The weather wasn’t bad the other day so I decided that I would ride down to the Chinese market in Cranston because I just had to find some bean paste for noodles. It is only about 15 miles round trip, so no biggy. Until you factor in that the city has yet to sweep up the inches of sand they spread on the streets last winter. Or all the broken glass littering the streets that popped my rear tire on the way there. Or that RI’s drivers make Taiwan’s drivers look good. Or the fact I have to ride through the worst neighborhood in the city to get there. But it was worth it. I mean otherwise I would have had to walk half a block from my house to the bus stop and get off right in front of the market…what fun is that? Sure I could have used the 甜麵醬(tian mian jiang)/sweet bean paste I have in the fridge that is often used for the dish, but I wanted some 黃醬 (huang jiang)/soybean paste. I just had to have a more 北京的口味 Beijing style flavor.
Once you have obtained one of the requisite bean pastes it is about as easy as making spaghetti and meat sauce.
- 6 T bean paste 黃醬 Huang Jiang
- 3 T of sweet bean paste 甜麵醬
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- 1/3 c. water
- 8 oz. ground pork
- 1 green onion chopped
- 1 slice of ginger minced
- 4 T oil
- 1 t. of sugar
- enough chinese wheat noodles for four bowls
- 2 cucumbers shredded
- a handful of bean sprouts blanched
- black vinegar (such as Chinkiang vinegar)
- Mix bean paste and sweet bean paste with soy sauce and water.
- Add oil to wok and heat. Add chopped green onion, minced ginger and ground pork. Cook until meat changes color.
- Add bean paste and sugar. Stir and continue to fry over medium heat until the oil separates (comes to the top) from the bean paste.
- Cook noodles as to the directions on the package. Portion into individual bowls and place a portion of shredded cucumber and bean sprouts on top of the noodles.
- Top with a couple heaping Tablespoons of sauce and serve. A splash of black vinegar may be added if desired.
炸醬麵 Zha Jiang Mian is a dish that originates in Northern China, but I actually worked my way back to the Chinese version from where I first encountered it, namely Korean cuisine and, well, Korean Dramas if I am to be honest. The Korean version called Jjajangmyun is thick, black and appears in nearly every Korean Drama filmed. Also easy to make, but usually has more vegetables in it.
Maangchi has a good recipe/video for jjajangmyun here.