Lizzie Mabbott’s Chinese Spag Bol

Chinese Spag Bol is one of my favourite recipes from Lizzie Mabbott’s Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham. There are neither wine nor tomatoes in the recipe, instead minced pork is simmered in yellow bean sauce, hoisin sauce and soy sauce to create a rich meaty sauce with which to dress the noodles. There are plenty of delicious garnishes too.

Lizzie Mabbott Chinese Spagbol - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle overlay

Read my review of Lizzie Mabbott’s Chinatown Kitchen.

Lizzie Mabbott’s Chinese Spag Bol

As Lizzie explains, this recipe has little in common with the bastardised ragu we call Spag Bol in Britain – there are no tomatoes, nor red wine for a start – but it is made by simmering minced meat in a sauce and dressing noodles with the results. The predominant flavour comes from yellow bean sauce, with additional notes from soy sauce, hoisin and Shaoxing wine. Lizzie servies it with fresh vegetables and finely sliced omelette.
Servings 4 people


  • 2 free range eggs
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 spring onions, white parts finely chopped, green parts sliced into rings
  • 5 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 400 g fatty minced pork
  • 3 tbsp yellow bean paste
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 carrot
  • half cucumber
  • 300 g fresh Shanghai noodles


  • Firstly, beat the eggs. Heat 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil in a wok, or a nonstick frying pan, until shimmering, add the beaten eggs and cook them over a medium heat until set to make a thin omelette. Remove to a plate and set to one side.
  • Heat up the rest of the oil in the wok over a medium heat, add the spring onion whites, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant. Then add the minced pork, breaking up any clumps with your hands, and cook until browned. Add the yellow bean paste, soy sauces and hoi sin sauce with the water and Shaoxing rice wine and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it’s looking a little dry, add a touch more water.
  • Meanwhile, julienne the carrot and cucumber and set aside. Roll the omelette up and slice finely.
  • Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for a minute, then drain and place in a big serving bowl. Pour the meat sauce on top, then add the vegetables and omelette and stir to combine. Garnish with the greens of the spring onion and serve.

This dish is real comfort food and I can see why Lizzie has nicknamed it as a Chinese spag bol equivalent. We loved it and will make it again!

Chinese Spag Bol recipe from Chinatown Kitchenby Lizzie Mabbott

If you decide to buy this book after reading our content, please consider clicking through our affiliate link, located within the post and in the footnote at the end.

Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham is currently available on Amazon UK for £10 (RRP £20). Kavey Eats received a review copy from publisher Mitchell Beazley. Recipe text reproduced with permission from Mitchell Beazley.

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11 Comments to "Lizzie Mabbott’s Chinese Spag Bol"

  1. Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs

    Chinese Spag Bol?! Well I never! Sounds delicious although a little surprised by that haha. Looks like a good book all in all. I’ve seen it advertised and had a flick through and been quite impressed. Thanks for the review 🙂


    Glad the review was helpful, and yes, delicious dish. Of course, it’s a very Chinese mince meat dish, but it’s a clever twist for the name and a good reminder that there is so much similarity even in different cuisines.

  2. kaveyeats

    It’s still delicious without the egg and julienne vegetables so if you want to make it a slightly exotic but also still familiar plate, I’d say it would work very well!

  3. Jacqueline Meldrum

    That looks like an interesting book, I’ll have to look out for it. I rather like bastardised spag bol (veggie of course), but this looks like a much fresher take on it. I could easily make it veggie. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


    There is so much flavour from the various ingredients that I think this would totally work with a veggie mince substitute — in some recipes I think the flavour from the meat mince / fat is important but here, I think you would still enjoy a veggie version very much!

  4. Lucy @ BakingQueen74

    I have heard of the book but having now seen these recipes it is going to have to go on my Amazon wishlist right away. The rice-stuffed chicken looks amazing! thanks for the review, it is great to see some remakes of the recipes in a real life kitchen.


    Thanks Lucy, really glad to know the review has been useful. Hope you enjoy the book as much as we have.

  5. Janie

    I know you’re not s’posed to judge a book by its cover, but this one would be straight in my basket based purely on the cover!
    I love shopping in my local oriental supermarkets, but often have no clue what a product is or how to use it (and unfortunately the young staff can never help either), so I’m guessing this would be a great place to start on learning about new flavours?
    Janie x


    Yes exactly, we used red fermented tofu in one recipe, has never even heard of it before! 🙂


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