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Beijing Style Bolognese (ZhaJiang Mian)

kelea Apr 10, 2008 09:32 AM

Does anyone know where to get this in NYC? I just came back from BJ and am craving for this dish?

  1. designerboy01 May 22, 2008 11:23 PM

    Most Shanghainese restaurants have this on their menu. Even places like Ollies on Broadway or the Mee Noodle Shops have them, but its Cantonese. Wonton Garden on Mott Street use to do sour and spicy one which isn't really like the authentic dish, but was still fun to eat. I haven't had this in a long time so I have no idea what it is like today.

    Some Korean restaurant have this dish. I think the history was that some Chinese immigrated to Korea during the war in the 50s. They bought this dish over and it became popular with the Koreans. The Koreans also have an instant version of ZhaJiang Mian which I used to keep in my cabinet for an emergency meal fix. Yu can get it at any Korean market. It did the job. I find it diificult to find a restaurant that cooks a good quality one. The ones I used to know went downhill as costs got more and people started using cheaper ingredients. I used to make it when I had the craving, but I don't remember off the top of my head. I make reservations more than meals these days. Some people say this is the dish that is mother of sphagetti and meat sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: designerboy01
      scoopG May 23, 2008 05:52 AM

      In Chinatown, Grand Sichuan (125 Canal,) Dumpling House (118A Eldridge,) and Prosperity Dumplings (46 Eldridge Street) all offer 炸醬麵 - Zha Jiang Mian. Grand Sichuan's version is so-so but better than Prosperity's take on it which is mostly oily noodles with very little meat.

      1. re: scoopG
        n
        NancyC Jun 25, 2008 08:01 PM

        Ooo...I'd probably like Prosperity's, then. That's how my mom makes it and that's how I like it...not so much a sauce, just meat and soybeans and the oil from the meat just glides over the noodles.

        I haven't had the heart to try the Chinese version of this dish in New York yet. I've had the Korean version (blech) and the Japanese version (bland). Since I'm used to the "oily" version, the Korean version is especially weird to me...so much thick, black sauce! Might have to wait until I have time for Flushing...

    2. l
      Lau Apr 16, 2008 06:52 AM

      i just thought of somewhere u can try that may make it decently

      go try dumpling house on eldridge...they have a new menu that has alot more than dumplings now (all northern chinese stuff) and i remember they have zha jiang mian

      1. k
        KittyK Apr 16, 2008 05:47 AM

        My friend has ordered this dish at Shanghai Cafe (100 Mott St) in Chinatown.

        Can't say if its good or not, I've never had it anywhere else, so I have nothing to compare it to.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KittyK
          l
          Lau Apr 16, 2008 06:50 AM

          ive had it there, its not good...its very bland

        2. diablofoodie Apr 15, 2008 05:56 PM

          Nooo!!! Sorry, I must protest. Beifang de zhajiangmian he hanguode zhajiangmian shifen buyiyang! These two are two totally different creatures. They once shared a common ancestor, but the Korean and the Northern Chinese zhajiang mian are as similar as German schnitzel and Japanese pork katsu. Love them both but you will be disappointed if you go to a Korean place for Beijing cai. Second the Flushing rec. No good northern food in Old Chinatown that I've heard of.

          4 Replies
          1. re: diablofoodie
            l
            Lau Apr 15, 2008 06:04 PM

            haha i agree with u, but thought id throw it out there

            1. re: diablofoodie
              b
              bearmi Apr 15, 2008 06:43 PM

              I agree too. Korean and Northern Chinese versions are different in both the sauce and the noodle they use. I think the Korean version has a darker sauce (maybe a little sweeter sometimes?). I have also had Zha-Jiang-Mian in Hong Kong /Cantonese restaurants and they are still a little different from the Northern Chinese version. I think maybe the bean paste is different?.

              1. re: diablofoodie
                Brian S Apr 15, 2008 08:16 PM

                The old Waterfront Int'l restaurant in Flushing, which features Manchurian cuisine, had it. (Their name and menu have changed slightly)... .dont know if it is the Chinese or Korean version, since their cuisine is influenced by both.

                http://petercherches.blogspot.com/200...

                1. re: Brian S
                  l
                  Lau Apr 15, 2008 08:42 PM

                  yeah thats probably the best bet to go check (Brian S is always good for recs!). The people who run that restaurant are chinese, they're just from close to Korea (all the korean-chinese dishes are takes on northern chinese dishes)

              2. kelea Apr 14, 2008 08:51 AM

                Thanks for all the input! I guess I'm going to just have to have a go at it myself and try to recreate the magic. (Flushing is just too far to travel just for noodles)

                3 Replies
                1. re: kelea
                  l
                  Lau Apr 14, 2008 09:27 AM

                  its actually not very far if u take the LIRR (15 mins), but the 7 takes forever

                  1. re: Lau
                    n
                    nycgirl08 Apr 14, 2008 01:47 PM

                    They have the korean version at Shanghai mong in Ktown.

                  2. re: kelea
                    bigjeff Jun 25, 2008 09:49 PM

                    while I'd disagree that anywhere is too far to travel for noodles, I just stick with the homemade version from my mom (which probably isn't correct anyway): diced smoked tofu, carrot, ground pork, diced string beans and maybe some other veg, all in a dark sauce (some fermented soy bean paste prolly, some hoisin, etc.) and served over spaghettini or some chinese noodle (I like it with shanghai noodles).

                  3. c
                    Chandavkl Apr 11, 2008 04:23 PM

                    On the West Coast this dish is ubiquitous in Korean style Chinese restaurants, and only found in those restaurants. I suspect Koreatown might be your best bet.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chandavkl
                      Miss Needle Apr 11, 2008 04:35 PM

                      I think what kelea is looking for is a bit different than the Korean-Chinese hybrid. I've had both styles, preferring the hybrid you mentioned.

                      1. re: Miss Needle
                        l
                        Lau Apr 13, 2008 10:16 PM

                        as said above, hyo dong gak does have the korean version of zha jiang mian and its pretty decent

                        all of the places ive tried it at in ctown are really bad versions (the real deal is awesome)

                        try posting on the outer boards b/c im sure you can find better in flushing although off the top of my head i cant think of anywhere

                    2. p
                      Pan Apr 11, 2008 03:07 PM

                      I've had decent Zha Jiang Mian at Yeah Shanghai on Bayard St., but I doubt it will rival what you're used to in Beijing.

                      1. E Eto Apr 10, 2008 11:28 AM

                        In Chinatown, I discovered a noodle dish that I like called "noodles in Peking sauce" at Excellent Dumpling House about 18 years ago, and I go by there now and again and find that they haven't changed much. I just looked at the chinese character on the menu for it: 炸醬麵 -- zhajiang mian. It just dawned on me after I saw the photo on the Wikipedia page that it looks like the noodles I've always developed a liking for.
                        In Elmhurst, there's a noodle dish similar to this at Lao Bei Fong dumpling house. I'll check the menu for the Chinese character for that too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: E Eto
                          g
                          gloriousfood Apr 15, 2008 06:28 PM

                          I agree that in a pinch, Excellent Dumpling House serves a passable and good zhajiang main. In fact, your post encouraged me to try it today (it's been a while). Still good.

                        2. Ora Apr 10, 2008 10:34 AM

                          I never heard of this dish before, but it sure does look yummy here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhajiang...
                          I wonder if a beef version is made anywhere in NYC??

                          1. Brian S Apr 10, 2008 09:52 AM

                            I've never had it myself but I've heard that you can get a lackluster version of it at New Green Bo and a good version at King 5 Noodle in Flushing. I bet some of the mall stalls in Flushing have it too. And of course a lot of Korean places such as Hyo Dong Gak on 35 street have the Korean-Chinese version. see www.chowhound.com/topics/304472

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