Dan Dan Noodles July 14 2020, 2 Comments

Ingredients

Noodle sauce

  • 1/3 cup Tahini
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup Rice vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 2 green onion , finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns , toasted and grounded (*footnote 2)

Pork topping

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 lb (450 g) ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 green onions , chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fermented black beans , rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup mustard greens
  • 2 tablespoons Dry Sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

To assemble

  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts ( or almonds) , crushed
  • 14 oz (400 g) Dan Dan noodles (or thin wheat noodles or rice noodles)
  • 1 small batch leafy green vegetables , roughly chopped (spinach, choy sum, baby bok choy etc.)
  •  Chili oil , to taste (*footnote 1)

Instructions

Prepare sauce

  • Whisk the sesame paste and light soy sauce together in a bowl until fully incorporated. Add the Rice vinegar. Continue stirring until mixed. Then mix in the garlic, green onion, honey, and Sichuan peppercorns.

Prepare the pork topping

  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the pork. Cook and stir until the surface is lightly browned.
  • Turn to medium heat. Add the ginger, green onion, fermented black beans, Mustard greens, cooking wine, and sugar. Cook and chop the pork into small pieces, until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork turns a dark brown colour. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the noodles

  • Cook the noodles according to instructions.
  • Briefly blanch the leafy green vegetables, drain, and set aside.

To assemble the noodle bowls

  • For each noodle bowl, add 1/4 cup of noodle sauce. Add the chili oil according to your taste. Add some noodles, then top with a few spoonfuls of the cooked pork and green veggies. Garnish with peanut or almond crumbles and chopped green onion. Sprinkle with a pinch of toasted ground Sichuan peppercorn, if you like the numbing taste.
  • Serve hot or cold.

Notes

1. Do add some chili oil even if you prefer not to eat spicy food, because it will add aroma to the sauce and your sauce won't end up very spicy.
2. I usually roast the Sichuan peppercorns in a bit of oil until they turn dark brown. Then pat them dry with paper towel and grind them into powder. The oil-roasted peppercorns will be less pungent and have a more rounded flavour. I prefer the cooked peppercorns in cold dishes and sauces so they won't overpower the other ingredients.