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Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles

These noodles are great on cool day. My family tend to like tangy foods, so I increased the amount of vinegar used, which I find helps lighten the rich flavor of the sesame paste. I use cucumbers as a garnish in this recipe, which, in my opinion, also helps lighten the flavor and cools down the dish. Great for a hot summer day!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh Shanghai noodles (or any thick noodle)

Garnish

  • 2 cucumbers, cut into thin long strips
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 to 3 tsp Sichuan hot chilli oil (optional, adjustable)
  • 2 eggs (Optional, sliced thinly or cut into quarters)

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp Chinese spicy bean paste
  • 1 to 4 tsp Sichuan chilli oil (adjust according to taste)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, adjust according to taste
  • 1 tbsp Chinese sesame paste (if not available, may substitute by adding another tbsp sesame seed oil)
  • 4 tbsp black vinegar

Topping

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 0.25 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 to 3 tsp Sichuan hot chilli oil (optional, adjust according to taste)
  • 2 to 3 stalks green onion - finely chopped

Directions

  1. Cook noodles in boiling water until al dente. Drain noodles and run cold water through noodles to reduce sticking.
  2. Mix together "Sauce" ingredients and stir into noodles until well mixed.
  3. Fry together chopped onion, garlic and ginger in cooking oil until fragrant.
  4. Add ground pork and stir frequently to avoid burning until well cooked. Add 1/2 cup water to pork, to get a more tender pork topping. Once pork is cooked and water is evaporated, may add Sichuan chilli oil if desired.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove heat. Add chopped green onion.
  6. Divide noodles mixed in sauce into 4-6 bowls. Top with meat topping, cucumbers, cilantro, eggs, Sichuan hot oil.

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