Into the Kitchen: Dan Dan Noodles

We first sampled these scrumptious noodles over 3 years ago at a restaurant in St. Paul, MN called Little Szechuan. If you’ve ever been to a Szechuan (Sichuan) restaurant, you will definitely see this item on the menu. Its rich aroma and taste are irresistible! Thanks to Appetite for China‘s recipe, we can now make these at home! She is celebrating the release of her book, The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Quick and Easy Dishes to Prepare at Home, with a Virtual Potluck contest. We look forward to cooking up more “classic” Chinese takeout recipes from her!

Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal, or 2 to 3 as a single dish

6 ounces ground pork or beef
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 scallions, white and green parts chopped
2 tablespoons chopped Sichuan preserved vegetable (optional)
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste
8 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
1 handful dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

1/4 cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Chinese sesame paste or tahini
1 tablespoon Chinese black rice vinegar, or substitute good quality balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chili oil (adjust according to your tolerance of spiciness)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper

1. Cook noodles of your choice according to instructions on the package. Transfer the noodles to a mixing bowl.

2. Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together and toss with the noodles.

3. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the garlic, ginger, white parts of the scallions, and optional Sichuan preserved vegetable and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and stir-fry until the meat is a little crispy on the outside and no longer pink. Add rice wine to deglaze the pan. Season with salt to taste. Turn off the heat.

4. Add the noodles into the wok and mix well with the cooked meat mixture. Spoon onto a serving platter and top with chopped scallions greens and chopped peanuts on top to serve.

Recipe adapted from Appetite for China



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