Brown bean sauce (sold in cans in Asian markets) adds its own distinct flavor to this warming dish from northern China. If unavailable, you can use brown miso as a substitute. If you don’t want to make the garnishes, another option is to serve the noodles and meat sauce with stir-fried spinach.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
6 – 8 radishes, thinly sliced or cut into matchsticks
1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
Other ideas: Shredded lettuce, blanched mung beans sprouts, shredded scallions, blanched and shredded spinach
10 – 12 ounces Chinese egg noodles (I used 300 grams)
4 tablespoons brown bean sauce or substitute brown miso
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
Pinch of chili paste (to taste, optional)
3/4 lb ground pork or beef
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
Prepare the garnishes that you are going to serve.
Boil the noodles according to the package directions. They should be cooked to the al dente stage. Drain.
For the sauce, combine the 4 tablespoons brown bean sauce or miso with the 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and chili paste to taste if using. (Note: if you want more sauce, you can increase the amounts by half: ie. 6 tablespoons each brown bean sauce and hoisin sauce, 3/4 cup water, and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar).
Preheat wok on high heat and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, add the chopped garlic and stir-fry briefly until aromatic.
Add the pork. Stir-fry until it turns grey and is just cooked, using a spatula to break up the pieces. (Turn the heat down to medium if the pork is cooking too fast).
Add the sauce mixture and stir to mix well with pork. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring in the scallions during the last minute of cooking.
To serve: traditionally the noodles, sauce and garnishes are all served in individual dishes, and each guest can help himself to noodles and then add sauce and garnish.