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Beijing Zhajiang Noodles

COOK TIME
10 mins
PREP TIME
10 mins
RATE THIS RECIPE
(11)
COOK TIME
10 mins
PREP TIME
10 mins
RATE THIS RECIPE
(11)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried chile sauce laced with chile oil
  • 14 ounces plain wheat flour noodles or egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions and tossed with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons diced baby leeks
  • 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
  • 7 ounces smoked bacon lardons, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon fragrant oil (such as ginger and spring onion-infused oil)
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup chicken or pork stock
  • 1 tablespoon tian mian jiang or hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow bean paste or miso
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 small red radishes, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

Chef notes

Zhajiangmian translates to "fried sauce noodles" and is traditionally made with fresh hand-pulled noodles. It is a classic Beijing dish. There are many different variations — some are saucier than others — but I like the traditional Zhajiang noodle, which is slightly drier. I also prefer to add minced garlic as well as traditional leeks and ginger for the aromatics, including Shaoxing rice wine, Sichuan peppercorns and chile oil. I use smoked lardons instead of traditional belly pork (known as the "five layers of heaven," a reference to the skin, fat, meat, fat, skin) because of its smoky-salty cured flavors.

Technique tips: The trick is to dry fry the lardons in the wok until the fat is slightly crispy. Make sure you dice the bacon pieces into small pieces for a good bite.

Swap option: You can use small pieces of diced chicken or smoked tofu instead of smoked bacon lardons.

Preparation

1.

In two serving bowls, divide the sesame oil and chile sauce. Place the cooked noodles in the bowls. Set aside.

2.

Heat a wok over high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Add the garlic, ginger, leeks and Sichuan peppercorns, and toss in the heat for a few seconds. Then add finely diced pork lardons and stir-fry together for a minute. Add the Shaoxing rice wine, fragrant oil and dark soy sauce, and stir-fry together for 1 minute. Add the stock, tian mian jiang or hoisin sauce and yellow bean paste, and toss together well. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the pork is cooked.

3.

Divide the pork mixture between the two bowls and garnish with cucumber, radish and spring onion. Serve immediately. To eat, toss and mix all the ingredients well.

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