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Ding Ding Chao Mian (丁丁炒面, Fried Noodles in Lamb Tomato Sauce)

5 from 4 votes
A hearty fried noodle dish that is cooked with a scrumptious tomato sauce with lamb and peppers. Fast to cook and bold in flavor. A must-have for Xinjiang food lovers.
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

Noodles (See footnote 1)

  • 300 grams all-purpose flour convert to cups
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) warm water (See footnote 2)

Marinade

  • 1/2 pound (200 grams) ground lamb (or lamb leg meat, cubed) (See footnote 3)
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn , grounded (or ground black pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch (or cornstarch)

Sauce (*see footnote 4)

  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (*see footnote 5)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or light soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion , chopped
  • 4 garlic , minced
  • 2 pieces ginger , minced
  • 1 to mato , cubed
  • 2 anaheim peppers (or 1 bell pepper, or 2 jalapenos, diced)
  • 2 tablespoons black vinegar

Instructions

Make noodles

  • Prepare mixer. Attach the beater blade. Combine flour and salt in the mixing bowl. Turn to low speed. Slowly add water. Let mix until it forms a dough. Change to dough hook. Turn on slow speed and let knead until the dough is very smooth, about 10 minutes. If you’re not using a KitchenAid mixer, start by mixing the flour with the water, stirring with a spatula, until the dough forms. Dust a working surface with flour and transfer the dough onto it. Knead until the surface becomes smooth, about 15 minutes.
  • Spray a thin layer of oil onto the bottom of a large bowl. Place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • While resting the dough, marinate the lamb and chop the veggies.
  • When the dough has rested, prepare a large cutting board (or working surface). Brush a thin layer of oil in the middle. Place the dough on top. Press it into a 1-cm (1/3-inch) sheet with your hands.
  • Brush oil on top of the dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Make sure your working surface is covered with a thin layer of oil.
  • Slice the dough sheet into 10 to 12 strips. Make sure you leave enough space in between them, to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Work on the strips one by one. Use both hands to pull the strip into a 5-mm (1/4-inch) wide noodle.
  • Brush a thin layer of oil onto the noodles to prevent them from sticking.
  • Gather the noodles together again. Cut into 1-cm (1/3-inch) long pieces. The noodles may stick together at this point, but will separate during boiling.
  • Add the noodles into the boiling water right after you cut them. Immediately stir with a spatula to separate the noodles. Let cook until the noodles are floating on top. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the noodles are almost cooked through.
  • Drain the noodles and rinse them with tap water, to stop the cooking.

Marinate lamb

  • Combine ground lamb (or cubed lamb leg), Shaoxing wine, salt, Sichuan peppercorn, and potato starch in a small bowl. Mix well. Let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Make sauce

  • Combine tomato sauce, light soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onion turns slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Use the spatula to move everything to one side of the pan. Add ground lamb onto the other side. Spread the lamb to let the bottom brown slightly. Stir until the surface is cooked.
  • Mix everything together. Add the tomato sauce mixture. Stir to mix well.
  • Pour the drained noodles into the skillet. Stir to mix well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. If the noodles are still a bit raw inside, cover and let steam for a minute or so, until cooked through.
  • Add tomato and anaheim pepper. Stir a few times to gently cook the veggies.
  • Transfer to plates and serve immediately.
  • (Optional) Pour a spoonful of black vinegar onto your noodles before eating, just like real Xinjiang people do.

Notes

  1. You can use Chinese noodles (the wide type), Farfalloni or Rotini to make this dish as well. If you use Chinese noodles, chop them into 5-cm (2-inch) pieces and boil them until al dente.
  2. I used hot water from the tap, about 50 degrees C (120 to 130 F).
  3. You can use other ground meat too, such as chicken or beef. Most Xinjiang dishes are halal. To keep the dish authentic, stay away from pork.
  4. The original dish only uses the minimum amount of sauce as a seasoning. I have increased the sauce, but the amount is still moderate. If you like lots of sauce, skip the salt and double the sauce given here. You can adjust seasoning at the end of the cooking.
  5. I used Muir Glen arabella select plum tomatoes sauce, which have a bright and fresh flavor. Alternatively, you can use 3 tablespoons tomato paste with 3 tablespoons water.