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This recipe comes from China Live, an interactive culinary and cultural destination in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown that offers an in-depth exploration of Greater Chinese gastronomy. If you can’t visit, this dish is easy to make at home, although you may need to buy a few special ingredients first, either in a local Asian market or online. See the Shopping List section for more info. Since the actual cooking happens fairly quickly, make sure to chop, measure, and assemble all your ingredients before you start. In just a short time, you’ll end up with a bowl of tender Italian bucatini noodles tossed in a complex sweet-savory-salty-spicy Chinese bean sauce, with stir-fried minced pork, mushrooms, and aromatics, plus slivered vegetables for a bit of fresh crunch.
Shopping List: Broad bean paste with chili is a fermented bean paste that adds depth and umami flavor to many Sichuan dishes, and may also be labeled doubanjiang, douban, toban-djan, or chili bean sauce.
Sweet bean sauce, as the name suggests, adds a bit of sweetness, and may be labeled tian mian jiang.
Soybean paste or soybean sauce is made from yellow soybeans and is saltier than sweet bean sauce.
Chee hou sauce tastes similar to hoisin sauce with garlic added, so if you can’t find it for a reasonable price, try substituting an equal amount of hoisin with just a small amount of fresh garlic stirred in.