Japanese-style Ja Ja Mein (Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce)

Japanese-style Ja Ja Mein (Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce)Yes another noodle dish, I told you I loved noodles didn’t I?  You’ll love this latest noodle dish too, I promise.  I have been wanting to make Ja Ja Mein at home here in Seattle for awhile now.  It has always been one of my favorite dishes (yes, I have many) the spicy meat, chewy noodles and crunchy cucumber is happiness in a bowl to me.  There is no soup in Ja Ja Mein so it’s a great noodle dish when you want something a little different than a bowl of ramen.  It was always my go-to dish at the neighborhood Chuka Ryoriasan (Chinese restaurant) in Tokyo.

After My husband and I moved back to Seattle a couple years ago, I was a little hesitant to make Ja Ja Mein at home because of the noodles.  I’m not afraid to make noodle dishes, that’s not the problem, the problem was finding the same quality of noodles here  that I could get back in Tokyo.  In Tokyo I had every kind of fresh or dried noodle right at my fingertips.  I could walk to any of the grocery stores near our condo in Roppongi and find whatever I was looking for, no problem. I got very spoiled living there.

Well, here in Seattle it’s a different story.  I’m not complaining, I know I’m very lucky to be able to live in a city where large Asian supermarkets are all around me.  The problem was finding the perfect noodles.  There are so many different brands and varieties of Asian noodles available here but I could never find one that was close enough to the Ja Ja Mein noodles I had in Japan, until now.  I was so happy when I discovered that my local Asian supermarket was now carrying a variety of fresh ramen noodles.  I finally found one that was very close in texture and taste to the noodles I cooked with in Tokyo.  I am so happy that I can now enjoy Ja Ja Mein right in the comfort of my own home and share the recipe with you.

Note:  This dish is medium spicy so you can adjust the heat by using less or more of the spicy bean paste.

Ingredients:  (4 servings)

1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Tian mian jiang (sweet bean paste)
1 tablespoon Tobanjiang (spicy bean paste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil
10 ounces fresh or dry ramen noodles
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3-4 scallions, diced
1/2 pound ground meat (pork is traditional, but you can use ground beef or chicken)
1 Japanese or English cucumber, julienned

Preparation:

Combine the chicken broth, sweet bean paste, spicy bean paste, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a small bowl.  In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles according to the package directions.  Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water, set aside.

Japanese-style Ja Ja Mein (Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce)Place a wok over high heat until hot.  Add the cooking oil, swirling to coat the sides of the wok.  Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 10 seconds.  Add the diced scallions and stir-fry until almost translucent, about 2 minutes.

Next, add the ground meat and stir-fry until brown and crumbly, about 2 minutes, add the sauce ingredients and cook until the sauce starts to boil and thickens, about 3-4 minutes.

Before serving, toss the noodles with 1 tablespoon sesame oil to coat.  Place noodles on a serving plate and pour the sauce over the noodles.  Add the cucumber on top of the noodles and serve.

Japanese-style Ja Ja Mein (Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce)
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup Tian mian jiang (sweet bean paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Tobanjiang (spicy bean paste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 10 ounces fresh or dry ramen noodles
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3-4 scallions, diced
  • ½ pound ground meat (pork is traditional, but you can use ground beef or chicken)
  • 1 Japanese or English cucumber, julienned
Instructions
  1. Combine the chicken broth, sweet bean paste, spicy bean paste, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a small bowl. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water, set aside.
  2. Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add the cooking oil, swirling to coat the sides of the wok. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the diced scallions and stir-fry until almost translucent, about 2 minutes.
  3. Next, add the ground meat and stir-fry until brown and crumbly, about 2 minutes, add the sauce ingredients and cook until the sauce starts to boil and thickens, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Before serving, toss the noodles with 1 tablespoon sesame oil to coat. Place noodles on a serving plate and pour the sauce over the noodles. Add the cucumber on top of the noodles and serve.

 

Comments

  1. Looks so yummy!! :)

  2. I love this dish too and you’ve made it look easy. Must agree about noodles, my husband and I like ours al dente but some noodles are so soft, it doesn’t cut it for us. I sometimes use western spaghetti which works quite well.

  3. Oh this looks amazing! You had me at spicy. lol! I guess this is not korean style cha cha myun noodles right? Because it’s never spicy.. You’re right about noodles.. I love it when it’s chewy too. Really looks amazing!

  4. You know what, this is one of my favourite noodle dishes as well – have never tried making them before, but most definately will now! Thank you for the recipe, looks so delicious!!!

  5. Which brand of noodles are you using? this looks delicious.

  6. I am using the Sun brand of fresh ramen noodles. They come in a 3-pack and include the soup packets.

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