Sichuan Dan-Dan Noodles

By • September 2, 2013 30 Comments

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Author Notes: This fiercely spicy and addictive noodle will burn and numb your face off at the same time. This recipe requires red and green sichuan peppercorns (yes, there are two different types!) and "douban chili paste", which are all common Chinese ingredients. Online sources for all the ingredients are included on the original website: @ Lady and pups

Food52 Review: Dan-Dan noodles are a fast and fresh option for people who love spicy, sweet, and tangy cooking. If you are looking for a mild to moderate introduction to sichuan cooking, the amount of spice recommended by this recipe is perfect. If you like living on the numbingly dangerous side of exploratory cooking, you may want to kick up the chili quantities listed. Either way, after eating these noodles you won’t be left wanting for a sinus-clearing meal this fall. The recommended serving was 2 to 4, however, it is hard to imaging 4 satisfied diners based on these quantities. I would up cooking twice the amount of noodles, but the broth and sauce measurements were spot on. The chili oil was OUTSTANDING. Emily

Serves 2 to 4

Quick sichuan chili oil

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 scallion, cut into segments
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon, approximately 1 inch long
  • 3 teaspoons green Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili flakes (preferably Sichuan or Korean)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Dan-dan sauce and noodle

  • 5.3 ounces (150 grams) ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 piece of ginger, approximately 1 tablespoon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons douban chili paste, depending on saltiness
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red sichuan peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine, or rice wine
  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of Asian dry noodles
  • Chopped scallions or cilantro, for garnish
  1. A little note on Sichuan peppercorns: Not all Sichuan peppercorns are created equal. The quality and variety of the these mini pods will separate your dish from being bland to great. There are two major varieties, one green and one red. The green one delivers a powerful “numbing” sensation on your tongue which is the meaning of the word “ma” in Chinese dishes. The red one provides an intensely floral and peppery fragrance but with very little of the “numbing” effect. They are usually used together to produce the perfect balance in Sichuan cuisine. Online source for ingredients, including "douban chili paste" is listed on my website.
  2. Make the chili oil: If you don’t already have homemade and bottled Sichuan chili oil on hand (why the hell don’t you?), you can put together a quick one. Combine vegetable oil, scallion, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, green peppercorn and red peppercorn in a small sauce pot. Set over medium heat and let the ingredients fry in the oil until the garlic and scallion are faintly browned. Add the chili flakes, ground coriander, and cumin. Evenly stir and keep frying for another minute until the chili flakes slightly darken in color. Turn off the heat and set it aside (the longer it sits, the better the flavor).
  3. Make the dan-dan sauce: Mix the pork evenly with soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside. Purée garlic, ginger, douban paste, and peanut butter in a food processor until smooth. You don’t have to do this if you don’t mind the sometimes chunky texture of douban paste -- just mince the garlic and ginger, then combine it with douban paste and peanut butter. In a medium heavy-bottom pot, nicely brown the pork in 1 tbsp of oil. Add the ground red sichuan peppercorn, puréed paste and sauté until fragrant, with some brown bits forming at the bottom of the pot, approximately 2 minutes. Add the rice wine and deglaze the pot, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer then add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar to balance out the saltiness. Then add ground white pepper and keep simmering for another 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring another big pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package instructions. I would suggest NOT using fresh noodles as they absorb the sauce too quickly once combined. Drain the noodles once cooked, toss with sauce, and divide them into 2 bowls. Divide the sauce into the same bowls and add a few sprigs of cilantro or diced scallions.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons (or more) of the chili oil on top through a sieve. Stir and slurp and… BURN!

More Great Recipes: Pork|Entrees|Snacks|Pasta

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Comments (30) Questions (0)


3 months ago Suma Chandrasekaran

made this with only one substitution- used skippy peanut butter because its what I had on hand (sorry!) and eliminated the sugar. I've never had this dish before but its delicious! Love your recipes and photography on your blog!


7 months ago Jessica

I've been making this recipe with my boyfriend, over and over for about two years now. It is an amazing recipe, best Dan Dan noodles I ever had.


9 months ago Jen Monroe

did a version with baby bok choy and eggplant. so good!


12 months ago kkl

Made my own version. Used oyster sauce, dark sauce, light sauce, sichuan pepper corns, sugar and dried chilli paste. Added deboned chicken meat marinated in Chinese rice wine. Not quite dan dan but my family loved it.


over 1 year ago AGIRLANDAPIG

Made this this weekend. I substituted the peanut butter for almond butter (because of an allergy) and it turned out great! So much more authentic than other dan dan recipes on the internet.


over 1 year ago BONGO

Made this yesterday. I am in love.


almost 2 years ago sally dpdp

Love this recipe. Just a question. When are the ground red peppercorns to be added to the sauce?


almost 2 years ago Mandy @ Lady and pups

Oh, sorry! It should be added to the pot once the pork is browned, with the paste! Will add that in right now.


almost 2 years ago Trena Heinrich



almost 2 years ago renee789

I just made this, and it is so gooooood! Many thanks!


almost 2 years ago Sherman Levine

A "bunch of Asian dry noodles" is so lo-phan touristy, it defies credulity. Rice, mung bean or wheat would've helped, just as "If you choose to use fresh noodles, shock them in an ice bath, after cooking, then drain and lightly oil'em. Just before serving, chuck'em in a hot wok or sauté pan to heat...and this recipe looks scrumptious-delicious as well!


almost 2 years ago Coing

I have never heard of green sichuan peppercorns before. What is that supposed to be?


almost 2 years ago Mandy @ Lady and pups

Coing, green sichuan peppercorn is slightly different from red sichuan peppercorn as it is much more "numbing". I have explained this in more detail on my website.


almost 2 years ago Melissa

I have a few questions. I desperately want to make this, and don't want to screw it up. Have those of you who have made this found 5.3 ounces of ground pork to be sufficient for 2 to 4 servings? Also, is there a better definition for dried asian noodles (soba, rice,..., and how much is 1 bunch; 12 ounces, 16 ounces...?


almost 2 years ago Kim

I've made this twice now for 2 people and really it's so easy once you have the main elements prepped. I used grass fed ground beef as I couldn't get good pork, and used 1/2 lb or 8 oz, for 2 people and it was enough. I don't think 5.3 oz would be enough for a full serving for 2 people if that was the main dish. If it was a 4 serving main dish I would use 16 oz of ground meat. The noodles I used were medium udon: 2 bunches, 1 bunch per person. They come in 8oz packages, 3 bunches per package or 2.6oz per bunch. Over all I'd say JUST USE LOTS, you'll eat it all!


almost 2 years ago Melissa

Thank you very much, Kim! I now feel I am better equipped to make this. I really appreciate your response!


almost 2 years ago Mandy @ Lady and pups

Kim, Melissa,
Regarding the serving size being too small... Dan-dan noodle is traditionally a "snack", not an entree in Sichuan. A very small bowl of it is usually how it's served and therefore I listed it as 2~4 servings. Authentically, the meat isn't supposed to be very prominent, either.


almost 2 years ago Melissa

Thank you, good to know!


almost 2 years ago Kim

I made this last night...with a few modifications for things I couldn't find: black bean garlic paste+Sambal chili for douban chili paste: regular peppercorns in the chili oil as I'm out of Sichuan. I'm ordering Sichuan Peppercorns today and have read through ALL of Ladyandpups angry posts for more amazing recipes and techniques! Needless to say this was the most AMAZING thing I've eaten in a while. And I'm making it again tonight...just to be sure.


almost 2 years ago Mama Bear

Kim, what was the dish like with regular peppercorns? Thanks.


almost 2 years ago Kim

Totally different thing with regular peppercorns, but still super tasty and certainly worth doing! Not as hot...the Sichuan Peppercorns create a physical sensation on the tongue that's hard to describe, as well as adding flavor and heat. Regular peppercorns are just a flavor and a bit of heat if you use enough.


almost 2 years ago Mama Bear

Thanks Kim. I'm sooooo excited to finally have the recipe but I don't have any Sichuan Peppercorns nor are any sold in my area. I don't buy anything online so regular peppercorns will have to do until I can find some. I used to eat Dan Dan Moodles every Friday when I lived in Calgary until I moved away in 1989. I didn't even know what it was called - the staff at the restaurant called it Dum Dum Me so it was hard to find. Since then, I've only had the dish a couple of times. I can hardly wait. Thanks for replying. I'll keep my eye out for the spices the next time I go to Vancouver. Would you suggest using the same amount of regular peppercorns as Sichuan peppercorns? Cheers!


almost 2 years ago Kim

Yes, just substitute regular peppercorns at the same amount in both the chili oil and sauce. Just make sure they're crushed up good! If you do run across the Sichuan peppercorns be sure to make some of the Chili Oil, it is amazing stuff and is good with just about anything. My natural foods store in town can order Sichuan peppercorns. You might try asking a place that stocks good bulk spices is they can get them for you. Have Fun!


almost 2 years ago Mama Bear

I just thought of something, what about it I substitute something like
- http://www.hormelfoods...
House of Tsang Hot Chili Sesame Oil 5 oz
VH® Szechwan Stir-Fry Sauce

I can get these locally. I just tried 1 tsp of the Hot Chili Sesame Oil in 4 cups of fried rice (incl veg) which was about the right temperature for my children.

My daughter used 1 tablespoon of the Sechuan Stir Fry Sauce in about 3 cups (incl veg) fried rice and it was good but hardly made a dent with spice heat. She thinks this should be increased to 2 tablespoons.

I'm thinking I should just combine the two different sauces until I can get Sechuan peppercorns. I can hardly wait! I'll post an update. Thanks so much.....


almost 2 years ago foxeslovelemons

Oh, my husband and I just love dan dan noodles, but we've never tried them at home. Saving this recipe for sure. Congrats on the CP!


almost 2 years ago Bevi

This is going into the nuclear family repertoire for our upcoming nuke fam trip. Your blog is awesome.


almost 2 years ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

Omg, this dish looks positively glorious


almost 2 years ago Midge

Love dan-dan noodles. Saved!


almost 2 years ago indieculinary

Thinking about this recipe has made me too hungry to cook.


almost 2 years ago student epicure

oh, yum! dandan mian is one of my favorites! really enjoyed checking out your blog too.