Bowl of spicy Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles, ready to be eaten
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Dan Dan Noodles

Recipe video above. The iconic spicy Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles, made at home! Am intensely flavoured spicy sesame chilli oil sauce tossed with noodles and pork. Don't be daunted by the list and steps, there's no need to rush. Cook and prepare all the parts except the noodles. Cook the noodles just before serving so they're piping hot because the idea is to toss hot noodles with the pork and sauce so the heat warms everything else up. That's the Dan Dan way!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: American Chinese, Sichuan, Szechuan
Keyword: Dan Dan Noodles, Sichuan food, Sichuan noodles, Spicy noodles
Servings: 4
Calories: 604kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

Dan Dan Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp Chinese sesame sauce (sub tahini, Note 1)
  • 1.5 tbsp Chinese chilli paste in oil , adjust spiciness (Note 2)
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce (Note 3)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder (Note 4)
  • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper powder , preferably freshly ground (Note 5)
  • 3 tbsp (or more!) chilli oil , preferably Chinese (Note 6)
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) chicken broth/stock , hot, low sodium

Pork topping:

  • 2 tsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce (Note 7)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (sub 2 tbsp extra chicken stock)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder (Note 4)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g/ 8oz pork mince (ground pork)

Sui mi ya cai (preserved mustard greens):

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 30g (1/4 cup) Sui Mi Ya Cai (preserved mustard greens) , finely chopped (Note 8)

To serve:

  • 500g/1lb white fresh noodles , medium thickness (Note 9)
  • 16 choy sum stems , cut into 15cm pieces
  • 2 green onions , finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp peanuts , finely chopped (optional)

Instructions

Dan Dan Sauce:

  • Mix all ingredients except oil and chicken stock. Then gently stir in oil and stock - oil should be sitting on surface. Set aside.

Pork:

  • Mix together hoisin, soy, Chinese wine and five spice ("Sauce").
  • Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add pork and cook, breaking it up as you, until it changes from pink to white. Add Sauce and cook for 1 minute, then transfer into a bowl.

Sui mi ya cai (preserved mustard greens):

  • Return skillet to stove, reduce to medium heat. Add oil into middle of skillet.
  • Add Sui mi ya cai and stir for 30 seconds, just to warm through. Set aside.

Noodles & choi sum:

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook noodles per packet directions.
  • Add choi sum for last 1 minute of cooking.
  • Drain.

Assemble:

  • Ladle 1/4 of Dan Dan Sauce into a bowl. Pile in noodles, top with pork and Sui mi ya cai. Place choi sum on side.
  • Sprinkle with peanuts and green onions and serve.
  • To eat, mix it all up to coat the noodles well with Sauce, then devour!

Notes

1. Chinese Sesame Sauce - sold in Asian stores, consistency like honey, tastes like tahini (ie used in Hummus) but more intense flavour and slightly darker colour. Sub 2.5 tbsp tahini - or last resort, peanut butter (yes, seriously!). If you can only find Chinese Sesame PASTE (thicker, like peanut butter consistency) reduce to 1.5 tbsp.
2. Chinese Chilli paste in oil - My favourite is Fuyun Xiang La Wang (chilli sauce) which is sold at most Chinese grocers. Use leftovers to add chilli kick to anything Asian, or for dipping sauces for things like Potstickers / GyozaSubstitute any Asian chilli paste (preferably in oil), a plain chilli paste, sambal oelek, and add an extra glug of chilli oil.
3. Light soy sauce - bottle will be labelled as such. Can sub with all purpose soy sauce, do not sub with dark soy sauce (too strong flavour).
4. Chinese Five Spice Powder is a spice mix of (don't fall of your chair!) five different spices. It's a common spice blend sold at grocery stores (??Woolies, Coles).
5. Sichuan Pepper - spiciness is numbing rather than the usual fiery heat of chilli, and a slight lemony flavour, common in Sichuan foods (eg Kung Pao Chicken). Available at Asian stores and some grocery stores with speciality spices (eg ??Harris Farms), it's best to lightly toast in dry skillet then freshly grind your own if you can but for convenience, just use pre ground (I do this mostly). Substitute with white pepper.
6. Chilli Oil - Bright red in colour, and as spicy as it looks! You'll find Chinese chilli oil in any Asian grocery store, otherwise, any chilli oil will do just fine. Restaurants use a LOT more oil than I do so feel free to up the quantity! Substitute 1 part sriracha to 2 parts oil.
7. Sui Mi Ya Cai (preserved mustard greens) - find in Asian stores (is cheap ~$1.30), best sub is finely chopped kimchi. Don't fret if you can't find this, recipe only uses a sprinkle. It's Chinese pickled mustard greens (a type of green vegetable) from Sichuan. Texture and saltiness is like kimchi.
8. Dark soy sauce - stains sauces a darker colour and has more intense soy flavour. Bottle will be labelled as such if it's Dark Soy Sauce. Sub 2 tsp normal or light soy sauce - pork will not be as brown.
9. Noodles - best to use fresh noodles (fridge section), white medium thickness ie 3mm / 1/8" thick. If using dried, use 300g/10oz white noodles made with wheat and prepare per packet. White noodles is traditional (looks terrific against red sauce), but otherwise use any noodles you can (500g/1lb fresh or 300g/10oz dried).
10. GENERAL NOTES
  • Recipe as written is spicy but not blow-your-head-off spicy
  • Reduce spiciness by using less chilli paste, Sichuan pepper and lastly, less chili oil (the oil is a key part of Dan Dan Noodles - look, mouthfeel and flavour)
  • Pork amount is small - not supposed to be meat loaded, just a sprinkling. Can double pork (click Servings and slide to scale)
  • Can add more steamed Asian greens to make complete meal
11. This recipe first appeared on www.goodfood.com.au where I contribute recipes monthly. Reprinted on my own website with permission!
Recipes used in coming up with this recipe include: China Sichuan Food and as always, the wonderful family at The Woks of Life to whom I credit much of my learnings of truly authentic Chinese food. I am a devoted fan girl.
12. Nutrition per serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1364mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg