A few weeks ago we talked about the renowned Beijing dish Fried Sauce Noodles which many people consider to be a Chinese version of spaghetti bolognese. Today we are going to talk about a dish which is far more similar to the Italian classic spaghetti alla bolognese – Minced Meat Noodles.
Minced Meat Noodles (碎肉拌面 – suì ròu bàn miàn)is a Muslim dish and that means two things:
- The meat in the sauce is not pork but either lamb or beef (usually lamb).
- There’s more than a hint of tomatoes in the sauce.
Add 1+2 together and it’s easy to see why this dish is more of a spaghetti bolognese wannabe than Fried Sauce Noodles. The main differences between this dish and its Italian kin is the presence of chopped vegetables (usually bell peppers and garlic scapes) and the absence of parmesan cheese.
I still remember the first time I saw this dish. The staff at the Muslim place under my apartment was on a lunch break and they all had this interesting looking dish, which for some reason was not on the menu. My friend and I got really curious (my friend’s Italian) and we immediately asked what dish it was and had them write down the name for us. It was our first choice for a very long time and still one of our all time favorites.
So if you’re in China and you find yourself craving for some Italian pasta, instead of dining in a fancy Italian restaurant just find a nice Muslim place and order this dish. You will not be disappointed.