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Chinese For Dinner: A Modern Take on Dan Dan Noodles

Please enjoy this Guest article / recipe by Chidinma, the founder of Fruitful Kitchen.  We think that you will really enjoy this recipe for Dan Dan Noodles.  Please see the bottom of the article for more information about Chidinma, as well as information about submitting your Chinese food recipes or articles to The Chinese Quest.

I have to confess I’m usually lazy on Sundays. I absolutely love cooking, but Sundays are my day off and most times I give in and order my favorite foods. Chinese is surely one of these. Recently though, I realized that more often than not, I tend to let others make my favorite Chinese dishes instead of trying my own at it.

This is why I decided to try my luck with Dan Dan noodles. Not an easy recipe to start with, but certainly one worth the time. I bet you love these noodles, and if you haven’t tried them, then you will fall in love with them now.

dan-dan-noodles

 

For this recipe, you need time and you need different ingredients. Even though you can make exceptions and change them up, I tried keeping it as traditional as I could — or at least as I thought it could be.

Let me warn you about something before we start, this dish needs really good nonstick cookware, and can be too flavorful at first for some. But not to worry, you can mix up the proportions and add/take out whatever you want. Let’s get cooking!

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

dan-dan-noodles

Ingredients for Chili Oil

  • 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Ingredients for Noodles, Meat and Sauce

  • 4 teaspoons oil
  • 12 oz ground pork
  • 1lb Shanghai-style noodles or Udon noodles
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste (sesame paste)
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp sliced scallions
  • 2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
  • 3 teaspoon brown sugar
  • A bunch of spinach or bok choy

Step-by-step Instructions for Chili Oil

  1. The first part of this dish is making the chili oil. To begin, in a small pot add the Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise and oil. Let it cook over medium heat, until it reaches 325°F, turn off the heat.
  2. Wait for about 5-8 minutes and remove the peppercorns, anise, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, until they are mixed completely with the oil. You should start smelling the pepper more. Let it cool.

Step-by-step Instructions for Noodles and Meat

  1. On your work–or big pan–heat up oil and add ground pork. As it browns, add the red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, hoisin sauce and ginger.
  2. While your meat is cooking, in a bowl, mix sesame paste, the remaining soy sauce, sugar, garlic and your chili oil. Taste it for spiciness and thickness, add hot water if it’s too thick.
  3. Separately, cook noodles according to package instructions. Add your spinach or bok choy to the noodle water. Drain your noodles and veggies. Place in another bowl.
  4. Add sauce to meat and mix together. Serve meat and sauce over noodles. Mix thoroughly so that every noodle is covered.
  5. Once everything is combined, add chopped peanuts and scallions. Enjoy!

dan-dan-noodles

I’m Feeling Adventurous!

This is not a recipe for those who aren’t fond of spicy food, but it can be adjusted according to your taste. The first time I made this dish, I didn’t add the chili oil at all. Yes, the taste changes, but it’s all depending on what you want.

If you don’t like pork, change the meat up for turkey or chicken. And if you happen to only eat fish, salmon goes really well with these flavors too. The key part is to make sure your noodles are well cooked and that the sauce is tasty, these two make all the difference when mixed with the meat.

How about some Chinese for dinner tonight? Tell me what you thought and if you’re feeling adventurous enough to try and make this yummy recipe.

Author Bio:

chidinmaChidinma is the founder of Fruitful Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious recipes and lifestyle tips. Most of her recipes help women with fertility issues, especially fibroids, PCOS, and Endometriosis. Sometimes, however, you will find other interesting recipes, as well as cooking tips and tricks there.

The Chinese Quest welcomes original articles pertaining to the Chinese dining experience.  Your article should pertain to Chinese restaurants, Chinese food, recipes, etc.  For more information, please contact us.

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