Dan Dan Noodles (Dan Dan Mian)

June 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

Today, my good friend Dan is coming over, so what better to make than Dan Dan Noodles? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT.

A delicious bowl of dan dan noodles

So dan dan noodles come from the Sichuan province of China, but the ease of making these noodles have led to their popularity all over China & Hong Kong. Normally, when I wear boots, I quiver in my bootstraps at the thought of eating Sichuan food because it is so spicy that it burns when it comes back out the other end. A bit crude, but true.

(click below for more sizzling heat)

How Sichuan food makes me feel!

I have a theory that Sichuan people and Indian people alike feed their babies spicy breast milk to make them superhuman by acclimating them to the fire-y sensations. Not a bad idea actually. (I, for one, am going to produce caffeinated breast milk from the sheer amount of coffee I drink, and thus, my baby will have superspeed.) Now I’m a little off topic but what I meant to say is that you should make these noodles because 1. they are ridiculously easy and 2. you can control the amount of spice when you make it yourself.

Dan Dan Noodles
serves me & Dan & two extra (4) | prep time: 5 minutes | cook time: 9 minutes

Ingredients
– 1 package thin Chinese noodles (they will look like fat angel hair or thin spaghetti in size)
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 2/3 pound ground pork, or low sodium vegetarian meatballs
– 1/4 cup chopped garlic
– 1/4 cup chopped zha cai (ja choi??) (pickled vegetables, but pickles will do in a pinch) (I forgot to take a picture of it but if you don’t know what it looks like they look like green halfway flattened slugs and they come in small packages with their picture on it.)
– 2 tablespoon rice wine
– 2/3 cup chicken broth
– 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce (to taste. keeping in mind that zha cai is pretty salty)
– 1-5 teaspoons chili oil (taste at 1, keep adding by teaspoon until you hit your limit)
– for garnish: 4 wigglies of green onion, chopped, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil

1. Bring a small pot of water to boil. Cook noodles according to the instructions on the box. If using  actual Chinese noodles, the back of the bag should say to place the noodles in the boiling water, wait for it to come up to a boil again, and then add 1 cup cold water. Turn off the heat and wait 6-7 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. This gives a perfect al dente.

2. Meanwhile (and I mean meanwhile or else my cook time calculation is wrong), heat a wok to high and swirl the vegetable oil on it. Add the ground pork, and use your spatula for break up clumps while it browns. When most of the morsels are browned (about 5 minutes), evacuate the pork to a different bowl and add the garlic and zha cai to the wok. Stir fry for about 1 minute, then add the pork back in along with the rice wine, chicken broth, soy sauce, chili oil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3 minutes, or until the chicken broth has formed a somewhat saucy consistency with the pork.

3. To serve, evacuate some of the sauce (about half) to a different bowl. Add the noodles back to the wok and swirl to coat the noodles, then divide amongst different bowls. Top with the reserved sauce, chili oil, sesame oil, and the chopped green onion.

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