Noodles with mince, mushroom and tomato sauce (Da Lu Mian) -a simple Chinese recipe

When I read about a Chinese version of spaghetti bolognese, this recipe came to mind (although unlike Lizzie Mabbott‘s version, it does contain tomatoes). The sauce differs depending on which region you’re from, much like ragù. In general, you’d find it made from a bit of pork, lots of dried shiitake mushrooms and an egg or two. I’m also using wood ears (mu er) and dried lily flower. Tomatoes aren’t 100% necessary, and many versions use a dash of vinegar instead.

In terms of the noodles, you can try different types. I’d go for something as similar as possible to ramen.

This dish is really easy to make, and apart from the soaking for the various dried ingredients, it only takes 15 mins to prep and cook. This version serves 2.

Da_Lu_Mian_Sauce_Noodles

Ingredients
6-7 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 handful dried wood ears
1 handful dried lily flowers
1 tbsp of plain flour
1 tbsp of soya sauce
1 tbsp of shaoxing rice wine
100g minced pork belly
1 tsp of chicken stock powder
Pinch of sugar
1 egg
5-6 mini vine tomatoes (or 2 normal sized tomatoes)
2 servings of ramen noodles
2-3 drops of sesame oil

You’ll also need water and a touch of olive oil/other cooking oil to line the pan.

Da_Lu_Mian_Sauce_Noodles

Step 1: soak the mushrooms in boiling water (you’ll be keeping the water from here). In a separate container, soak the wood ears and lily flowers in boiling water as well (you’ll be throwing away the water from this). Leave for around 10-15 minutes.

Da_Lu_Mian_Sauce_Noodles

Step 2: mix the flour, soya sauce and rice wine together until it forms a smooth paste/liquid.

Step 3: add a touch of oil to a pan, wait for the oil to simmer and then add in the minced pork. Leave to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring throughout, then add the flour paste and leave to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.

Da_Lu_Mian_Sauce_Noodles

Step 4: remove the mushrooms from the water and slice these. Keep the water. Also remove the wood ears and lily flowers from the water and throw the water away.

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Step 5: add the mushrooms, wood ears and lily flowers to the pan and stir. Sprinkle in the chicken stock and sugar, then if you need to, add any salt to taste. Finally, pour in around 1 cup of the water from soaking the mushrooms. Leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Step 6: while waiting, beat an egg and add a little water to the egg when beating to make it extra fluffy. Also slice the tomatoes.

Step 7: Pour the egg into the pan and let it set before stirring. Then add in the tomatoes. Stir and leave to cook for a further 3-4 minutes, and the sauce is ready to serve.

Step 8: boil the noodles/ramen according to instructions. Strain and place into a plate once cooked and toss in a few drops of sesame oil.

Da_Lu_Mian_Sauce_Noodles

Step 9: pour the sauce over the noodles and we’re done!

The cooking times are quite flexible, so unlike when preparing to stir fry, there’s no need to have everything cut and sliced before you start. You can do it while the rest of the sauce is cooking. Also, don’t worry about the sauce being slightly on the salty side at step 5, as you’ll be adding quite a few more things to it. If you try this recipe, let me know how you get on!

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