By • January 31, 2016 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Can't decide whether to have Dan Dan Noodles or Ramen? This is for you.

The chili oil recipe makes far more than you'll need. The extra keeps for months in the fridge, and you can use it in any

recipe that calls for Sichuan chili oil, like tradional Dan Dan noodles or red oil wontons.

This recipe is based on the Tantanmen recipe from the Jan 2013 issue of Saveur

(http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Sesame-Chile-Ramen) with a soupcon from Kenji Alt's Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen

recipe (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/vegan-ramen-miso-creamy-vegan-vegetarian-food-lab-recipe.html). If you

haven't made that vegan ramen, do. It takes an afternoon, but it is, hands down, the best ramen I've ever had, vegan or not.


Serves 4 - 5

  • Sichuan Chili Oil
  • 1 cup canola, grapeseed, or some other neutral flavored oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 3 half inch thick slices fresh ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 black cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup coarse Korean pepper flakes
  • Ramen Broth
  • 3 quarts chicken stock (low sodium canned or boxed is fine)
  • 2 lbs chicken wings or chicken thighs
  • 1 3 inch long piece kombu (optional but recommended)
  • Sesame Tare
  • 1/4 cup roasted sesame paste (though tahini works too)
  • 1/4 cup miso - white or yellow is milder, red more assertive and salty
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan chili oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • Pork Topping
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock (you can use a bit of the ramen stock)
  • 1 tbsp chili broad bean paste (doubanjiang)
  • Garnishes
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 4 baby bok choi, steamed until just cooked (4-5 minutes), then shocked in ice water
  • Sichuan chili oil
  1. Chili oil instructions: Place the oil and all of the ingredients except for the chili flakes into a medium sized saucepan. Heat over medium low heat until the garlic is soft and beginning to turn golden and the end of a clean, dry bamboo chopstick placed in the oil creates tiny bubbles. While waiting for the oil to heat, put the chili flakes in a large, clean, dry heatproof jar. A Mason jar works well. Carefully strain the hot oil into the jar with the chili flakes. The oil will bubble up as it hits the chili (hence the large jar) and the chili will smell toasty. Set the oil aside to cool.
  2. Broth instructions: Put the stock, chicken, and kombu in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to keep it there. Simmer for 2 - 3 hours, until the stock is reduced by 1/4. Strain the broth and discard the kombu and chicken parts. If you're using chicken thighs, you can take the meat from the bones, cool it, and save it for another use.
  3. Tare instructions: Combine the tare ingredients and stir until combined into a thick paste.
  4. Pork topping instructions: Heat a skillet with the oil over medium high heat until the oil is nearly smoking. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the ground pork and cook until no pink remains, stirring and breaking the meat up into tiny pieces. Stir in the soy, stock, and chili bean paste, coating the meat completely.
  5. Assembly: Cook the ramen noodles according to package directions. Put 2 tbsp of the tare in the bottom of 4 large bowls. Add a ladleful of hot broth and stir until smooth. Add more broth until the bowl is 1/3 to 1/2 full (depending on the amount of noodles you're using). Put the ramen in the bowls with the broth. Top with ground pork, scallions, and baby bok choi, and drizzle each bowl with a few teaspoons of the chili oil. Serve immediately.

More Great Recipes: Pork|Entrees|Soups|Chicken Thighs