Home Style Meat Sauce Noodle Recipe

Like lots of Asian kids, the first thing I learned to “cook” was instant noodles. I felt so grown up putting a pot on the stove, boiling the water, and adding the noodles and flavour package. Instant noodles used to be my standard after-school snack, but if I was feeling extra hungry and I was lucky, I’d make myself a bowl of meat-sauce noodles. The luck had to do with whether or not there was any meat sauce in the fridge.

Meat sauce noodles are incredibly easy to make, especially if you mom keeps extra meat sauce in the fridge. After school I’d boil up some udon, drain it, take the meat sauce out of the fridge and mix it all together. The sweetness of the shallots and the savouriness of the ground pork made for a fast, simple and delicious snack.

The meat sauce noodles I grew up with are loosely based on ko lo mee, a noodle dish my parents ate back when they lived in Brunei. Ko lo mee are egg noodles mixed with ground pork fried with shallots and some sort of mysterious brown sauce. Sometimes the noodles come with barbecue pork and wontons as well. When you get the noodles to-go, they come wrapped up in waxed brown paper.

For fun, I guess you could serve these noodles in wax paper packets as well, but you’ll probably be so tempted by the smell of the meat sauce cooking that you’ll want to eat straight from the pot.

Home Style Meat Sauce Noodle Recipe

serves 4

1/2 pound ground pork
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
pepper to taste

noodles of your choice

green onions for garnish

Fry the shallots in a tiny bit of oil until fragrant and clear. Add the pork and cook, stirring to break it up. When the pork is cooked through and broken up, add the oyster, and soy sauces. The sauces should cover the pork completely. If they don’t, add a bit of water to cover the pork. Simmer for 1/2 hour to let the flavours meld. Pepper to taste. The meat mixture will be incredibly salty on its own, but remember, you’re mixing it with plain noodles.

Cook your noodles according to the package, drain and top with the meat mixture and green onions.

30 Comments add yours

  1. First paragraph story = so true!

    Heehee, I think for most people it’s either eggs or instant noodles!

    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:08 am
  2. Haha, I so remember when I made my first ramen noodles and was so proud of myself.
    But these noodles look so good!

    I love how easy it is for kids to make instant noodles. It makes them feel good about cooking!

    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:10 am
  3. Yep. Instant noodles was one of the first things I learnt to cook. But “if I was feeling extra hungry and I was lucky”, I would make myself a fried egg :D Thanks for this recipe.

    No problem! I love fried eggs on instant noodles too!

    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:10 am
  4. Yum- love it, this sounds v. similar to one of my favorite ways to eat noodles- I think I’d add some julienned cucumbers to make it more like Dan Dan noodles for the summer too.

    The freshness of julienned cucumbers is great with the sweetness of the meat sauce! I do that too sometimes, but then my mom calls it jia jiang mien.

    I’ve always heard that dan dan mian is the name used in Taiwan and jia jiang mian is the more widespread nomenclature… at least that’s what I’m told! I don’t know if that’s true though!

    I don’t know if it’s true either! I just love these noodles no matter what they’re called!

    steph on May 21st, 2010 at 11:09 am
    ama on May 18th, 2010 at 10:26 pm
    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:11 am
  5. Looks a little like jia jiang mian. Love learning about new noodle dishes. :)

    It is like jia jian mien, but my mom’s home-style minus the cucumbers! But really, it’s based on those noodles that she used to eat all the time back when she lived in Brunei. It’s a weird hybrid mix!

    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:15 am
  6. the meat sauce i grew up eating was something very similar but the mysterious sauce was this thing call ‘flour paste’ if you translate it straight from chinese. wiki calls it the sweet bean sauce (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_bean_sauce). the recipe is pretty much the same as yours but exchange the oyster sauce for sweet bean sauce and it’s just so much better. the traditional way is to accompany it with julienned cucumbers. or you can go to any restaurant that specialises in northern chinese cuisine to try it first :P

  7. Delicious and it looks so easy to pull together for a weeknight meal!

    It is super easy for a weeknight meal. Especially if you have a bunch of meat sauce waiting in the fridge!

    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:17 am
  8. yeah it does look a little like cha jiang mien. But this looks yummy too!

    Thanks! It is a little like jian jiang mien!

    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:20 am
  9. Wow that looks absolutely amazing! And so easy!

    The best part is that it’s so easy!

    steph on May 21st, 2010 at 11:12 am
  10. It really looks good.
    But what is sweet soy sauce?
    Thanks in advance,

    You can buy sweet soy sauce at any Asian grocery store. It’s a bit thicker than regular soy sauce and sweeter. If you can’t find it, just add a tiny bit of sugar into your regular soy.

    steph on May 25th, 2010 at 9:07 am
  11. i made this today because i had nothing in the fridge! I had to use beef not pork which probably changed the flavour but it was still delicious!

    Hmm, never tried it with beef, but I imagine it’d taste super-tasty.

    steph on June 9th, 2010 at 9:33 am
  12. Looks delicious!

    Could I substitute Kecap Manis for the sweet soy though?


    Of course! You might need a bit less, so play around with it!

    steph on August 21st, 2010 at 6:09 pm
  13. Wow…I am hungry and SO many of your recipes look wonderful! I am definitely going to make this…I think my husband will love it! Thanks!

  14. Just tried it! It turned out really delicious. My sauce is not quite as dark as yours but still tasted full of flavor. I was wondering what brand of Udon noodles do you use? Do you have any recommendations?

    I use Maruchan Kame Age Udon. It’s my favourite brand!

    steph on November 9th, 2010 at 11:11 am
  15. Nice full flavour, deep richness. Perfect antidote for the day after, if you know what I mean.

  16. I just made this meat sauce today and it’s oh so delicious! It actually tastes like the one my mom usually makes :) Mine came out a little dry but it’s still good, and I added julienned cucumber to make it similar to zha jiang mian!

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