Monday 9 April 2012


I like having fun with food. I am certainly not a purist when it comes to cooking styles. I read a lot of recipes and watch a lot of cooking shows and what I learn shows on my food but not in the exact manner that I saw it. My recipes take on a few twists and turns as a result of inspiration, necessity or forgetfulness. I sometimes get a spark of inspiration from something or nothing and end up creating a recipe. Sometimes a new recipe is born from substituting an unavailable ingredient. Sometimes, I must confess, I cook something from memory but end up with a dish that's different because I simply forgot how to cook it.

This spaghetti is my take on jia jiang noodles which is a noodle dish topped with a spicy minced pork sauce. The usual noodle used is shanghai noodles_a flat thick flour noodle. Having all the ingredients save for the noodles, I used spaghetti. I have used the usual pork and black bean sauce but added tomato puree and balsamic vinegar. A topping of shredded cucumbers, spring onions and toasted sesame seeds finishes the dish and provides a cooling contrast to the highly flavoured sauce. A blend of the far east and the Mediterranean certainly works, sometimes. 

Yield: 4 servings


2 tbsps. cooking oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsps. grated ginger
2 medium or 1 large onion, chopped
500 gms. minced pork
2 tbsps. black bean sauce
1 tbsp. tomato puree (paste)
2 1/2 tbsps. brown sugar
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. sherry
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. corn flour
1 tsp. sesame oil
400 gms. dried spaghetti, cook until al dente
shredded cucumbers
chopped spring onions
toasted sesame seeds


Heat up a pan and add the 2 tbsps. of cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the minced pork, black bean sauce, tomato puree and brown sugar. Fry over medium high heat until the pork has absorbed all the seasonings. Add in the balsamic vinegar, sherry, and 1 cup of the water. Stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pork is tender. Mix the 1/2 c. of water with 1 1/2 tsps. of corn flour and thicken the sauce while stirring. Lastly, add the sesame oil. 

Divide spaghetti into four portions. Top each portion with a quarter of the sauce,  then with shredded cucumbers, chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. 

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  1. Looks fantastic to me. Since noodles originated in Asia, it seems this recipe takes spaghetti noodles full circle.

  2. Chinese spaghetti! How fun... :) Love the flavors and the pictures are beautiful!

  3. Sounds delicious and fully agreed with Angela's comment too.

  4. These look great. the black bean sauce is a great addition.

  5. This is one of my favorite meal!!! I used to go to this Chinese restaurant for this noodle, but they closed the restaurant. I should try your recipe. My recipe is so so, and I have been searching for my favorite flavor. Thanks Adora for sharing the recipe!

  6. How clever! This looks absolutely delicious!

  7. This spaghetti look delicious! I have to try this recipe!

  8. This is so clever. Great recipe. I'd eat a bowl or three for sure.

  9. Wow, this looks delicious and I love the flavor combinations. Beautiful photos. Not sure how I stumbled here but I am glad that I did. Have a lovely day.

  10. Wow, terrific. I'm going to give it a shot soon.


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