Asian street food is notorious for inexpensive and irresistibly delicious eats - and Dan Dan Noodles are no exception! This easy Dan Dan Noodle recipe is rich, spicy, and will leave you craving more!
Bursts of spices and Szechuan peppercorns light up your tastebuds, then make it tingly and slightly numb to take on more heat. Crisp and salty morsels of ground meat perfectly seasoned. And lastly, but certainly not least, chewy and bouncy egg noodles that soak up that sauce goodness. These are the magical components of Dan Dan Noodles.
Have a died and gone to flavor heaven?!
Preparing for the BEST Dan Dan Noodle Recipe
One unique ingredient used in Dan Dan Noodles is fermented mustard greens, also known as Sui Mi Ya Cai. It has a strong aroma and distinct saltiness to the dish that’s like no other. I will admit, I was a bit hesitant to add it in because the smell was so strong, but I'm glad I did anyway!
Just like cooking with fish sauce, the flavors melt together so well and elevate the dish. Traditional ingredients are included for a reason!
You can look for Sui Mi Ya Cai in your Asian market, however, I did have difficulty finding it but luckily it’s easy to find on Amazon!
Creating an Easy Work Flow
Please don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you! Yes, there are many ingredients, but they layer on top of each other to create a complex and ultimately delicious dish that’s TOTALLY worth it.
To make things as easy as possible, break down your prep and cooking into sections:
- Vegetables, if you’d like
The dish can either be dry or as a noodle soup. Either way, it’s served hot and the chilies and spices will add another level of heat to warm up your body too!
Try out this easy Dan Dan Noodles recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
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Easy Dan Dan Noodles
For the Meat
- 8 oz ground pork*
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- ¼ cup sui mi ya cai, Chinese preserved mustard greens* optional
Noodles & Veggies
- 14 oz fresh thin wheat noodles
- 8 oz baby bok choy or other leafy greens leaves separated
For the Sauce
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter or sesame paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons chili oil homemade or store bought
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns ground
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- ¼ cup water from cooking noodles
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the ingredients for the meat, except the sui mi ya cai. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil, then the marinated meat. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the meat is browned.
- Add in the sui mi ya cai and cook for an additional 1 - 2 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
The Noodles & Veggies
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bok choy and cook until the greens are tender, but still crunchy. Remove from the pot and keep the water boiling. Rinse or submerge under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Add in noodles and follow the package's instructions to cook. Remove from the pot once the noodles are cooked and reserve some of the cooking water for the sauce.
- In a small bowl, mix together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- In a serving bowl, add half of the Dan Dan sauce mixture (about 3 tablespoons), then lay the noodles on top. Add the bok choy on top of the noodles, then the meat mixture. Garnish green onions and sesame seeds, if desired. Mix everything together before enjoying!
- Protein: Can substitute meat with your favorite protein: ground chicken, turkey, beef, or crumbled extra-firm tofu
- Light / Regular vs Dark Soy Sauce: Both types of soy sauces bring different elements to the dish. Light or regular soy sauce adds saltiness and can be easily accessible at grocery stores. Dark soy sauce adds a deep rich color and can be found at local Asian markets or Amazon. If you can't find dark soy sauce, keep in mind that your Dan Dan Noodles will come out lighter in color.
- Shaoxing Wine: This is a Chinese cooking wine and can be found at local Asian markets or Amazon.
- Sui mi ya cai: This is a Chinese preserved mustard green and is a traditional ingredient for Dan Dan Noodles. It can sometimes be difficult to find even in Asian markets, but you can find it on Amazon. Alternatively, you can substitute with pickled mustard greens, kimchi, or omit it.
- Noodles: You can easily find fresh noodles at local Asian markets in the refrigerated section. I highly recommend using them if you're tight on time because they only take a few minutes to cook. Alternatively, you can use spaghetti noodles!
- If noodles get stuck together while preparing the rest of the ingredients, you can splash a little water on them to loosen them up before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
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