I’m looking for a noodle with a good chew that can stand up to a good black bean sauce (i.e. for a zha jiang mian) or frankly any other chinese recipe. Any ideas of what brand to buy? I ordered some to make the dish noted above the other night and the noodles were just way too soft and gummy.
You’ll want a wider (and/or thicker), straight (not wavy), plain flour white (no egg!) dry noodle to stand up to a dongbei-style sauce like zhajiangmian. Look for the Chinese equivalent of linguine (at the very minimum in terms of thickness and width) in its dimensions.
No don’t use 米粉 (rice vermicelli)! It’s not part of the northern Chinese repertoire, and is too delicate for the zha jiang sauce.
Sorry to contradict ebethsdad on this point. His first choice looks good, though…
That is just 99Ranch’s overall topic when searching for noodles. The one I thought would work are wheat - and pretty much what you recommended I think.
I feel like @JLee mentioned a fresh wheat noodle that he likes/uses in one of his posts but I can’t seem to find it
what do you mean by wheat noodles?
I use egg noodles made locally at Yuan Ten in El Monte, you can pick up most mornings except sundays?
i think of the sauce as the chinese equivalent of bolognese. i’d go no thinner than fettucine myself. if you don’t mind the egg, any italian pasta you’d use for bolognese should work texture wise. and fresher is not necessarily better - the roughness of the surface of the pasta is more a correlator of how well the sauce sticks to the noodles; rigatoni with the ridges along with being hollow might prove ideal for that type of sauce even though the mouth feel won’t be necessarily authentic. and never add oil to cooking pasta water; anything that keeps pasta from sticking together also prevents sauce from adhering to the pasta.
most recipes i’ve seen focus on the sauce and say little to nothing about the noodles, though a few i’ve seen refer to cumian - which is compared to udon in terms of thickness and texture. i imagine lo mein or a thicker pancit should have sufficient Q to hold up to the sauce although it won’t be quite the same due to the alkaline/kansui typically used to make those types of noodles. but jjm sauce is assertive enough that it’d still be enjoyable IMO.