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’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.
- 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!
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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.