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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles aka "Chinese Spaghetti")

Recipe and photos updated from the archives June 19, 2014:

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 3

This is another quick and easy recipe using those lovely fresh noodles from Bamboodles Restaurant - San Gabriel. You can also use spaghetti noodles for this dish if you don't have any fresh Chinese wheat noodles available. In fact, Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles) is often nicknamed "Chinese Spaghetti" because of the similarities in appearance. Definitely not similar in taste though.

The sauce on these noodles comes from equal parts Doubanjiang (Chinese Broad Bean Paste), and Chinese Black Bean, and Hoisin Sauces. And like Italian spaghetti, you can doctor it up with minced garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Traditionally, ground pork is used, but I've substituted with ground turkey just fine. If you don't have any fermented broad bean paste available, you can substitute with Doenjang (Korean Soybean Paste). If you really can't find either broad bean pastes, you can also use Chao/Doufu Ru (Vietnamese/Chinese Fermented Bean Curd). This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to make additions or substitutions.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 4

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles aka "Chinese Spaghetti")

For 4 servings, you'll need:

16 oz Chinese wheat noodles or Italian thin spaghetti noodles
1 lb ground pork or ground turkey
1 medium onion, finely diced or grated
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tblsp Doubanjiang (Chinese Broad Bean Paste) or Doenjang (Korean Soybean Paste) or Chao/Doufu Ru (Vietnamese/Chinese Fermented Bean Curd)
2 tblsp Chinese Black Bean Sauce
2 tblsp Chinese Hoisin Sauce
2 tblsp Chinese hsiao xing rice wine or regular white wine

Optional: Add julienned carrots or cucumbers, chopped scallions or peanuts at the end.

Boil noodles. Drain. Set aside.

Finely dice one medium onion and finely mince 4 cloves garlic.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 5

In a saute pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and saute the onions and garlic until softened. Add the ground pork or ground turkey and saute until the meat is cooked.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 6

Now comes the flavor. Add 3 tblsp fermented broad bean paste.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 7

And also, 2 tblsp hoisin sauce, 2 tblsp black bean sauce, and 2 tblsp rice wine. Hoisin sauce on the left and black bean sauce on the right.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 8

Stir to mix. Taste and adjust portions if necessary. Add water if the mixture is too salty. Simmer for a few minutes if needed until the meat sauce is thickened to your liking.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 9

Pour the sauce over the noodles.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 10

Looks kinda boring, huh? Let's garnish with some julienned carrots and cucumbers.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 11

Hmm. What else was I missing? Chopped peanuts. Now, isn't that much better?

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles ie. Chinese Spaghetti) 12


Now, let's take a look at the original photo that necessitated an update. Not as bad as some of my early pictures, but you gotta admit, the julienned carrots and cucumbers and chopped scallions and peanuts really jazzed up the appearance of the dish.

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles) 1

Other noodle recipes:
Jaengban Gooksu (Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodle Salad)
Penne with "Italian Sausage" with Fennel
Pho Ap Chao Bo (Vietnamese Pan-Fried Rice Noodles Sauteed with Beef)
Shanghai Noodles with Ground Pork, Spinach, and Onions
Spaghetti alla Bolognese
Yaki Udon (Japanese Stir-Fried Udon Noodles)

1 year ago today, Calbee Seaweed and Salt potato chips.
2 years ago today, one of my favorite dim sum restaurants is now lackluster at best - NBC Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park.


  1. Delicious!I certainly have to give this one a try soon.Perhaps like now...thank you for sharing

  2. Yum. I love my mommy's version. :)

  3. Just yesterday, I was at 99 Ranch in the sauce aisle and I saw "Chinese Spaghetti Sauce" in a jar. I've been down that aisle many times before and never noticed it, and certainly had never heard of it. So, how apropos is this post for me!! Now I can try to make it myself!

  4. This sounds yummy! Wish I had some fresh noodles but I'll have to make do with dried. Will try making tomorrow. Thanks again for the recipes. :O)

  5. Noodles are the way to my heart. These look scrumptious :-)

  6. Oh, we also made zha jiang mien fairly recently. A month ago, perhaps? I think it'll still be a while before it gets posted.

  7. David,
    This one's super quick and easy.

    How does your mom do it?

    Huh! I wonder what the ingredients are in the jarred version. I guess it'd be similar to buying jars of spaghetti sauce. :)

    La Takahashi,
    Buy some fresh chow mein noodles and they'll be great with this sauce.


    Haha. I made this March 2009. :P

  8. Just a friendly suggestion: Your blog would look much more attractive and professional if you did not plaster each photo with "Wandering Chopsticks".

  9. Daryl,
    Sure it would, but then the websites that regularly steal all my photos and writing and recipes would find it that much easier to slap on their watermark on my pictures and pretend all my hard work was theirs.

    1. Then you are in a lose-lose situation. Make your blog better instead, and take pride in that.

  10. Daryl,
    By your definition, making my blog "better" would mean removing the watermarks and just giving them all my content to scrap. In which case, I wouldn't bother blogging anymore. Do you work for free? Would you keep doing it if someone else took credit for everything you did and made money off of it too?

    While I don't like that I had to resort to more intrusive watermarking, I think it's a small annoyance that readers can deal with in my attempt to prevent future thefts from happening. Most readers have been very understanding about my need to do so, as the watermark in no way interferes with their ability to try my recipes.

    I'm sorry you don't agree, but your nitpick did give me the impetus to update my FAQ to explain why I had to watermark my photos.

  11. Mm, looks and sounds delicious!I love quick meal ideas like this, especially as it allows for a lot of leeway. I can think of some other vegetables to add too plus lots of cilantro. I think I'm addicted to cilantro! ;)


  12. Jude,
    Ooh, lots of cilantro sound great. It would be a nice green contrast to all the bean sauces.

  13. I made this recipe using korean soybean paste, lee kum kee hoisin sauce and back bean sauce. It was my first time having zha jiang mian & I really enjoyed the dish. For those looking to try something new, I humbly suggest to try this out. As a side note, this is not the kind of meal you would get at your typical american-chinese takeout - it certainly had a more "authentic" taste to it (at least in my opinion). Anyone trying this for the first time should be excited and prepared for something new since soybean paste has a very distinguished flavour that many westerners are not likely to be familiar with.

    This is my first time visiting your blog. Do you have a suggestion for another practical & delicious recipe for me to try? My pantry has a lot of the staples & I love to stir-fry. I will provide feedback.



  14. J,
    I love hearing when someone gets out of their comfort zone to try one of my recipes and then likes it! So glad this zha jiang mian met with your approval. :)

    If you're trying to use a specific ingredient from your pantry, just type it into my search bar and it'll return a bunch of recipes that used that ingredient. Otherwise, you can also just poke around my recipe indexes and see if anything appeals to you.


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