Ja Jian Mien

Ja Jian Mien
By Stephen Tsai

  • Serves 4
    3 Thai bird chiles, finely chopped
    1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
    1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 red onion, finely diced
    2/3 cup hoisin sauce
    1 pound ground beef, not too lean
    1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
    1 cup cranberries
    cornstarch slurry made with chicken stock (optional)
    1 pound fresh or dried Shanghai noodles
    1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, julienned
    2 carrots, peeled and julienned
    2 cups mung bean sprouts, picked
    Canola oil for cooking
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large saucepan over high heat and lightly coat with oil. Swirl to coat bottom of pan and, when shimmering, add chiles, garlic, ginger black beans and onion and saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add hoisin sauce and cook, stirring, to remove the raw flavor, about 2 minutes. Add beef and brown for about 6 minutes, breaking up any large chunks. Add Shaoxing to deglaze and add cranberries. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid achieves sauce-like consistency. (You can add the cornstarch slurry to thicken, if necessary.) Season if necessary. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles, cook until al dente, about 5 minutes for fresh, 10 for dried. While noodles are cooking, blanch bean sprouts and carrots in noodle water by placing them, separately, in a fine mesh strainer and holding in the boiling water. Drain noodles well and serve family-style, in a large pasta bowl. Ladle beef over and garnish with cucumber, carrots and mung bean sprouts.

Wine Notes:

2005 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir
Bright, fresh fruit aromas of cherry, raspberry and blueberry. Flavors of fruit with a touch of vanilla and spice. A very versatile wine, this pairs equally well with the Oven Roasted Pork Ribs and the Cranberry-Hoisin-Chicken Rice from this episode.

Tsingtao Beer
The spice from the Ja Jian Mien pairs beautifully with this malty beer.
>>This recipe appears in Episode #515.

Stephen Tsai's Ja Jian Mien