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 thin slices of ginger
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • ¼ cup water chestnuts (optional, but gives a good crunch)
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
  • 2 florets star anise
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hot bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons shiaoxing wine
  • 1 cucumber

1. Slice scallions and red chili pepper. Finely mince garlic and ginger. Dice the water chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms and julienne the cucumber.

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2. Heat oil, add Sichuan peppercorns and star anise and cook until fragrant. Then remove the peppercorns and star anise from the oil.

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3. Add the ground pork and cook until browned. Then add water chestnuts, mushrooms, scallions, red chili pepper, garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the additional seasonings (hoisin sauce, hot bean paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, and shiaoxing wine). Place lid on the pan and simmer until sauce thickens (7-8 minutes).

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5. Place noodles into a bowl and then add a heaping scoop of the meat sauce. Then garnish with desired amount of cucumber.

Usually, I like to make my own noodles (I’ll post about that later), but you can used boxed linguine, or any asian wheat noodle you like to make this dish.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

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