zha jiang mian


After I kept on talking about how great that Jajangmyeon at Shanghai Mong was, not to mention that she checked my blog this morning where a picture of the dish was smack on top of the page, my mother randomly decided to make it for lunch today- the Chinese version that is. I don’t know how she had the ingredients in the pantry, considering how they just moved to this new place and the nearest Asian store is like in Baltimore (60 miles away), but I can’t complain.

bean paste!
This is one of those recipes where my mother can’t really give you a definite measurement. As she always says, cooking is about adjusting to the taste at the moment. It’s not meant to be a procedural process. That being said, she tried her best to give measurements.

You can find all of these ingredients at your local Asian store. I hope you live close to one.

Ingredients (makes a good 6 portions or 4 large bowls if you’re not playing by the portion rules):

  • 1 cup diced Sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup Bean paste or doubanjiang (豆瓣酱)
  • 1 lb Mined pork
  • 16 oz Sweet bean sauce or tian mian jiang (甜面酱)
  • 1 Big onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 6 servings of noodles
Cucumber: 1 cup diced
Bean paste dou ban jiang: 1 cup
Pork: 1lb
Sweet bean sauce: 16 oz
onion: 1 big


Minced Pork!

bean paste

This is what makes the dish so “sweet” although it’s balanced out by the bean paste (doubanjiang)


  1. In a sauté pan with a couple tablespoons of oil, head the diced onions for two minutes or so.
  2. Add in the minced pork and stir until the pork is brown.

zha jiang mian

3. Add in the sliced cucumber and continue stirring to integrate everything together

4. Add in both the sweet bean paste and the bean paste. Mix so that the onion, meat, and cucumbers are submerged in the sauce. If you don’t use onions in this recipe, you’ll need to add about 1 cup of water. You don’t need water if you’re using onions because when the onions sweat, they’ll naturally release water.

zha jiang mian

5. At this point, the sauce will look a bit runny. Let it simmer and evaporate until it becomes a bit thicker. Leave it on medium heat for around 10 minutes, but you’ll need to keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t get too dry.

zha jian mian

6. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, prepare your noodles! After the sauce has reduced into a thick, gloppy consistency (it should not be too runny, just a little), add the tablespoon of sesame oil.

Zha jiang mian

7. Drain the noodles and transfer the noodles first in the bowl. Then pour a good ladle’s worth of the sauce over the noodles.

zha jiang mian

You can use egg noodles, wheat noodles, heck you can even use spaghetti. If you don’t have noodles, the sauce also goes will over a hearty bowl of rice.