Those who are fans of the TV series ‘The Return of Superman’ will definitely know the famous triplet babies. As I was re-watching the episodes the other day, the father of the triplets bought them the well-known Korean dish, Jajangmyeon (자장면); a noodle topped with thick, salty black bean paste along with meat and vegetables. The first time I had this noodle was when I was working in Singapore and there was one particular stall at the food court that sold it. I was skeptical at first, as such a dish was rarely found in Malaysia. It wasn’t easy to find the Korean black bean paste and the Jajangmyeon noodle. I was about to give up, until I found a satay black bean paste that could be used to make the Chinese version of it, Zhajiangmian (炸酱面).
I wasn’t sure how the outcome of the dish would be and all I wanted was just to finish cooking it with whatever ingredients that I had. In order to produce a richer and less salty taste with a slight sweetness in the sauce, the dark Chinese soy sauce was used. This resulted in a nice, dark black sauce appearance that gave a perfect combination with the black bean paste. Eventually, the dish turned out to be better than expected and everyone in my family kept complimenting how delicious it was. One could taste the aroma of the satay black bean paste with each and every slurp of the thick noodle. Well, of course, the only downside of this dish is that, your clothes may be stained with the sauce as a result of continuous slurping. But hey, who cares about eating elegantly when comes to enjoying a delicious food?
Noodles in Satay Black Bean Paste (炸酱面) Recipe
Serves: 4-5 pax / Prep Time: 10mins / Cook Time: 15mins / Level of Difficulty: Simple
- 3 packets Korean udon noodles
- 1/4 packet of spaghetti noodle (hubs dislike udon noodles)
- 500g pork slices
- 1/4 cabbage (chopped)
- 1 large onion (diced into cubes)
- 1/2 zucchini (diced into cubes)
- 3 potatoes (diced into cubes)
- 1/2 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1/2 Japanese cucumber (julienned thinly for garnish)
- 4 tbsp. satay black bean paste
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. Chinese dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- Salt, to taste
- Canola oil
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 cup water
1. In a non-stick skillet, heat up the oil over medium heat. Add in the bean paste and sugar, and do a quick stir-fry for about 5 minutes in order to remove some bitterness from the paste. Using a spoon, remove the paste from the skillet, transfer to a bowl and set it aside. *Note: the oil and paste does not mix together.
2. Scoop out the excess oil from the skillet, leaving 2 tablespoons of oil in it. Add in the pork slices and stir-fry until golden brown.
3. Add potato, onion, cabbage and cucumber into the skillet.
4. Stir-fry the ingredients until fragrant and somewhat soft.
5. Add the oyster sauce, dark Chinese soy sauce and satay black bean paste back to the skillet and stir well.
6. Pour in 1 cup of water and let it cook with the lid closed for about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and soy sauce. Add in the cornstarch and allow the sauce to simmer until it is thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
7. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the directions stipulated on the package.
8. Drain the noodle and place them on a serving plate. Spoon the black bean sauce over the noodles. Garnish with cucumber strips and serve immediately.
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