Posted on | April 6, 2012 | No Comments
We were recently given an assignment by Professor Barny Haughton on “Writing a recipe” for the subject Sustainable Gastronomy, which looked at “A place at the table” and what food education meant and why it mattered.
Integrated with this recipe writing exercise, was a practical session where we would spend some time “Cooking and eating together. Drawing on food stories, favorite ingredients or dishes and the diverse food experience and cultures of the student group, we will together prepare, cook and eat lunch.”
Whilst I am known for my Ma Po Dou Fu and had brought along a few essential ingredients to cook this here in Italy, I had yet to find the shops selling Tofu or Soya Bean Curd in Bra.
So, what was I to cook to represent one of the dishes that I truly liked?
Looking at my “special” stock of ingredients and what was available in the market here, I quickly decided to present what is sometimes called “Chinese Spaghetti Bolognese“, the Northern Chinese dish called Zha Jiang Mian (炸酱面) or literally translated into English as “Fried Sauce Noodles”.
This is one of my favorite noodle dishes and whilst it is readily available in my hometown of Singapore, it somehow does not taste as good as the ones that I can find in the Chinese cities of Shanghai or Beijing. Here is my version:
Recipe for Zha Jiang Mian (炸酱面) – “Fried Sauce Noodles”
Portions: Serves 4 as a single dish meal or 8 as a starter in a multi-part meal.
Preparation time: approx. 15 minutes
Cooking time: approx. 15 minutes
500 grams Shanghai Noodles, Udon, or, Spaghetti
2 tbsp. Fine Salt
1 number Japanese, Lebanese or Telegraphe Cucumbers
60 ml Peanut Oil
1 number Large Yellow Onion
3 cloves Garlic
250 grams Minced Pork (Chicken or Beef can be alternatives)
3 tbsp. Black Bean Sauce (豆豉)
6 tbsp. Sweet Wheat Sauce (甜面酱)
1 tbsp. “Lao Gan Ma” Brand Spicy Paste (香辣酱)
60 ml Shaoxing Huatiao Glutinous Rice Wine (紹興花雕酒)
375 ml Chicken Stock (Beef Stock can be used as alternative)
To taste White Sugar
Method of Preparation
- Finely chop or dice garlic and onions.
- Julienne or shred the cucumbers. Keep these chilled in the fridge.
- Boil the noodles in salted water and keep aside after adding a splash of oil after draining.
- Heat Wok or Saute Pan over medium to high heat.
- Add Peanut oil.
- Add the chopped garlic and onion when the oil starts to smoke.
- Stir-fry until the onions are translucent, and start to give off its fragrance.
- Add the minced meat, and continue to stir-fry until the meat is cooked.
- Add the Black Bean Sauce, mix well with the meat and continue to stir-fry until the Black Beans are fragrant.
- Add the Sweet Wheat Sauce and stir well into the minced meat sauce mixture.
- Add the Spicy Paste and continue to stir the sauce.
- Add the wine to the sauce and mix well.
- When the wine has more or less disappeared, add the stock and simmer till the sauce is reduced to about 2/3 of its original volume, or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Separate noodles into individual portions.
- Pour about 1 small ladleful of sauce over the individual portions of noodles.
- Top with chilled julienned or shredded cucumbers.
- Serve immediately.
- Instead of just pouring the sauce on top of the noodles just before serving, the sauce and noodles can be tossed together in a pan and plated with the shredded cucumber topping. (As pictured above)
- May be served with Black Vinegar or Sichuan Chilli Sauce as additional condiments.
- Vegetarians can substitute meat and stock with a mixture of Tofu, dried Shitake Mushrooms and Vegetable Stock.
- Dolcetto d’Alba
- Langhe Nebbiolo
- Barbera d’Asti
- Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge
- Red Rioja Reservas
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