Dan Dan Noodles


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

China: A Cookbook


By Terry Tan

Published 2020

  • About

Of all the Sichuan street foods, this dish has probably the highest profile and is also the most well-travelled. It was originally sold by itinerant hawkers in Chengdu, and the name is believed to derive from the bamboo pole, or dan, slung across the hawkers’ shoulders. The dan held baskets at each end containing cooking paraphernalia such as a stove and other kitchen equipment. The hawkers announced their arrival by shouting ‘Dan dan mien!’


  • 15 ml/1 tbsp groundnut/peanut oil
  • 45 g/ oz/3 tbsp Sichuan pickled vegetables, chopped
  • 4 spring onions/scallions, chopped
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp fresh chilli paste or chilli oil
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp Xinkiang black vinegar
  • 5 ml/1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, finely ground
  • 350 g/12 oz thin fresh wheat noodles (see Cook’s Tip)

For the Topping

  • 15 ml/1 tbsp groundnut/peanut oil
  • 115 g/4 oz/½ cup minced/ground pork or beef, not too lean
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp Chinese wine or dry sherry
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 10 ml/2 tsp yellow bean paste


  1. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the pickled vegetables briefly for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and put in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the topping, heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and stir-fry the pork or beef for 1 minute. Add the wine or sherry, soy sauce and yellow bean paste. Stir-fry for 1 minute more, or until the meat is cooked through.
  3. Add the spring onions to the pickled vegetables in the bowl and stir in the soy sauce, chilli paste or oil, vinegar and peppercorns.
  4. Plunge the noodles into a pan of rapidly boiling water and cook them for 1–2 minutes, or until they are just tender but not limp. Drain the noodles thoroughly and transfer them to a serving bowl.
  5. Toss the seasoned vegetables into the noodles, then top with the meat mixture. Mix well before serving.