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Food

Chui Lee Luk’s Zhajiang Mian for the springtime

Preparation time
Cooking time
Serves
Serves 8 as part of a multi course meal

INGREDIENTS

1kg yang chun noodles

For the sauce

  • 500g lamb neck, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp rice bran oil
  • 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper, black pepper and star anise (grind equal quantities of roasted sichuan pepper and star anise to a fine powder to make this mixture)
  • 3 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 50ml Shaoxing wine
  • 3 tbsp tian mian jiang
  • 1 tbsp fermented black bean, finely chopped
  • 200ml light chicken stock
  • Dark soy sauce, to taste
  • Light soy sauce, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Couple of drops good quality sesame oil

For the vegetable accompaniments

  • Handful bean sprouts, trimmed of head and tail
  • Handful of sugar snaps, cut into 1cm pieces, substitute with peas, soy bean or broad beans if preferred
  • 1 stick celery, slivered
  • 12 cloves garlic confit (cover whole peeled garlic with neutral flavoured oil in a small saucepan on the stove, bring up to 120ºC and leave off the heat, let sit until garlic is softened, about 30 minutes)
  • Handful iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 6 swiss brown mushrooms, shredded, and dressed with some salt
  • 4 sticks green asparagus, shredded
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, finely sliced

METHOD

1. Make the sauce. The sauce is best made in a wok, however, a large frying pan serves as well. Place a seasoned wok over high heat and add the oil to the pan. Fry the pork in the hot oil, separating out the chopped meat so that the pieces aren’t in large clumps. Stir fry until just cooked i.e., the meat is pale. Add the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant. Then add the Shaoxing wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add the tian mian jiang and the fermented black beans, stir fry for a couple of minutes until the sauce once again smells fragrant. Now add the chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce simmer at low heat for 10–15 minutes until the sauce is quite thick. Season with the ground Sichuan pepper mix, add some light soy sauce if you prefer it saltier and a little salt and the sesame oil. The sauce is to season noodles, so the taste should be quite salty.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Separately blanch each of the bean sprouts, sugar snap, celery and asparagus. The intention is that the vegetables remain rather crisp so they should be refreshed under cold water after blanching and drain well. The vegetables can be served mixed together or kept separate for serving.

3. Serving the dish. Blanch the noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Rinse under a tap and then drain. Divide into individual bowls or on a central platter as preferred. Reheat the lamb sauce. Spoon some sauce on the noodles and add some vegetables to the noodles. Mix the elements together before eating.

Food
Preparation time
Cooking time
Serves
Serves 8 as part of a multi course meal

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