Zha jiang mian is anorthern Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of ground pork stir-fried with Zha jiang (炸酱), which is salty fermented soybean paste .
In Beijing cuisine, yellow soybean paste with soy sauce(黄酱;) is used, while in Tianjin and other parts of China sweet bean sauce (甜面酱), hoisin sauce(海鲜酱), or dou ban jiang may be used in place of the yellow soybean paste. In the cuisines of Beijing, Tianjin, and northeastern China, the soybean paste is stir fried and oil is not used.
Some Chinese restaurants may refer to zha jiang mian as “brown meat sauce noodles,” “noodles with fried bean and meat sauce,” or the pinyin transliteration zha jiang mian.
The following is a rough sketch for making zha jiang mian. Consult recipe books for more detailed directions.
- Dice scallions and garlic.
- Stir-fry the ground pork until it is slightly brown. Remove the meat from the wok.
- Stir-fry the spring onions and garlic until they are slightly brown.
- Place the meat back into the wok/frying pan.
- Add the yellow soybean paste, sweet bean sauce, broad bean paste, or hoisin sauce to the mixture with some water and simmer.
- Serve this meat sauce over noodles. If desired, add condiments like shredded carrots, shredded cucumbers, bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, freshsoybeans/edamame, vinegar and hot sauce.
In Sichuan they seem to NOT fry the scallions at all. They are added chopped up, raw at the bottom of the bowl. Red chilli oil is also added to the bottom of the bowl. Red, broad been paste is used to cook the meat. The noodles must be mixed up before eating.
Zhajiang mian is a popular, rib-sticking noodle dish from Northern China. It has been compared to the Italian spaghetti bolognese. Brown bean sauce is found in jars at most Asian markets. Names of other sauces often used in this dish include yellow bean paste, broad bean sauce, sweet noodle sauce and hot bean paste. There is no hard and fast rule. Use whatever sauce you like and can find.
Eating Zha Jian Mian at an authentic restaurant there can be as interesting as watching a performance. The waiter would come with a huge tray containing bowls of ingredients ranging from diced garlic, tofu, shallots and yellow soybean paste. After selecting the ingredients (pick ALL if you are indecisive), the serving staff will throw each ingredient into a large bowl of noodles at an amazing speed, along with clanging sounds of the bowls. An eye-popping experience.
Come to Beijing for your wonderful food trip, make your China Tours more exciting.