Zha Jiang Noodles

The name of this flavor-drenched dish aptly translates to "fried sauce noodles." A pork- and tofu-flecked sauce gets its savory powers from three layers of distinctive soy condiments. Tossed with thick wheat noodles, the result is satisfying and quite comforting.

Zha Jiang Noodles
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
8 cups


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 8 ounces ground pork

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh garlic

  • 2 tablespoons black bean paste (see Tip)

  • ¼ cup Shaoxing rice wine (see Tip)

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 ½ tablespoons dark soy sauce (see Tip)

  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 6 ounces five-spice pressed tofu (see Tip), diced

  • 2 ¼ cups water, divided

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 28 ounces fresh Shanghai-style or fresh Japanese udon noodles (see Tip)

  • 2 cups julienned mini cucumbers

  • ½ cup sliced scallions


  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

323 Calories
11g Fat
41g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 1 cup
Calories 323
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 14g 29%
Total Fat 11g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Vitamin A 92IU 2%
Vitamin C 4mg 4%
Folate 10mcg 2%
Sodium 758mg 33%
Calcium 65mg 5%
Iron 3mg 16%
Magnesium 14mg 3%
Potassium 181mg 4%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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