Recipe & Video Chinese Noodles - Zhajiangmian

adventurousbaker

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Zhajiangmian is a traditional dish originating from Northern China and popularly eaten cold during the hot summer months. You can find this dish in many restaurants specializing in Northern Chinese or Beijing cuisine and a similar dish in Korean restaurants under the name jjajangmyeon.

The recipe here uses minced pork as the base – you can also use other meats or well-scrambled egg instead. Toppings are even more varied – thinly sliced cucumber is traditional but feel free to try other fresh/pickled vegetables like carrot and daikon, sliced omelette, fried peanuts, anything that you feel would go well!

Ingredients
(4 servings)

Noodles
270g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
175g lukewarm water

Sauce
1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
1 tsp minced ginger
1 green onion, finely chopped
150g ground pork
1/2 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 – 2 tbsp fermented soybean paste
1 egg
1/2 cucumber, sliced, for topping

Method
  1. In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, and baking soda together and mix it evenly. Then, pour in all the water and stir until clumps form.
  2. Knead in the bowl for 8-10 minutes until the dough is homogenous, your hands are clean, and the bottom of the bowl is clean.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside for at least 20-30 minutes. The time is not critical, so it’s possible to leave for longer.
  4. Meanwhile, start on the sauce.
  5. Heat oil in frying pan over medium high heat until hot. Add ginger and green onion and stir until fragrant.
  6. Turn down heat to medium and add ground pork to pan, making sure to break up the meat into small pieces. Once pork is no longer pink add the Shaoxing cooking wine and stir fry until wine is absorbed, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the diced green pepper and mix with the pork, cooking for about 1 minute.
  8. Add the fermented soybean paste and mix until even and pork is brown. You can adjust the amount of soybean paste to your taste.
  9. Turn down the heat to medium low and cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes. If the sauce appears too dry at any point, add a small amount of water and continue simmering.
  10. Lightly beat the egg and pour into the sauce, stirring quickly to prevent scrambling. Addition of the egg should lighten the colour of the sauce and thin out the consistency slightly.
  11. Once the egg is evenly mixed, turn up the heat and continue stir frying for about 2 more minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  12. Transfer into a bowl and let it cool.
  13. Back to the dough – take the dough out of the bowl and knead it a few times to make it even. Coat it with a little flour and rolling can commence. The goal is to have a 1mm thick sheet at the end, so if you don’t have enough space (or strength), feel free to split the dough into multiple sections.
  14. Using whatever method feels comfortable to you, roll the dough into a long sheet, dusting with flour on either side as appropriate to enable the rolling.
  15. Once you finish rolling, dust both sides of the sheet with a light coat of flour and fold it in the sheet’s long direction, being careful not to allow the sheets to stick together. The purpose of this is to make cutting much easier.
  16. Cut the stack of sheets into the noodles, 2-3mm wide, being careful not to press down too firmly on the sheets with the hand holding the sheets so to prevent sticking.
  17. Toss the cut noodles in flour to maintain separation in the noodles.
  18. Place the noodles into boiling water on high heat and immediately stir them to prevent clumping.
  19. Let the noodles cook, stirring intermittently. When the water beings to boil again, add a small amount of cold water to stop the boiling. Again, let it cook for a few more minutes, and when the water reaches a rolling boil, take the noodles out.
  20. In a strainer, place the noodles under the tap and run cold water to shock them. This washes off the outer layer of gluten and chills the noodles to give them a more elastic texture. Place the cold noodles into a bowl.
  21. Now comes the creative part. With the sauce and cucumber you prepared earlier, top the noodles in whatever fashion you’d like. Then, mix it all together, and enjoy your fresh made bowl of Zhajiangmian!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S62o_c8oMMQ
 
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adventurousbaker

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Unfortunately, I tried to post the directions for making this, but couldn't because it kept triggering a spam filter :(

I'll try posting it later. For now, the steps are shown pretty clearly in the recipe video.
 

Morning Glory

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Unfortunately, I tried to post the directions for making this, but couldn't because it kept triggering a spam filter :(

I'll try posting it later. For now, the steps are shown pretty clearly in the recipe video.
I'm not sure if you yet have permission to edit posts - but if you can't add the directions then add them below and I will edit them into the top post.

The only reason why the spam filter will block text is if it detects a banned word from a new member. This can be profoundly irritating if the word is being used innocently. One example which has come up is 'beating' which obviously can occur quite a lot in recipes and cooking discussions!I will check the spam filter to see if that's what has happened.

Anyway - this looks great and well done for making your own noodles. For some reason I never think to use ground (minced in the UK) pork very often so it has got me thinking.

1 – 2 tbsp fermented soybean paste

Is this the same as miso?
 

Morning Glory

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OK - as I thought, the spam filter picked up on a banned phrase - 'hard on' as in 'being careful not to press down too hard on the sheets'.

Unfortunately I have no way to override this! I can only suggest you post the instructions and substitute 'firmly' for 'hard' or re-phrase it. I'm really sorry about this.
 

adventurousbaker

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Ah ok. I changed the wording and added the list of steps below. Too bad the filter doesn't tell me what it picked up or I'd have changed it :)

[Mod.Edit: Instructions have been added to the recipe above (MG)]
 
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adventurousbaker

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Is this the same as miso?

It's not quite the same as miso although both are made from fermented soybeans. Miso usually has some other seasoning added as well that gives it a milder, sweeter taste. The soybean paste is much darker in colour and also a bit more liquid than miso - unfortunately it's a little harder to find than miso. The one I get looks like this:

soybeanpaste.jpg
 

Morning Glory

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Ah ok. I changed the wording and added the list of steps below. Too bad the filter doesn't tell me what it picked up or I'd have changed it :)

Yeah I know - the reason it doesn't is that it would alert actual spammers who would then change words slightly to get content through. Best thing is to PM me if it happens again unless you can spot the 'culprit' word yourself. Once you have made a certain number of posts it will stop blocking you. Its because you are a new member.
 

Morning Glory

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It's not quite the same as miso although both are made from fermented soybeans. Miso usually has some other seasoning added as well that gives it a milder, sweeter taste. The soybean paste is much darker in colour and also a bit more liquid than miso - unfortunately it's a little harder to find than miso. The one I get looks like this:

View attachment 43276

I'm wondering if its fermented black bean paste - I do have Chinese fermented black beans in the cupboard.
 

adventurousbaker

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I'm wondering if its fermented black bean paste - I do have Chinese fermented black beans in the cupboard.

Unfortunately not that as well :( The ingredients to make this paste are pretty simple - just soybeans, water, and salt. In some variants, a bit of flour is added as well. But depending on how it's fermented, there ends up with a million different variants and sometimes it gets confusing. Upon searching a bit more, I discovered this stuff is also referred to as Korean Miso. That might be a more accessible name to try to find it.
 
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