Zhajiang Noodles

A northern Chinese classic, versions of which are also popular in Korea and Japan.

This recipe is adapted from recipes from my father-in-law’s family recipe. There is a good page with recipes to make a more Korean style zhajiang sauce on Chinesegrandma.com.

Cooking oil
1/2 pound ground pork, beef, or turkey
1 cup of finely chopped onions
3 cups of finely chopped cabbage or Romaine lettuce
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1/3 cup ground bean sauce 黄酱
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 or more tablespoons miso sauce (optional, can also add hoisin sauce)
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons corn or potato starch, mixed with 3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Any type of noodles will work. I usually use the ‘wet’ noodles you can buy in packets from most Asian supermarkets, often the Lanzhou lamian 兰州拉面 type.

Cucumbers, raw garlic, other, chopped carrots, peas, cooked edamame etc.

Wash and dry cabbage/lettuce leaves, chop finely or use blender.

Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, then add cabbage/lettuce and ginger. Remove from pot.

Heat some oil in a wok and cook ground meat on medium heat, turning and pushing to break it up into pieces as small as possible. When all traces of red/pink are gone,remove and place in a bowl.

Heat 2-4 tablespoons of oil in the pot. Add ground bean sauce and miso/hoisin sauce if using. Stir frequently until hot. Add meat and mix well. Add vegetables and mix well. Cook for a few minutes on low heat, stirring frequently.

Add soy sauce, and chicken broth and stir. Add starch mixture and sesame oil. Cook until sauce thickens.

Make noodles, chop cucumbers into thin slices as long as matches and four times as thick. Bring everything to table and get all diners to mix their own noodles together with jiazhang sauce and garnish.

Published by

Jeremy Goldkorn

Danwei.com South African media entrepreneur who has lived in China since 1995. China, Media, Internet, Great Wall and Great FireWall, Chinese food, African music.