Melody Tan

A simple noodle dish.



Based in Singapore where it’s hot all year round, fashion influencer Melody Tan (@meowiie) often has to go in search of the seasons.
“When I travel I love looking at the colours of autumn around me,
I also love to plan my winter wardrobe and shop for new coats or boots”.

 

Her other passion, as a self-proclaimed “huge foodie”, is trying out recipes making the food she loves, something she fixated on even more during lockdown when a trip to the grocery store was the only thing to look forward to. “I would plan and plan! Some of my favourite recipes I tried include Vietnamese Bun Cha and a 10-hour ragù with fettuccine that I made from scratch.”

 

Writing from Sweden, where her boyfriend lives, she’s sharing her recipe for a seasonal favourite. “As we approach shorter days where the temperature slowly starts to drop, I definitely enjoy cooking more
hearty things like soup and stews, I find myself craving a lot of Asian
food during this time.”

 

Zha Jiang Mian is a time-honoured Chinese dish featuring pork in a fried sauce, but Melody’s version offers a lighter take that consists of lots of mushrooms and an option to swap out the pork with vegan mince. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or anytime when the elements are raging outside and you just want to snuggle up at home.



 

THE RECIPE SERVES 3-4

 

800g of egg noodles

Sesame Oil

Fried Shallots 

Spring Onions, finely chopped for garnishing

Coriander for garnishing

4 Eggs

 

FOR THE SAUCE

 

400g of button mushrooms

100g of dehydrated shiitake mushrooms

200g of minced pork or vegan mince

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

2-inch ginger, finely minced

5 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon sugar 

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 chicken stock cube 

1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce (la doubanjiang) 

Neutral oil for cooking

 


THE METHOD

 

Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for around 10 minutes. In the meantime, dice button mushrooms into small cubes. Set aside. Remove soaked shiitake mushrooms from the water and roughly chop them, we want some texture in the sauce. Do not throw away the mushroom soaking liquid!

 

Heat oil in a deep pot before adding in onions. After the onions turn translucent, add minced garlic and ginger.

 

Add pork or vegan mince and fry until cooked before adding in all the mushrooms, gradually stirring them around the pot until they have reduced slightly. Add the sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauces and black vinegar. Continue stirring.

 

Pour in the mushroom soaking liquid. Add the chicken stock cube when a sauce forms and starts to simmer over medium heat. Break the stock cube up with your spatula and continue to mix the sauce. Cover the pot and simmer on low until the sauce thickens slightly, this usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. 

 

Cook eggs to your liking - I usually like to boil them for 6 minutes so they’re hard on the outside with a runny, glorious yolk in the middle.

 

In a separate pot, cook your egg noodles as instructed on the packet. Toss noodles in some sesame oil and put them into a bowl. Ladle a spoonful of the sauce mixture on the noodles. Peel and slice egg and place on the side of the bowl. Sprinkle some fried shallots, spring onions and coriander on top. Serve with chilli if you prefer this dish spicy. Enjoy!