Green Bean Braised Noodles (豆角焖面 Dou Jiao Men Mian)
August 27, 2022  Print
These Green Bean Braised Noodles (豆角焖面) make a perfect one-bowl dish for dinner. They’re great for a busy weekday. They are quick, flavorful, and have a variety of nutrients. They are also quite versatile. You can use either narrow or wide noodles. You can also use either wheat or egg noodles.
Braised noodles (焖面) are a typical style of noodles from Northern China. They are quite popular in many Northern Chinese provinces. Rather than cooking the noodles and toppings separately and mixed them together at the dinner table, the noodles are cooked together with the toppings. The toppings are cooked first. Then fresh noodles are spread evenly on top of the toppings and braised together with the toppings. The noodles absorb the fragrant flavor of the topping without becoming soggy. Some regions also call these types of noodle dishes steamed noodles (蒸面).
Traditionally, braised noodles are made from wheat flour. But you can really use any kind of noodles. That’s the nice thing about homemade dishes. They can be tailored to your family’s needs and/or dietary preferences. I’ve tried quite a few different kinds. I’ve even tried the gluten-free egg noodles from Trader Joe’s, which produced excellent results.
The toppings for braised noodles are also extremely versatile. Green beans are one of the most popular main ingredients. You can also add mushrooms, green onions, or bean sprouts as secondary vegetable ingredients. Pork belly adds the umami and aroma to the dish. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can replace pork belly with baked tofu instead.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 – 1.5 lb green beans 1
- 1/2 lb pork belly 2
- 2/3 lb (~300g) fresh noodles 3 (break into shorter pieces if too long)
- 3 – 5 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- ~1.5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Wash the green beans thoroughly. Remove the stems from the two ends and slice the green beans diagonally into long wedges. Peel and slice the garlic. Cut the pork belly into thin slices.
- Heat a large nonstick pan under medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. When the oil is warm, add the sliced pork belly, stirring immediately. Then add 1 teaspoon of Chinese Shaoxing wine and mix well. Lower the heat slightly to cook the pork belly, tossing occasionally until the pork belly changes color from raw pink to a more translucent white and some oil seeps out from the pork belly.
- Raise the heat back to medium. Add the sliced garlic and stir a bit. Then add the green beans and mix well with the pork belly. Then add 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of dark soy sauce, stirring to combine.
- Pour 1.5 cups of water to the pan. The water should immerse most of the green beans and pork belly. Cover the lid. When water boils (about 2 minutes), set the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. When 5 minutes are up, remove the lid and ladle a half cup of liquid in to a separate bowl.
- Spread the fresh noodles evenly on top of the green bean mixture, using your hands to separate any clumps. Drizzle the half cup of liquid (from the previous step) over the noodles. Cover the lid again and let everything cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the noodles are cooked through.
- Remove the lid. Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to mix everything together. The liquid should be mostly absorbed after this. Cover the lid again for another minute. Then turn off the heat and divide the noodles into 4 equal portions and enjoy!
- Optional: Add a few drops of Chinese black vinegar, a teaspoon of chili sauce, chopped cilantro or green onions for some added flavor.
- You can use any type of green bean. Chinese long beans (also known as yardlong beans) work well too. I cut the green beans diagonally to make them easier to cook and eat. You can simply break the green beans by hand.
- You can use pork belly with the skin attached or the ones without skin, as long as the pork belly is thinly sliced. To make the pork belly easier to cut, I like to freeze it for 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to cutting so the meat is slightly hardened.
- I used a type of thin noodle made with wheat flour. You can choose narrow or wide noodles, round or flat, made with pure wheat flour or mixed with egg and other flour. Traditionally, braised noodle dishes are made with wheat flour noodles, but you don’t need to limit yourself. I’ve experimented with a variety of noodles. Wheat flour noodles tend to be more sticky whereas egg noodles tend to be more chewy. Most Asian grocery stores sell some form of fresh noodles. If your fresh noodles have a lot of flour on the surface, shake the flour off first. Otherwise, the noodles can become too sticky after being braised. You can also use fresh Italian pasta, which can also produce great results. If you can’t find fresh noodles, you can try hard noodles as well. You can steam them first for 5 – 10 minutes (depending on the type of noodles) until they are semi soft and then proceed with step 5 above.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.