Zha Jiang Mian
Next pasta night idea: zha jiang mian. Think a heaping bowl of noodles with a rich meaty sauce filled with sauteed onions and a sweet bean sauce, topped with plenty of cucumber and green onions.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 662 kcal
lean ground beef, pork or chicken
sweet bean sauce
sugar, soy sauce and/or rice wine vinegar
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat some oil. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the meat, breaking it up with a spatula into small bits, until browned completely. If it looks like there's a lot of fat, you can drain it off.
Add the bean sauce, as well as the same volume of water (fill the can with water and add it). Mix until the bean sauce and water are no longer separate. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until thickened.
Season the sauce to taste with sugar, soy sauce and/or rice wine vinegar. You're looking for the sauce to be pretty sweet and salty, since it will get diluted when you add it to the pasta, so keep that in mind. I typically add a touch of vinegar and that's it, but feel free to tinker as you please.
When you're looking for the sweet bean sauce at a Chinese grocery store (near the hoisin sauce), look for this can, or search for these characters: 甜面酱.
I usually use spaghetti or fusili, but you can go more traditional and sub in a thick fresh wheat based noodle.