food

Recipe: Dan Dan Mian

A spice-infused noodle dish that has its origins in Chinese Sichuan cuisine, dan dan mian is an Asian street-food classic that you can recreate at home.

Nic Gossage/Bauersyndication.com.au/magazinefeatures.co.za

Dan Dan Mian | House and Leisure

With a serious kick of chilli plus the unique flavour of Sichuan pepper, Dan Dan Mian is a Chinese street-food classic for very good reasons.

It's not just about heat, either, as you get strong umami flavours from the pork and soy sauce contrasting the slight bitterness of the greens, as well as loads of textural interest provided by the silky noodles and crunchy peanuts (which also add a slight sweetness to this bowl of deliciousness) .

As with many recipes for classic Asian food, this one has quite a long list of ingredients – but once you've got these all together and done your basic prep, the dish comes together very quickly.

Dan Dan Mian

Ingredients

  • 400g fresh egg noodles
  • 1 bunch pak choi, quartered
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 300g pork mince
  • 1T dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped, to serve
  • Chiu Chow chilli oil, to serve (optional)
For the spicy sauce 
  • ⅓ cup crunchy peanut butter 
  • 3T Chiu Chow chilli oil 
  • 1½T black vinegar 
  • ½T light soy sauce 
  • 1T sesame oil 
  • 2t caster sugar 
  • 1t toasted Sichuan pepper, ground 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated

Method

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.

Add the pak choi 1 minute before the noodles finish cooking. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat.

Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute or until starting to soften.

Add the mince and cook for 8 minutes, or until well browned, breaking up any lumps.

Add the soy sauce, stir through and set aside.

Combine the spicy sauce ingredients in a medium bowl with the reserved cooking liquid.

Divide among four bowls, and top with the noodles, pak choi, mince and peanuts.

As an optional extra, drizzle over a dash of chilli oil.

Serves 4
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