Zhajiang mian (fried sauce noodles) is a northern Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of ground pork stir-fried with fermented soybean paste.
In Beijing cuisine, yellow soybean paste is used, while in Tianjin and other parts of China sweet noodle sauce , hoisin sauce, or doubanjiang may be used in place of the yellow soybean paste. In the cuisines of Beijing, Tianjin, and northeastern China, the soybean paste is stir fried and oil is not used.
Some Chinese restaurants may refer to zhajiang mian as "brown meat sauce noodles" "noodles with fried bean and meat sauce". It is sometimes referred to by the nickname "Chinese spaghetti" in the West, which is symmetrical to Chinese calling spaghetti bolognese "Western zhajiang mian."
How to cook it?
The following is a rough sketch for making zhajiang mian. Consult recipe books for more detailed directions.
Dice scallions and garlic.
Stir-fry the ground pork until it is slightly brown. Remove the meat from the wok.
Stir-fry the green onions and garlic until they are slightly brown. (One could also add shredded tofu or soybeans to this step).
Place the meat back into the wok/frying pan.
Add the yellow soybean paste, sweet noodle sauce, broad bean paste, or hoisin sauce to the mixture with some water and simmer.
Serve this meat sauce over noodles. If desired, add condiments like shredded carrots, shredded cucumbers, bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, fresh soybeans/edamame and hot sauce.