A modern dan dan noodles recipe that stays true to the authentic Sichuan flavor, with slight moderations for you to enjoy it even if you can’t handle spicy food.
- 4 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste (or unsweetened original peanut butter)
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
- 4 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 stalks green onion, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons honey (or agave syrup)
- 2/3 to 1 cup homemade chili oil with flakes, or to taste (*footnote 1)
- 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns (*footnote 2)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound (450 grams) ground pork
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed and chopped
- 1/2 cup Sui Mi Ya Cai (Sichuan preserved mustard greens)
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups chicken stock, heated
- 1 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- 10 ounces (300 grams) dried egg noodles (or 1 pound /450 grams fresh noodles)
- 1 small batch green leafy vegetables, roughly chopped (spinach, baby bok choy etc.)
- Whisk sesame paste and light soy sauce until fully incorporated. Add Chinkiang vinegar. Keep stirring until mixed. Then mix in garlic, green onion, and honey.
- Add homemade chili oil, 1/3 cup at a time, mix and taste the sauce. Add more chili oil if you want more spiciness.
- Add toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Taste while you mix, until you can taste the numbingness but can still handle it. The more chili oil you add, the more Sichuan peppercorns you need.
Prepare pork topping
- Heat oil in a skillet or a wok over medium heat until hot. Add pork; cook and stir until the surface is cooked and the meat has turned white. Turn to medium-low heat. Add ginger, green onion, fermented black beans, Sui Mi Ya Cai, cooking wine, and sugar. Cook and stir until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork turns a dark brown color. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Prepare the noodle bowl
- Cook noodles according to instructions.
- Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
- Briefly blanch the green leafy vegetables, drain, and set aside.
- For each noodle bowl, ladle 1/4 cup heated chicken stock into the bowl. Add 1/4 cup noodle sauce and mix with the stock. Add noodles, top with a few spoonfuls of the cooked pork and some of the spinach. Garnish with peanut crumbles and chopped green onion. Sprinkle with a pinch of toasted ground Sichuan peppercorns, if you like the numbing taste.
- Serve hot or cold.
1. Do add some chili oil even if you cannot eat spicy food, because it will add aroma to the sauce and your sauce won’t end up very spicy.
2. I usually roast the Sichuan peppercorns in a bit oil until they turn dark brown. Then pat dry with paper towel and ground to powder. The oil roasted peppercorns will be less pungent and have a more roundup flavor. I prefer the cooked peppercorns in cold dishes and sauce so it won’t over power the other ingredients.
- Serving Size: 1 of the 6 bowls
- Calories: 636cal
- Sugar: 9.1g
- Sodium: 980mg
- Fat: 27.8g
- Carbohydrates: 30.5g
- Fiber: 4.6g
- Protein: 25.6g
- Cholesterol: 47mg