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Zha Jiang Noodles Recipe

Zha Jiang Noodles Recipe

Monday afternoon has officially become my food blogging day. Monday is the one day each week that I definitely don’t have work and Amelia is in the nursery in the afternoon. Right now with the summer holidays she goes to nursery on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and while recently I’ve been working on both of those days, I’m not on the Monday.

So on Mondays Chris is always out working the whole day so I play with Amelia, do some houseworks but in the afternoon I cook. If you read my last blog post you’ll see that I’ve started baking, which I’m really enjoying, but I wanted to cook something savoury for my blog. Monday is kind of like my preparation day for the week. I cook for my blog but I also cook many days worth of food for the week. For example I cooked the recipe below today but I also cooked fish pie which will last us at least a couple of days,

It feels really nice to be able to cook for my blog again. I love sharing recipes that I know and once I start university this autumn I really hope I can find time to keep updating this blog.

And yes, I mentioned university. University! One of the dreams I had as a young adult was to study at university and while I studied the equivalent of a diploma in Taiwan in cooking, I’ve always wanted to study something to do with art. Towards the end of my college course most of my class mates, including myself, applied to study illustration at Edinburgh College of Art (part of University of Edinburgh) and I was the only one to get a place on the course. I’m both really excited and nervous about starting the course but this is a real “dream come true” for me and I’m anxious to get started.

I feel nervous about starting a new course and meeting new people but fingers crossed my new classmates are at least as nice as my college classmates (well, most of them!).

Back to this blog post, today’s recipe is for one of my favourite noodle dishes; Zha Jiang Noodles (Zha Jiang Mian, 炸醬麵). My grandfather and my mother used to cook this noodle dish very often when I lived at home and I believe this was for quite a few reasons. First of all it’s really easy dish to prepare, has lots of vegetables and it’s pretty cheap. Essentially you can have a big bowl of hot delicious noodles in the same time it takes to make mash potato.

I altered the recipe a little bit by adding edamame beans as all of my family love these beans. The original recipe had things like finely chopped green beans but for preference I added edamame beans instead.

So that’s Zha Jiang Noodles, hope you like them.

Zha Jiang Noodles Recipe

 

Zha Jiang Noodles Recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • dry noodles no exact amount
  • 200 g pork mince or beef mince
  • 120 g bean sprouts
  • 1 carrot
  • 6 pcs dried bean curd finely chopped, you can find it in Asian supermarkets
  • 1 bowl edamame beans
  • 2 tbsp shallots finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions

Seasonings

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sweet bean sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp chili bean sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions

  1. Boil a big pot of water and blanch the carrot and bean sprouts. Use the same water to cook the noodles. Once the noodles are cooked, refresh in cold water and toss some oil on the noodles to prevent the noodles sticking together.
  2. Heat up two tablespoons of oil in a wok and saute the spring onions and shallots until soft.
  3. Keep the stove at full power and add the pork mince until cooked (the mince should turn white). Add dried bean curd and stir fry for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add sweet bean sauce and chilli bean sauce, stir fry for another 3 minutes. Add edamame beans (optional), water, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Mix evenly.
  5. Mix corn flour with a couple tablespoons of cold water and add into step 4 and mix evenly. Cook for another couple minutes and it’s ready to serve.
  6. Serve with noodle, bean sprout and carrot.

 

Zha Jiang Noodles Recipe

Tan Tsai Noodles

Tan Tsai Noodles

tan tsai noodles recipe

In Edinburgh the season has changed once again and it’s turned really cold now. I feel like I’m still recovering from our holiday where we had really hot weather but recently I’ve had a really nasty flu and so the weather in Edinburgh hasn’t helped. The best kind of food for this kind of cold wet weather is a bowl of hot and tasty noodle soup. So, today I’m sharing with you a famous Taiwanese noodle soup called Tan Tsai Noodles.

The story of Tan Tsai noodle began in 1895. There was a fishmonger, Mr Hong, whose family migrated to Fucheng from Zhangzhou in China where he learnt how to cook noodles while making a living catching fish. After some time he moved to Tainan in Taiwan where he still made a living catching fish.

In Taiwan there are two festivals, one called the Tomb-Sweeping Fesetival which is held in March and the other called the Moon Festival which is held in August. Between these seasons is a period called the “Slack Season” where fisherman can’t go out on the water, so Mr Hong began selling noodles.

His noodles had a unique taste and so became really popular so he then decided to sell noodles full time. During the beginning he would carry his noodles on shoulder poles so he could sell them in the streets, so he called these noodles “Slack season Tan Tsai Noodles”. These are known as “Tu Hsian Yueh Tan Tsai Noodles”. “Tu Hsian Yueh” means slack season in Chinese and “Tan Tsai” translates to shoulder poles in Taiwanese.

So, as you can imagine this noodle soup perfectly sums up my situation right now. Since coming back from holiday I’ve been experiencing a slight “financial slack season” and all of the ingredients for this recipe are easy and cheap to get hold of. But the most important thing about this dish is the price doesn’t reflect on the taste, it’s still incredibly tasty. It proves that both expensive and cheap food can be equally tasty. Personally, I like local market food rather than fancy restaurant. It tastes a lot more home made but good home made food is always better than restaurant food.

By the way, I finally took a final picture myself. Now it’s getting dark and with Chris’s work schedule he really doesn’t have time to take photos himself so he taught me how to do the photos. Hope you like it.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

tan tsai noodles inredients

 

Tan Tsai Noodles

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for the noodle stock

  • 1 chicken bone
  • 6 Prawns only use the shells for the stock, keep the prawns for garnish
  • 1 handful bonito shaving also known as Katsuobushi shavings
  • 3 Spring Onions cut into 3cm lengthways
  • 2 slices ginger
  • water

Ingredients for the mince sauce

  • 400 g pork mince
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rice Wine
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp rock sugar

Instructions

Procedure for the noodle stock

  1. Remove the shell from prawns and use a little bit of oil to sauté the prawn shell
    tan tsai noodles procedure
  2. Roast the chicken bone in the oven until the bone gets some colour on it
    tan tsai noodles recipe
  3. Put everything into a stock pot and cover the ingredients with water.
  4. Boil it first then simmer for 2 hours. It’s now ready to serve with noodle.

Procedure for mince sauce

  1. Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons oil and stir-fry the pork until it’s cooked on the outside.
  2. Add all the ingredients and mix them evenly. Boil it first then simmer around 30 minutes to reduce down half of the sauce.

Final procedure for Tan Tsai Noodle

  1. Poach the prawn and vegetable in a pot of boiling water first. After cook the noodle in the boiling water.
  2. Place noodle and some mash garlic (optional) into a bowl and pour some mince sauce on top. Garnish with prawn and vegetable and add the soup.