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Zhajiangmian in Handan.jpg
TypeChinese noodles
Place of originChina
Region or stateShandong
Main ingredientscumian, ground pork, zhajiang (fermented soybean paste)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese炸醬麪
Simplified Chinese炸酱面
Korean name
Japanese name

Zhajiangmian (Chinese: 炸醬面; literally: 'fried sauce noodles'), or "noodles with soybean paste", is a Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with zhajiang sauce. Zhajiang sauce is normally made by simmering stir-fried ground pork or beef with salty fermented soybean paste. Zhajiang also means "fried sauce" in Chinese. Although the sauce itself is made by stir-frying, this homonym does not carry over into the Classical Chinese term.

The topping of the noodles usually are sliced fresh or/and pickled vegetables, including cucumber, radish, edamame, depending on regions. Chopped omelette or in lieu of extra firm tofu can also be alongside. Low-fat dieters often use minced skinless chicken for the meat portion.



Zhajiangmian originate from Shandong province and is an iconic Northern Chinese dish. It is unknown how the dish came to be and only a few folktales are available.[1]

Spread of vegetarian Zhajiangmian to Beijing[edit]

During the Guangxu era of the Qing dynasty, after the Eight-Nation Alliance invaded China and conquered Beijing, The Empress Dowager Cixi, Emperor Guangxu and their retinues were forced to move from Beijing to south street in Xi'an city. While they were on their journey to Xi'an city, the Imperial Eunuch, Li Lianying detected a pleasing aroma, so he looked and found the smell came from a Zhajiangmian noodle restaurant. He then reported the information about the restaurant to Cixi and Guangxu. Due to the collective fatigue and sense of hunger after their long trip, Cixi and Guangxu decided to have a meal in the restaurant. Li Lianying ordered a bowl of vegetarian zhajiangmian. Finding it a tasty dish, they ordered another one. After dinner, Cixi asked everyone how they found the taste of the dish? They all replied "This is definitely a good noodle, good! Good!"[1] Shortly after, as Emperor Guangxu was about to leave and continue their trip, Cixi demanded that Li Lianying bring the chef who made the zhajiangmian to Beijing and the palace, so they could eat zhajiangmian often once they came back. This is the story of how the vegetarian zhajiangmian made its way to Beijing.[1]



In Shandong cuisine, the sauce is made with tianmianjiang and this version of zhajiangmian is commonly viewed as the standard within China.


In Beijing cuisine, yellow soybean paste is used to make the sauce.


In Tianjin cuisine, bean paste will be used to make the fried sauce.


In Cantonese cuisine, hoisin sauce is used to make the sauce.


In Sichuan cuisine, doubanjiang is used to make the sauce.

Northeast China[edit]

In Liaoning and Jilin, the fried sauce is traditionally fried with doenjang due to the influence of Korean-Chinese people in these areas.

Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong cuisine, ketchup is used to make the sauce.


A vegetarian version of zhajiang sauce may be made by substituting ground beef or pork with finely diced extra firm smoked tofu (熏豆腐乾), edamame (毛豆), eggplant, or extra firm tofu (素雞). The vegetarian versions generally call for soybean paste of any sort instead of soy sauce, since the tofu chunks are larger and need more structure.


A halal version is often made with ground beef or lamb.

South Korea[edit]

In South Korea, zhajiangmian has evolved into jajangmyeon when workers from Shandong were sent by the Chinese military to Korea.[2]


In Japan, the dish is known as ja ja men and the sauce is topped on ramen noodles instead of cumian. It is a popular dish in the Northern Japanese city of Morioka.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "说一说炸酱面的来历-好豆网". www.haodou.com. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  2. ^ Chinese, Korean and Japanese Versions of One Noodle Bowl and Where to Find Them, Westword