(Courtesy of China Live)

Make China Live's Marco Polo noodles your new weeknight go-to


Zhajiangmian (which translates to "fried sauce noodles") is your new ramen.

George Chen, the culinary mastermind behind Broadway's ambitious restaurant/market China Live, teamed up with his North Beach neighbor Tony Gemignani to create a craveable dish that breaks boundaries. Gemignani sourced fresh bucatini noodles for a Chinese-Italian mashup on the traditional wheat noodle dish in a rich pork-y broth that has all the satisfaction of both pasta and good Chinese food. Make it at home on a cozy weeknight dinner.

China Live's Marco Polo Noodles

Serves 4

1 pound minced pork belly or fatty shoulder

2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated, stemmed and finely chopped

1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped

5 scallions, finely chopped

1 ounce dried shrimp*

1 ounce fried garlic*

1 ounce fried shallot*

1 ½ tablespoon broad bean paste with chili*

1 ½ tablespoons sweet bean sauce*

1 ½ tablespoons soybean paste*

2 tablespoons chee hou sauce*

1 cup chicken stock

1 ½ tablespoon oil

1 pound fresh bucatini noodles

Side vegetables, adjust the amount accordingly:

Fresh cucumber as needed, cut in fine julienne

Scallion white & green as needed, finely sliced

Fresh daikon, as needed cut in fine julienne

Mung mean sprouts, trimmed and lightly blanched

*available at Asian grocery stores

1. In a bowl, combine the chicken stock, broad bean paste, sweet bean sauce, soybean paste, and chee hou sauce well and set aside.

2. Heat around ½ tablespoon cooking oil in a wok, stir fry finely chopped ginger, green onion, pork, mushroom, scallion, dried shrimp, fried garlic and fried shallot until almost cooked (when the pork starts to change color). Transfer out.

3. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil again and pour in the sauce prepared in step one. Bring the sauce to a boil. Return the stir-fried pork to the wok.

4. Lower the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes. Turn up the heat to thicken the sauce. Stir occasionally during the process.

5. Cook fresh noodles in boiled water for 7 minutes or follow the instruction on the package.

6. To plate, transfer the noodles to serving bowls and lay side vegetables on top, then pour over the sauce. Garnish with some green onions and serve immediately.

7. Mix well with the gravy before enjoying.

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