Hong Kong style spaghetti bolognese is an extremely easy pasta dish that uses a type of ground beef along with a simple tomato sauce. Compared to a classic bolognese, Hong Kong style uses seasonings such as dark soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and ketchup. I have also found it to be slightly more sweet than a traditional bolognese which I prefer.
Type of meat in spaghetti bolognese
I personally enjoy using lean ground beef the most, but ground pork is also a very popular option. I like ground beef because it has a more rich a “meaty” flavor compared to others. The reason I roll them into balls before searing is because this is the best way to create even browning. If you just add all of the ground beef into the pan at once, it will release juices and won’t end up browning the meat.
In terms of vegetables, you will want to give them an extremely fine dice. This will allow them to soften faster while the sauce is simmering. I used carrots, onion, and garlic, but feel free to add others such as celery.
Type of cheese in HK style spaghetti bolognese
It is very common for Hong Kong cafes to add mozzarella or cheddar in their spaghetti bolognese. It is usually sprinkled on top then baked until melted similar to the look of a lasagna. However, I prefer to add the cheese in-between the spaghetti and sauce on top. This way, the heat from the sauce will melt the cheese.
How to serve spaghetti bolognese
As I said in the last paragraph, Hong Kong cafes will add the cheese on top and bake in a dish to serve similar to a lasagna. I like to serve this family style and this way everyone can decide how much sauce or cheese they would like.
Pre mix spaghetti
First thing I do is pre-mix my spaghetti noodles after they have been cooked with a couple spoonfuls of the bolognese sauce. This will ensure that the noodles already have some flavor on them. Once the noodles have been mixed, you can leave them in a bowl for everyone to serve themselves.
Add a layer of shredded mozzarella
On top of the spaghetti, I add a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Feel free to leave this out or use a different type of cheese.
Top with sauce
Lastly, top with a generous amount of the meat and bolognese sauce. The residual heat from the sauce will melt the cheese with ease. Top with parsley.
Spaghetti Bolognese (Hong Kong Style)
- 225g spaghetti noodles
- 400 g lean ground beef
- ½ yellow onion
- ½ large carrot
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1½ tbsp tomato paste
- 400 g canned tomatoes
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2½ tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- chopped parsley
- Prepare all your vegetables by giving them a fine dice all about the same size.½ yellow onion, ½ large carrot, 5 cloves garlic
- Form your ground beef into balls and place them onto a hot pan with 1 tbsp of oil. Cook 2 minutes each side.400 g lean ground beef
- Once both sides of beef have been seared, add your chopped onions, carrots, and garlic. Stir for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, stir for 1 minute.1½ tbsp tomato paste
- Add canned tomatoes, ketchup, dark soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Stir until evenly distributed then cover to simmer for 20 minutes.400 g canned tomatoes, 2 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce, 2½ tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, ½ cup chicken stock, 3 bay leaves
- Cook your spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.225g spaghetti noodles
- Taste test your sauce after 20 minutes and adjust sugar/salt levels accordingly.
- Add cooked spaghetti to a bowl, mix in ½ cup of the sauce.
- Add spaghetti onto a plate, top with shredded mozzarella cheese, more sauce and top with parsley.1 cup shredded mozzarella, chopped parsley
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