This one-dish meal – noodles tossed in a delicious meat sauce with shredded cucumber – should be called minced pork with brown bean sauce, but that doesn't sound particularly enticing, so I prefer to call it Chinese bolognese. It calls for brown bean sauce, made from fermented soybeans and wheat flour and available in jars. In Cantonese, it's known as mo si jeung (in Mandarin it's tian mian jiang). Look for the Pun Chun brand, but if you can't find it, substitute miso.
2 tbsp brown bean sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp shao hsing (rice wine)
1½ cups chicken stock
4 tbsp oil
5 spring onions, finely chopped, separating the white part from the green
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
300g minced pork
1 tsp sugar, to taste
500g fresh Shanghai or Tianjin noodles
salt and pepper
1 medium cucumber, shredded
1. Combine the brown bean sauce, hoisin sauce and rice wine with the stock and mix well. Heat a wok and when hot, add the oil and white part of the spring onion with garlic. Stir-fry for 20 seconds then add the minced pork. Continue to fry until the meat changes colour and breaks up.
2. Add the sauce-stock mixture, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse off excess starch if necessary and divide among bowls.
4. Check seasoning, adding sugar if liked. Ladle meat sauce over noodles and serve at once topped with cucumber and remaining spring onion tops.