|Zhajiangmian with Snow Peas|
It is one of those dishes that varies each time I make it depending on what I have on hand in the refrigerator and pantry. The theme is thick wheat noodles and a sauce of bean paste and ground pork. The variations are endless.
Yesterday's variation involved two kinds of bean paste, regular Korean soy bean paste (doenjang) and spicy Korean fava bean and chile paste (dobanjang), along with soy sauce, Chinkiang black vinegar, and dark sesame oil. Garnishes always vary, but I almost always insist on pickled mustard stems (zha cai), five spice-pressed tofu, and a green vegetable, in this case, some beautiful fall snow peas. The sauce was flavored with copious amounts of both ginger and garlic and I tossed raw green onions and cilantro leaves into the noodles while tossing them with the sauce. The noodles themselves: udon.
I no longer worry about the cultural mash-up that is my zhajiangmian, for this is a dish that has been adopted all over Japan, Korea, and China and is made with whatever suitable local ingredients are available. The best noodles I can get happen to be udon and the best bean pastes I can get happen to be Korean. And who cares? The results are spectacular!
|Cultural Mash-Up: Japanese, Chinese, and Korean|