When I was a kid, my parents worked a lot. My family’s weeknight meals usually were dishes that’s tasty but more importantly, easy to make. Because neither of them had time to cook complicated things after spending a long day at work.
Growing up, spending time with my mom in the kitchen while she cooks was one of my favorite things to do. Watching her turning simple ingredients into a delicious meal for the entire family in half an hour, made me fell in love with cooking and appreciate those recipes she used.
Thinking back, those weeknight dinners with my family were probably the reason I find my passion for cooking simple home-style dishes.
About This Recipe:
I like to think of this meat sauce noodle dish (zha jiang mian) as an Asian-style spaghetti with meat sauce. It’s typically made with ground meat, shiitake mushroom and onion with a thick savory brown sauce for seasoning. It is one of my mom’s go-to recipes when cooking a weeknight dinner for us.
To make this dish, I normally start with sautéing shiitake mushroom, onion, ginger and green onion for a couple of minutes until the flavor and fragrance of these ingredients have been brought out.
For this recipe, I used ground beef. Feel free to use ground pork or turkey, they are equally delicious. Because ground beef is very easy to cook, I typically add it after the other ingredients have been sautéd to avoid overcooking.
Don’t have to wait for the beef to be completely cooked through (you can still see some pink spots), I’d pour in the seasoning sauce. The beef will be completely cooked later during simmering. This way, it will still remain tender.
The rich savory seasoning sauce is made by combining soybean paste, sweet bean sauce, cooking wine and sugar. Both soybean paste and sweet bean sauce are easy to find in any Asian market. If they are not available in where you live, you could always get it from Amazon with the links I provided in this post.
Every time I cook this dish, our kitchen is always filled with the mouth-watering aroma of the meat sauce. I can’t wait to get a spoonful of the meat sauce to pour over the noodle and start enjoying immediately.
To enjoy this dish the authentic way, you must try adding shredded cucumber to the side of the meat sauce. The fresh cucumber and rich meat sauce is a perfect combination! Not a fan of cucumbers? No biggie. Blanched spinach or bean sprouts are great choices as well.
I hope you enjoy making this simple home-style meat sauce noodle recipe. Thank you for stopping by, see you next time!
- 1 serving of noodles of your choice
- ⅓ cucumber, cut into match size sticks
- half a cup ground beef
- a quarter cup diced onion
- 2 dried shiitake mushroom, rehydrated and diced
- 1 tablespoon diced ginger
- 2 tablespoon chopped green onion
- 2 tablespoons oil
- For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soybean paste
- 2 tablespoons sweet bean sauce
- 2 tablespoons cooking wine
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- a quarter teaspoon sugar
- Cook the noodle with boiling water by following directions on the package, rinse under cold water, drain well and set aside.
- Whisk soybean paste, sweet bean paste, cooking wine, water and sugar in a container in advance and set aside for later use.
- Heat a pan under medium-low heat, add oil and stir in mushroom, onion, ginger and green onion, stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the onion turns translucent.
- Add the ground beef into the pan, stir fry for 1-2 minutes until the beef has turned color.
- Pour in the sauce, stir and mix well with the ingredients and simmer for about 2-3 minutes with low heat.
- Pour the meat sauce onto the noodle and top with cucumber to serve.
- Mix well to enjoy！