Friday, December 18, 2009

Dan Dan Noodles

When I fall for a food, I fall hard. Lately, I can't stop thinking about the Dan Dan noodles I had at Seven Star Peppers. Now that I've done some research I know that saying Dan Dan noodles is almost like the Szechuan version of saying spaghetti sauce - it implies something very general. The dish that I love is the soupy, peanutty kind of Dan Dan so that's what I've tried to recreate here (with lots of help from a recipe I found in Food & Wine magazine and, of course, Johnny). If you haven't had good Dan Dan noodles you might not realize that you need to make this right now, immediately, tonight. I don't even have a picture to post because it was so good the night I made it that I was finished eating before I could think of getting the camera. I'll add a photo next time I make it (probably tomorrow because I could eat this every other day). Oh, I almost forgot one of the best parts - it takes maybe 15 minutes to make this.

Dan Dan Noodles
serves 4
printable version

1/4 c peanut oil (or other non-olive oil)
1/2 c toasted peanuts (use very plain toasted ones or toast them with the oil in a pan)
1 jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 inch of ginger, skinned and chopped
5 T soy sauce
2 T water
2 T Sri Racha (Asian hot sauce that is widely available and good to have in the cupboard)
1 T sugar
2 t sesame oil

1 pound ground pork or chicken
2 c chicken stock
1 c slivered carrots
3 baby Bok Choys, or about 2 cups shredded cabbage
Noodles to serves 4 - I used Udon that I found in my grocery store, but you could use other Asian noodles or even fettuccine

  • Put all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Saute the pork in a pan large enough to have the noodles and sauce added later.
  • When the pork is done, add the Bok Choy and saute for a couple of minutes, just until the Bok Choy is wilted. 
  • Add the carrots and stock and heat through.
  • Add the cooked noodles (if you're using Udon noodles, don't cook them on the side first, just add them to the sauce and simmer for about a minute). Done.
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