Dan Dan Noodles 擔擔麵

by Yi on December 23, 2013 · 42 comments

Post image for Dan Dan Noodles 擔擔麵

Happy Holidays and thank you all for participating the Holiday Gift Certificate Giveaway! Don’t forget to check out the winner announcement here!

Holidays are all about family, friends, and delicious and fun food. For many Chinese families, that means 1) hosting a hot pot party or 2) attending a hot pot party at someone else’s house. For me, since I am not seeing my folks this year, I’ll mostly likely keep my Christmas really low key and cook some simple but comforting Sichuan dish such as Dan Dan Noodles (aka Dan Dan Mian, 擔擔麵, or 担担面)

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

For those of you frequent Sichuan (Szechuan) eateries, you probably know that Dan Dan Noodles is arguably one of the must-try dishes at any Sichuan restaurants. In fact it’s so popular that this spicy, sweet, and tangy noodle dish has often used to measure how authentic a restaurant is!

In Sichuan, I grew up eating authentic Dan Dan Noodles which are somewhat different from the versions served in the States. For one, the dish is generally considered as a quick snack and often served out of street stands and eaten from a Styron form bowl. Also, the authentic fare consists noodles swimming in scary amount of chili oil which could be lethal to some non-local eaters.

Unlike this Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) Noodle dish, Dan Dan Noodles are traditionally not a soup noodle dish. Rather it’s hybrid between soup noodle and noodle salad. There is just enough sauce to coat the noodles but not enough for you to drink.

A note about the noodles. If you have been following me on facebook, you probably know that I am a huge fan of noodle dishes. I live in a small apartment and cook in a tiny urban kitchen which is probably smaller than some of your powder rooms. But I still manage to keep a pasta machine just so I can make my own fresh noodles. If you don’t feel like making your own noodles, you can use fresh Chinese noodles (such as lo mein) or fresh Korean noodles (thanks Luci for your tips).

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe I know it’s a lot of hassle but the fresh noodles do make a huge difference if you are into that perfect elastic and chewy noodle texture!

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

In this recipe, I am only suggesting the minimum of chili oil you should use in order to preserve the flavor profile. However if you feel like eating like Sichuan locals, just double or triple the amount of chili oil.

Step by Step Illustration

Notes:

This recipe serves two small bowls of Dan Dan Noodles. You need to divide the ingredients to two portions when building the sauce.
Ya Cai is a special persevered mustard green from Sichuan. If you can’t find it use other kinds of Chinese persevered mustard vegetables instead.

Dan Dan Noodles

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 Bowls

Make this famous Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles following this step-by-step recipe at www.yireservation.com.

Ingredients

  • 6oz fresh Chinese noodles (can substitute with fresh Korean noodles or dry noodles)
  • Handful of fresh leafy vegetables such as spinach
  • Dan Dan Meat Topping
  • 4oz ground pork
  • 4oz ya cai (preserved mustard green from Sichuan), chopped
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 1tsp five spice powder
  • Dan Dan Sauce
  • 2tsp garlic, grated
  • 2tsp Chinese sesame paste
  • 4tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 4tbsp chili oil (more if you can handle the heat)
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 2tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 1cup hot chicken or pork stock, unsalted (can substitute with boiled water)
  • Chopped scallions for garnish

Instructions

  1. To make the meat topping: sauté ground pork and ya cai in 1 tbsp of cooking oil over high heat. When the meat turns color, add soy sauce, cooking wine, and five spice powder. Cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside
  2. To build the Dan Dan Noodle sauce: combine the garlic and sesame paste in a bowl. Mix using a spoon until smooth
  3. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients except the scallions. Stir until well incorporated
  4. While building the sauce, cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water until al dente. If using fresh noodles, it should take about 3 – 4 minutes
  5. Cook the vegetable in the same pot. To get the best noodle texture, shock the noodles in ice water right after cooking to stop the noodles from cooking
  6. Drain the excess water and drop the noodles into the sauce. Add the meat topping and garnish with scallions. Feel free to add additional chili oil according to your own taste
http://yireservation.com/recipes/dan-dan-noodles/

These noodles need to be served right away so the noodles don’t get saggy.

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Harvey May 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Glad I found your blog Yi! Awesome stuff!

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2 Yi May 4, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Thanks Harvey. Hope you find the recipes interesting/helpful:)

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3 SK Lim April 29, 2014 at 12:03 am

Is there a post on how to make fresh noodles?

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4 Siow April 28, 2014 at 10:20 am

How do you make fresh noodles?? I can’t locate the recipe on your site. Thanks

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5 Julia January 27, 2014 at 10:31 am

This would be a great contribution to my Lunar New Year Pinterest party! Would you consider sharing it? Today’s post explains how to participate. http://swirlsandspice.com/2014/01/27/lunar-new-year-recipe-pinterest-party/

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6 Yi January 27, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Hi Julia, thanks for reaching to you. I am going to check out your post soon!

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7 Has January 19, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Finally the recipe ive been waiting for!! Thanks a lot!Will try this one soon :))

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8 angelitakarmalita January 5, 2014 at 8:26 am

I love noodles too, and I LOVE Dan Dan Noodles! I’m so excited that I found your site, I can’t wait to try these. I also really appreciate the note from Luci about the Korean noodles being a good substitute for making fresh noodles, and I just happen to have a pkg of those in my frig right now! and yu choy, and pork and the Sichuan veggies…. It’s about 10 degrees outside and I think this might be just the right thing for a day like today! Thanks Yi!

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9 Yi January 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

Hello there, thank you so much for the comment! I am so happy to hear that you love Dan Dan noodle dish and you’ll be making it! Please let me know how you liked the recipe!

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10 Abbe@This is How I Cook December 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I can’t wait to try your version. In fact, I’d try just about any version of Dan Dan noodles! never have tried preserved mustard greens but I go to an Asian market regularly and will have to look for them. Thanks, Yi!

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11 tigerfish December 29, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Just by reading your description of the sauce and looking at those noodles photos makes me drool….and drool lots! The pork and ya cai combi. must be so flavorful! and the sauce too! What a great way to spend Christmas…I am so with you on that. :)

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12 ATasteOfMadness December 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Wow, what a delicious looking dish! I’m getting hungry just looking at this!

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13 Luci Long December 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I recently made Xiao Mian, similar to your dish without ground pork. Adding Szechuan Pepper oil makes a huge difference. I think if some of your readers find it a problem to make fresh noodles, they can buy the fresh Korean noodles as substitute. They are the closest thing to wet noodles.

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14 Yi December 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Hello Luci, thanks for visiting. Great call on Korean fresh noodles. I’ll add that tip to the recipe so other readers would know! Also agree with the extra aroma from sichuan peppercorn oil. Since it’s a bit advanced for some of the readers I’ll cover sichuan peppercorn in my xiao mian recipe (which is my absolute comfort food!). Thanks again for the comments!!

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15 Donalyn@The Creekside Cook December 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

I agree about fresh noodles making all the difference in the world. I don’t find making them to be tedious at all, because it is so worth the effort. And glad to have this recipe for one of my favorite noodle dishes – I pinned it so I don’t lose track of it. Happy {US} New Year!

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16 Yi December 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Thanks Donalyn! Happy New Year to you too!

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17 Shuhan December 29, 2013 at 2:10 am

WOAH YOU DA MAN YI! That looks amazing, especially love that you went all out, making your own noodles. I agree too, that fresh noodles make all the difference. Used to be lazy with it, but then I got a pasta machine as a present and since then, have never looked back ;) I’m definitely adding this to my list of homemade noodle recipes. Gorgeous.

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18 Yi December 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Wholeheartedly agree that nothing beats freshly made noodles! Thanks for the kind words!

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19 Juliana December 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Wow, homemade noodles…I have not had this noodles for a while…so delicious!
Yes, I love the chewy texture…
Happy New Year Yi!

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20 Yi December 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Welcome back Juliana! Yes the fresh noodles make this dish extra tasty in my opinion! Happy holidays!

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21 Katie December 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I made it and it was good

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22 Yi December 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Hi Katie, thank you for the feedback. I am so glad that you like these noodles.

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23 Irina @ wandercrush December 27, 2013 at 12:53 am

Dan dan noodles are one of my favourite dishes in the world. Your blog is so legitimate amongst all the Westernised noodle dish recipes out there! I remember reading and trusting your recipes long before I started my own blog, so to be trading comments with you now is quite the honour :)

And Merry Christmas!

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24 Yi December 27, 2013 at 8:18 am

Hi Irina, thanks for the flattering comment. It’s my pleasure to find your wonderful blog I’ll definitely be following your food journey as well. Thanks for being a long time reader of my blog!

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25 Jeannie Tay December 26, 2013 at 12:44 am

Hi Yi, you make it sounds like it’s so simple to make the noodles but I know it’s not:P looks delicious!

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26 Yi December 26, 2013 at 8:31 am

Hi Jeannie, it’s not really that hard one you start making it. Just give it a try and you’ll know :)

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27 Carolyn Jung December 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I am swooning. This is one of my all-time fave comfort foods. Noodles plus a savory-umami sauce and bits of meaty goodness in every bite. Ahh, heaven!

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28 Yi December 25, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Thanks Carolyn. Umami is such a good term for this dish!

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29 Candice December 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

I love Dan Dan noodles. I see some places make it as a soup noodle. Why is that?

I can’t wait to try and make this recipe.

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30 Yi December 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Hi Candice, there are many recipes and variations in Dan Dan noodles. The Sichuan style is less soupy. However I know that the Japanese style (often spelled as Tan Tan Noodles) is served as soup noodle. I like them both :)

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31 Anita December 24, 2013 at 12:47 am

Hi Yi, I am drooling over your dan dan noodles. And you made your own noodles to boot! How I wish I can have some right now :D

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32 Yi December 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Thanks Anita. I wish you can taste it through the screen :)

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33 mjskit December 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Oh, it’s been years since I’ve had Dan Dan Noodles but I still remember how delicious they are. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! What a scrumptious dish! I can’t believe you make your own noodles. They look perfect.

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34 Yi December 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm

thank you MJ! The fresh noodles are def worth the effort!

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35 DB December 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Wow! Those preserved vegetables look so fresh and green. The ones I find are gray-green in color. Usually they are sold in barrels or in vacuum sealed packages. This looks like a great recipe but I do have a few questions, if you don’t mind.
I don’t make my own noodles and I’ve not tried this dish before. Is it acceptable to use the wonton type noodle in package (usually by Twin Marquis which are cooked for no more than 2 min)—or do I use the lo mein type? Is Chinese Black vinegar the Chingkiang vinegar that is used in the ginger dipping sauce (for steamed meat buns)? Thanks for all your recipes.

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36 Yi December 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Hello DB, thanks for checking out this recipe! These are really good questions. Between the wonton noodles and lo mein noodles I’d choose the latter. Wonton noodles have good texture but they are just too thin and not enough “bite”. Cook the lo mein noodles al dente and you’ll have a bowl of good dan dan noodles. Regarding the vinegar, yes the black vinegar is Chingkiang vinegar! Chingkiang vinegar is one of the most well known brands under the black vinegar umbrella. Lastly, you can use the more common preserved vegetables sold in barrels, just need to chop them up.
If you do get to make this delicious I’d love to hear how you like it!
Thanks again for posting the questions and I hope this is helpful to you.

Yi

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37 John@Kitchen Riffs December 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Such a great dish! And a real favorite of mine. I make fresh noodles all the time, but oddly enough not for this dish – I should. And I keep preserved mustard greens on hand just to use in this dish! Your recipe is wonderful – thanks. And I hope you have a terrific holiday!

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38 Yi December 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Preserved mustard greens are such a underrated ingredients and I am so happy to hear that you appreciate it. Happy holidays!

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39 Angie@Angie's Recipes December 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Cool that you even made the fresh noodles for this Szechuan classic. I love the flavours.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Angie

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40 Yi December 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm

happy holidays Angie! glad that you like this noodle dish!

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41 Bam's Kitchen December 23, 2013 at 8:22 am

Good for you for making your own homemade noodles. They really are so much better. My teenagers love spicy food and will have to book mark this recipe for later as I know they would love it. I have Chinese black sesame paste would this be ok to use? Have a super day! BAM

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42 Yi December 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Hi BAM, is the Chinese black sesame paste sweet? If not it should work. Thanks for stopping by!

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