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Dan Dan Noodles, Put Down The Takeaway Menu!

Dan Dan noodles is a classic Szechuan Chinese takeaway dish that is very easy and super quick to make at home and full of big flavours!

Portrait image of Dan Dan Noodles served in an Asian style bowl decorated with a red flower with red chopsticks

Dan Dan Mian

I love the Chinese name of this heavenly spicy dish from the Szechuan province.

Dan Dan Noodles are often served as a “wet dish” resembling a soup, however it is best known here in the “west” as a dry dish.

Containing minced pork, chilli oil and Szechuan pepper it is no wallflower in the flavour department.

Just like kung pao chicken, it fixes with the almost citrus flavour of Szechuan peppercorns. It is also the dish that most influenced my ginger pork stir fry, which uses pork tenderloin rather than ground pork.

My version of dan dan noodles replaces the sesame paste with peanut butter for practical purposes. I add the sesame flavour with good toasted sesame oil in the sauce.

And just like many of my takeaway recipes, this cooks in under 30 minutes. This means that it is not only cheaper than a takeaway but quicker too!

Portrait close up image of Dan Dan Noodles served in an Asian style bowl decorated with a red flower

Ingredient Advice.

Let me start off by saying that this dan dan noodles recipe needs unsweetened peanut butter!

Sweetened peanut butter will throw the balance off in this recipe completely. It should be available in most stores and should not be more expensive than the sweetened stuff.

If you are as daft as me you can even make it at home, it is super simple… you need peanuts, and erm that’s it! Check out my homemade peanut butter recipe for more details.

Or you can use sesame paste if you can get it, just omit the sesame oil in the sauce.

Next up Szechuan or Sichuan pepper. Do not try and substitute this for any other pepper, it will not work! This ingredient is a MUST for this recipe.

Don’t worry, I love Szechuan pepper. If you want to explore its uses beyond dan dan noodles you should check out my Szechuan shrimp or Szechuan beef recipes.

Finally if you are struggling for Hoisin sauce you can try this homemade recipe, it works a treat in a pinch.

Portrait close up image of Dan Dan Noodles

The Secret to Perfect Stir Fries!

There are two things that you need to do to get this stir fry, or indeed any stir fry bang on right.

The first is preparation!

GET EVERYTHING READY FIRST! I mean everything, soak and refresh your noodles, mix your sauce, toast and grind the Szechuan pepper and toast yer nuts.

Only when everything is done and put into little bowls should you put your oil in your wok and start cooking your dan dan noodles.

And that then leads neatly us onto the second secret.

Heat, lots of it your wok should be searingly hot at all times! If it is not things will not fry, they will braise, and that means soggy and flacid food.

You should be able to see the air shimmer above the wok before you add your oil.

Then you just need to keep everything moving in the wok all of the time.

Square image of Dan Dan Noodles served in an Asian style bowl decorated with a red flower
Yield: 2 Servings

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Dan Dan noodles is a spicy noodle dish traditionally featuring ground pork, chilli oil and Szechuan pepper, a perfect midweek fakeaway.

Ingredients

  • 250 g (8.75 oz) Ground Pork
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) Dried Egg Noodles
  • 30 g (1 oz) Ginger
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Red Chilli Pepper
  • 50 g (1.75 oz) Bamboo Shoots
  • 75 g (2.75 oz) Spring Onions
  • 1 Tbsp Szechuan Pepper Corns
  • 50 g (1.75) Peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Chilli Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking the noodles as per the instructions on the packet and then drain and refresh in cold water.
  2. Whilst the noodles are cooking cut your ginger and chilli pepper into matchsticks sized pieces.
  3. Mash your garlic clove.
  4. Slice your spring onions into rounds 2-3mm thick.
  5. Mix together the soy sauces, hoisin sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame and chilli oil.
  6. Heat your wok over a high heat and whilst it is heating toast off your peanuts.
  7. When your peanuts are toasted remove them from the wok and return it to the heat.
  8. Add the Szechuan peppercorns to the wok and toast.
  9. Grind the Sechuan pepper in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
  10. Reheat the wok and when hot add the cooking oil.
  11. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  12. Then throw in the pork and cook for 4-5 minutes over a high heat tossing all of the time.
  13. Add in the Szechuan peppercorns and cook for a further minute.
  14. Now add the bamboo shoots, most of the spring onions (retain some for garnish) and the sauce and cook for 60 seconds.
  15. Finally, add the noodles and the peanuts and toss through until they are hot.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    2

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 856Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1532mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 50g

    Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

    Did you make this recipe?

    If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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    bettina Taylor

    Thursday 24th of January 2019

    My family likes more veggies what would you recommend. Will be giving it a go in a week or two. Thanks for opening up my cooking skills.

    Brian Jones

    Thursday 24th of January 2019

    I have to say I have never added more vegetables to this so your question has me thinking... I would say that you want something quite robust, carrots would work a treat if cut into thin batons or out of left field you could add some green beans after the meat has been in for a minute or two.

    You could also serve alongside bak choi (pak choi) which would be really nice :)

    Paul Edwards

    Monday 3rd of December 2018

    Hello Brian, Szechuan pepper is available and in my cupboard here in Thailand. What bamboo shoots did you use please ? Remember the canned crunchy ones we had in UK back in the day ? We have fresh ones growing on our land. By the way. I made the chicken lentil curry as you recommended. Delicious.

    Brian Jones

    Monday 3rd of December 2018

    Cheers Paul, I used canned or jarred bamboo shoots, sadly fresh bamboo shoots are rarer than hens teeth here in Europe ;) Glad you enjoyed the Dhansak :)

    Valentina

    Wednesday 28th of November 2018

    Heard of them, but not sure I've ever had them. I'm inspired to make this now. I love Szechuan pepper, and i think "fizz" is the perfect word to describe it. Delicious all around!

    Brian Jones

    Thursday 29th of November 2018

    Thanks Valentina... I adore Szechuan pepper but it is so difficult to define, it is much more of a feeling or experience than a flavour, but maybe I'm just odd ;)

    Veena Azmanov

    Monday 26th of November 2018

    Yummm... Its a perfect recipe for noodle lovers and I'm definitely one of them, so are my kids !! Thanks for sharing !!

    Brian Jones

    Tuesday 27th of November 2018

    Cheers Veena!

    kim

    Monday 26th of November 2018

    Such great flavors and so easy too! This meal is on my weekly rotation!

    Brian Jones

    Tuesday 27th of November 2018

    Thanks Kim!