Zha Jiang Noodles
Put a large pot of water on to boil.Advertisement
Heat oil in a large flat-bottom wok over high heat. Add pork; cook, breaking up large pieces, until mostly cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is no longer pink and the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in black bean paste; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice wine; cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid has evaporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in reduced-sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper, tofu and 2 cups water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Whisk cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Add to the pan; cook, stirring, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; toss gently with the sauce to combine. Top with cucumbers and scallions.
Tips: Black bean paste or sauce is a salty and slightly sweet condiment made from fermented black beans. It adds funky, pungent flavor.
Shaoxing is a seasoned rice wine used for cooking. Dry sherry can be used in its place.
Dark soy sauce (sometimes called black soy sauce) is thicker than regular soy sauce, with a touch of sweetness. Thick soy sauce is similar, but gets a stickier texture and its sweetness from molasses. In a pinch combine equal parts regular soy sauce and molasses as an alternate for either.
Pressed tofu has been presqueezed to remove moisture. Baked tofu, which can be used as a substitute, has a similarly chewy texture and is easier to find. Look for it either with other tofu products or in the produce department.
Shanghai-style noodles are thick and chewy wheat noodles. If you can't find them, fresh Japanese udon noodles would work in their place.
2 starch, 1 fat, 1 lean protein, 1/2 medium-fat protein, 1/2 vegetable