Zha Jiang Mian translates to “fried noodle sauce” meaning that you must ‘fry’ or simmer the sauce and add it to the noodles later, almost like a Chinese version of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Although this dish is typically made with minced meat, I prefer the vegetarian version of it, with minced mushrooms that soak up the delicious flavors of the ginger, garlic and spice. No mince meat can do quite as well.
The choice of whole or minced soybean sauce is up to you. If you prefer a smoother sauce, go with the minced paste but if you like a more textured sauce sauce, then the whole bean paste is for you. Serve it with some great fresh noodles (preferably made without eggs just as the Chinese make them) and a handful of grated cucumber in a deep bowl and you’ll be set.
1 cup of Chinese soy bean paste (minced or whole bean is fine)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
600 ml (20 oz) of water
3 tablespoons of oil
1/2 tsp of Chinese 5 spice powder
6-8 king oyster mushrooms (finely chopped)
4 scallions (finely chopped)
2 tsp ginger (minced)
2 garlic clove (minced)
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
1 large cucumber (grated into long strips)
fresh noodles (preferably made without egg)
1.In a medium bowl, mix together soy bean paste, soy sauce, sugar and water. Set aside.
2. Clean and washed the mushrooms. Cut them up into chunks and lightly blitz them in a food processor until they are finely chopped or finely chop them up with a knife.
3. In a wok or large frying pan, heat oil on medium low high heat. Add minced ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a minute or so until fragrant.
4. Add chopped mushrooms, chopped scallions and Chinese 5-star spice powder. Stir-fry until soft.
5.Increase heat to high, and add wine and soybean paste mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Mixture should be reduced by half.
6.When sauce has finished cooking and is thick, turn off heat and let cool. Spoon over cooked noodles and garnish with grated cucumber.