Dan Dan Noodles (担担面)
A real-deal dan dan noodle recipe that stays true to the authentic Sichuan flavor. This post covers all the key ingredients and includes a super rich and balanced sauce to recreate the classic dish that tastes like China.
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 lb (450 g) ground pork
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 green onions , chopped
- 1 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
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts , crushed
- 14 oz (400 g) Dan Dan noodles (or thin wheat noodles)
- 1 small batch leafy green vegetables , roughly chopped (spinach, choy sum, baby bok choy etc.)
- Homemade chili oil , to taste (*footnote 1)
Whisk the sesame paste and light soy sauce together in a bowl until fully incorporated. Add the Chinkiang vinegar. Continue stirring until mixed. Then mix in the garlic, green onion, honey, and Sichuan peppercorns.
Prepare the pork topping
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the pork. Cook and stir until the surface is lightly browned.
Turn to medium heat. Add the ginger, green onion, fermented black beans, Sui Mi Ya Cai, cooking wine, and sugar. Cook and chop the pork into small pieces, until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork turns a dark brown color. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Prepare the noodles
Cook the noodles according to instructions.
Briefly blanch the leafy green vegetables, drain, and set aside.
To assemble the noodle bowls
For each noodle bowl, add 1/4 cup of noodle sauce. Add the chili oil according to your taste. Add some noodles, then top with a few spoonfuls of the cooked pork and green veggies. Garnish with peanut crumbles and chopped green onion. Sprinkle with a pinch of toasted ground Sichuan peppercorn, if you like the numbing taste.
Serve hot or cold.
1. Do add some chili oil even if you prefer not to 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 of oil until they turn dark brown. Then pat them dry with paper towel and grind them into powder. The oil-roasted peppercorns will be less pungent and have a more rounded flavor. I prefer the cooked peppercorns in cold dishes and sauces so they won't overpower the other ingredients.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 636kcal, Carbohydrates: 30.5g, Protein: 25.6g, Fat: 27.8g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 980mg, Fiber: 4.6g, Sugar: 9.1g