Dan Dan Mian

Spicy Sichuan Noodles

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4 to 6

    as Part of a Chinese Meal, or 2 to 4 as a Single Dish.

Appears in

Everywhere noodle dishes, xiao chi, or “small eats” are found in hole-in-the-wall restaurants, food stalls, and places selling snacks. This is a typical Sichuan dish that is now popular throughout China, especially in the north. There are many versions of it and they are all easy to make, tasty, and quite filling, but this is an exceptionally delicious one I sampled at a tiny street restaurant in Chengdu, Sichuan.

Ingredients

  • 225 g/8 oz minced pork
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 225 ml/8 fl oz peanut oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger root
  • 5 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame paste or peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chilli oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 225 ml/8 fl oz chicken stock
  • 350 g/12 oz fresh Chinese thin egg noodles or dry Chinese thin egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, roasted and ground

Method

Combine the pork, soy sauce, and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Heat a wok or frying pan until hot. Add the oil and deep-fry the pork, stirring with a spatula to break it into small pieces. When the pork is crispy and dry, about 4 minutes, remove it with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Pour off the oil, leaving 2 tablespoons in the wok. Reheat the wok or pan and add the garlic, ginger, and onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the sesame paste or peanut butter, soy sauce, chilli oil, salt, and chicken stock and simmer for 4 minutes.

Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 2 minutes if they are fresh or 5 minutes if they are dried. Drain the noodles well in a colander. Divide the noodles into individual bowls or put them in a large soup tureen. Ladle on the sauce, garnish with the fried pork and Sichuan peppercorns and serve at once.