Thursday, April 19, 2007

Brown Sauce Noodles (Zhajiang Mian)

Yesterday, I went for lunch at a famous Taiwanese restaurant that has branches all over Asia and the U.S. While the steamed pork dumplings were good, the Zhajiang Mian was rather disappointing. I thought I should be able to do better since I've made it before so I went back to this book.

The author likened this dish to the Chinese equivalent of the Bolognese sauce and I totally agree. Just like making the Bolognese sauce, this is just as easy. That's why I'm submitting this for Presto Pasta Night hosted by Once Upon a Feast. Look out for the round-up!

Getting the right type of noodles is important. The recipe recommended fresh noodles but I could only find the dried versions at my supermarket. Basically, the noodles are the Asian equivalent of pasta, whether fresh or dried. Look out for labels like Shanghai noodles or if all else fails, ramen should also do.

I couldn't find any brown bean sauce as in the recipe so I substituted it with crushed salted soya bean which looked sort of like a brown bean sauce.

Brown Sauce Noodles (Zhajiang Mian)

serves 4

4 tbs crushed salted soya bean
1 tbs hoisin sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 cup spring onions (including white part), chopped
1 tbs garlic, finely chopped
500g (1 lb) minced pork
300g dried Shanghai noodles
1 cucumber, cut into long matchsticks

Mix the crushed soya beans, hoisin sauce, stock and sugar. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the garlic and 3/4 cup of the spring onions until the garlic is starting to brown. Add the pork and stir fry. When pork is almost cooked through, add in the bean mixture, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Drain and divide into serving bowls.

Serve the sauce over the cooked noodles together with the remaining spring onions and cucumber matchsticks.

Verdict: The sauce was quite salty but it went down well with the noodles and cucumber. Do a taste test and add more water, hoisin sauce or sugar accordingly. This was SO much better than the one at the restaurant and I'm glad I got that craving settled.


Ruth Daniels said...

The dish looks awesome. Thanks so much for joining in Presto Pasta Night fun.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delicious looking! I love that kind of dish and anything Chinese...

s.a.m. said...


mott said...


Stumbled on your blog while googling for Taiwanese Pork Sauce Noodles.

Glad to have found your recipe. Will try it tonight. Is there a name for the "brown bean sauce"?

I know in Taiwan, there is a bottle of this famous sauce. But I just don't know the name!

But will substitute anyway!!! Thanks a bunch for sharing !

Shirley Tan said...

Try Korean bean paste to substitute the brown bean sauce. Dilute the paste by same amount (in size) of water before use.

Korean bean paste link: