There are many versions of Zhajiang noodles in the eateries and restaurants, depending on which locality you are looking at. In restaurants featuring food from China, these noodles are topped with a blacker and perhaps oilier versions of bean paste minced pork and tofu cooked with dark soy sauce. This is the original version of ‘fried sauce noodle’ from which the other variations were derived. The Taiwanese version is ‘lighter’, with less oil and without the dark sauce (hence the lighter shade of brown). The Korean dish of Jajangmyeon uses fermented black soybean paste which is sweeter than both Chinese versions.
I’ve previously tried making the Korean version of ‘Korean Jajangmyeon (자짱면)‘, which was rather effortful but an interesting attempt to mimic the ‘Running Man’ diet. This time round, I would like to revisit the Chinese version – the lighter Taiwanese version – which has been lingering in my mind for a long time now. It is a teenage memory that formed when I ate this noodle dish at the Bukit Panjang shopping mall foodcourt. I remember very clearly how nice the meat sauce tasted in the noodles and how nice it would be if I could try making this dish myself one day.
Here it goes ladies and gentlemen. Finally. The result of a taste memory formed 16 years ago…
- Oil: 150ml
- Minced pork: 1kg
- Sweet bean sauce (甜面酱): 1 pack (180g)
- Soy bean sauce (豆瓣酱): 2 tbsp
- Tau kwa: 3 sticks (about 600g), diced
- Water: 1 cup
- Black vinegar: 1 tbsp
- Salt: 1 tbsp
- Spring onion: 1 stalk, finely chopped
- White jade noodles or thin rice noodles: 600g
- Cucumber: 2, peeled and julienned
- Heat oil in wok. Stir-fry minced pork till almost cooked.
- Mix in sweet bean sauce and soy bean sauce till evenly distributed.
- Stir in tofu cubes. Then add in water, vinegar and salt.
- Bring to boil and leave to simmer for 10min.
- Stir in 3/4 of chopped spring onions. Switch off heat.
- Cook noodles in boiling water for 5min. Drain and wash with tap water.
- Serve noodles with remaining spring onions, cucumber and 1 full scoop of braised minced pork and gravy.
- I used the black protein tau kwa, hence the ‘black cubes in the minced pork gravy in the pictures here. You can stick to using the normal white ones for the recipe.
- Add some bean sprouts into the noodles for a more refreshing and crunchier combination.