I was inspired by a friend’s facebook post, and by a craving for noodles, to try making Dan Dan noodles, a Chinese Sichuan dish. The list of ingredients was really appealing to me – I love ginger, tahini, vinegar, and spice, so I knew it would be up my alley. And it was really easy! (The full recipe is at the end of the post.)
First I had to decide on the noodles; since I needed them to be gluten-free. I wanted to try something other than rice noodles, so, I picked up some pure Buckwheat noodles from Eden Foods. Pricey, but tasty, and high in protein. Step 1 in the recipe was cooking them, carefully tasting every minute after the first 8 minutes to make sure they did not overcook, and then rinsing them in cold water to stop the cooking.
Next up was browning the pork, then adding the ginger, and then the rest of the ingredients except for the garnish, letting it cook for a few more minutes, until thickened. Then I poured it all on top of the noodles in a glass bowl, garnished with fresh scallion and fresh peanuts, and dinner was ready. Super-quick and delicious. (I served it with a quick bok choy stir fry, which I will post about shortly.)
Recipe follows, enjoy! -Jillian
Dan Dan Noodles
(Based on a recipe from a 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.)
- 8 ounces Shanghai style noodles or udon (I used buckwheat noodles)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 ounces ground pork
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped, peeled
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons chili oil, or less. (I used 1 teaspoon chili paste since I did not have chili oil)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain; transfer to a large bowl of ice water and let stand until cold. Drain well and divide between 2 bowls.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pork, season with salt and pepper, and stir, breaking up pork with a spoon, until halfway cooked, about 2 minutes. Add ginger; cook until pork is cooked through and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and next 6 ingredients; simmer until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. Pour pork mixture over noodles; garnish with peanuts and scallions.