Penny's International Incident Parties are so fun. They're sort of culinary word-association tests - say "dumplings" or "noodles", and see the cavalcade of different associations passionate cooks tease from them. For our last party, I was wanton with wontons. Now, let's canoodle with noodles!
You know those lists that start, "You know you're a... when..."? Like, "You know you're obsessed with food when you have cookbooks on your bedside table." Or, "You know you're a blogger when you begin to regale a friend or family member with a great story, and they interrupt you to say, 'I know. I read it on your blog.'" Well, I want to start one with, "You know you're a mum when you can make a killer bolognese sauce." Here in Australia, when you just can't face another uneaten dinner, pasta with bolognese sauce is every mum's little helper. Stacked in tidy bricks in my freezer, it conceals a myriad of grated vegetables, and still elicits shrieks of joy when it appears on the table atop pasta and covered in cheese.
Sometimes it does get boring, though, and you need to mix things up. At this party, I want to share with you our other family favourite - "Grandpa's special noodles," also known in our family as Chinese spaghetti bolognese. This is based on a traditional recipe from Northern China of wheat noodles topped with pork mince in a sweet brown bean sauce. Julienned or grated cucumber is added at the last minute, to make a dish that is true comfort food.
Zha Jiang Mian (Grandpa's special noodles)
Serves 3-4 people
Note: Australian tablespoons are 20 mL, not 15 as they are in the US. Please adjust accordingly!
400g dried wheat noodles, or equivalent of fresh, e.g. lo mein or hokkien
2-3 small Lebanese cucumbers
2 Tb vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 green onions, chopped
500g pork mince
4 Tb brown bean sauce
2 Tb hoisin sauce
2 Tb Shao Hsing rice wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp cornflour dissolved in 2 Tb hot water
Mix sauce ingredients (except cornflour) together and set aside. If using dried noodles, cook in boiling water, drain, and set aside. Grate or julienne cucumber.
Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the oil, drizzling it down the sides. Add garlic and spring onion and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add pork mince and stir-fry, constantly stirring to break it up. Cook for around 10 minutes until done. Add combined sauce ingredients (except cornflour). Cook over high heat for 7 minutes. Add cornflour and hot water mixture; bring to the boil, allowing it to thicken. Cook for a few more minutes and serve atop cooked noodles, topped with cucumber.
I hope you enjoy one of our family favourites. Make sure you check out all the other oodles of noodles below!
- Penny – Jeroxie (Addictive & Consuming) – Homemade ban mian with minced pork and mushrooms
- Christine – Christine’s Recipes – Spicy Pork Mince and Noodles in Crisp Lettuce Cups
- Mardi – Eat, Live, Travel, Write – Ginger scallion & Butter noodles
- Trix – Tasty Trix – Summer ‘Noodles’ with yellow and green zucchini with cool basil oil tomato sauce
- Shirley – Enriching your kid – Vermicilli Biryani with Tahini
- Natasha – 5 Star Foodie – Homemade Soba Noodles
- Anges – Off the spork – Handpulled noodles at home
- Joanne – Second Helping
- Cherry – Sweet Cherry Pie – Coconut noodles with honey glazed pork belly
- Tracey - Tangled Noodle
- Evelyne - Cheap Ethnic Eatz – Incidental Noodles
- Ms Baklover - Footscray Food Blog – Zha Jiang Mian
- Casey – Eating, Gardening & Living in Bulgaria
- Tamar – Koreanfornian Cooking – Tteokbokki
- Billy – Half-Eaten – Pumpkin Miso Noodles in Shitake Dashi Broth
- Nina – Consumed Food Love – Vietnamese Noodle Salad
- Suresh – 3 hungry tummies – Twice cooked pork with rice noodles
- Anh – A food Lover’s Journey – Taco Soba Noodle
- Lori – Wannabe Gourmand – Nonya Curry Laksa