The bang bang chicken that I made a few days ago reminded me of another one of my favourite Sichuan dishes, dan dan mian and that is not too surprising given how similar they are. Dan dan mian or dandan noodles is a Chinese Sichuan dish consisting of pork and preserved vegetables in a spicy chili oil based sauce with Sichuan peppercorns that is served over noodles. There are many different variations on dan dan noodles and one common one is to add sesame paste which makes the sauce very similar to the bang bang chicken sauce.
I first came across dan dan noodles on Appetite for China a number of years ago and I had to make it right away! Unfortunately I was never completely satisfied with the photo that I took to go along with the recipe so I seized the impending Chinese New Year as an excuse to update the photos! While I was doing some more research on dan dan mian I came across several photos where it looked like the sauce was much more broth-y almost like more of a soup as opposed to the thicker almost ragu like sauce that I had always encountered. I liked the sound of the more soup like version and so I added a bit more chicken broth to the recipe than I normally do and it turned out great!
The original, thicker sauced version is above, the more soup like sauce version is below and I definitely prefer the more soup like version! Slurping noodles is always fun and it is even better if they are in a broth! Serve with mouth cooling julienned cucumber or juicy steamed baby bok choy along with extra chili oil or sauce for those that like it hot!
Dan Dan Mian (Noodles in Spicy Chinese Peanut Pork Sauce)
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Servings: 4
Noodles in a tasty and spicy Chinese Sichuan chili, sesame and pork sauce.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
- 3 tablespoons sesame paste (or tahini or peanut butter)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free for gluten free)
- 2 tablespoon Chinkiang black rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1-3 tablespoon chili oil or chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
- 4 tablespoons tianjin preserved vegetables (optional)
- 1/2+ cup chicken broth or chicken stock *
- 3/4 pound noodles, cooked (gluten free for gluten free)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- julienned cucumber to taste (optional)
- Cook the pork in a large pan over medium heat hitting it with a splash of rice wine, about 10 minutes and set aside.
- Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat, add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the sesame paste, soy sauce, black rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns and mix until smooth, about a minute.
- Add the pork, preserved vegetables and broth and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Divide the noodles between 4 bowls, top with the sauce, garnish with green onions and a side of cucumber and enjoy!
Option: For One-Pan: Make this a one-pan meal by adding 8 ounces of pasta and 2 1/4 cups broth or water (or 1 cup of rice and 2 cups broth or water) to the sauce in step 4 and simmer, covered, until cooked, about 12 minutes (or 20 minutes for rice).
Note: Use 1/2 cup of chicken broth for the thicker version and 1 cup or more for the more soup like version.
Note: If you cannot find the sesame paste tahini or even peanut butter can be used as a substitute and if you use peanut butter, chopped peanuts are a great garnish that adds a nice crunchy texture.