I saw a recipe for these noodles. I became fixated on these noodles. I studied the ingredients list, almost committing it to memory. I spent three days curating the materials required to bring these into fruition. I made the chilli oil in advance for optimum infusion. I even did a test run to make sure I got the method down perfect. I wanted noodles.
All this effort for a single serve of noodles. Thats right, a single bowl of noodles just for me. By the time I finished taking photos of them I had to heat them up back up in the microwave. I wish I had someone to share these noodles with, they were so delicious. The whole world should try them.
Eating all this food by myself is getting a little old though. I am rather envious of professional food photography sets where at the end of it all you all get to share in the deliciousness together.
Please don't be fooled into thinking making these is actually hard. Once you have all the ingredients, assembling this noodle dish couldn't be simpler. In fact it is a really cheap and easy mid week dinner option. Once you have your chilli oil it lasts for yonks in your cupboard and the sauce is literally a couple of ingredients simmered together. I recommend visiting a really good Asian supermarket and making it a one stop shop. It also helps not being blonde as hell and forgetting half the ingredients the first time around.
Ill write up the recipe for two in the blind hope that you Mr/Mrs/Miss reader has more mouths to share with than I. This was supposed to be made with pork mince but alas like my love life, my trip to Pak n Save let me down. I used beef instead which I actually really liked but use whichever mince you have on hand, hell even chicken will work.
Also disclaimer, I highly doubt this is an authentic dan dan. I like it though haha and after all this is Sophie Likes Cake and not Sophie Makes Highly Authentic Chinese Cuisine.
Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles
Adapted from This recipe by Mandy
Sichuan Chilli Oil:
1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 thin slices of ginger root
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoon red Sichuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons chilli flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Dan-dan mince and sauce:
200g beef mince
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic
1cm piece of ginger, minced
3 tablespoons douban sauce (I used the Lee Kum Kee brand 'chilli bean sauce' that comes in a small jar)
2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter (Pics peanut butter for the win)
1/2 teaspoon red sichuan peppercorns finely crushed
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Squeeze of half a small lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
2 portions of dried Sichuan noodles or ramen noodles
Fresh coriander to serve
Chopped spring onions to serve
Sriracha chilli sauce to serve
To make the chilli oil (ideally the day before for optimum infusion) heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat until nice and hot. Add in the ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon and red Sichuan peppercorns and continue to sizzle in the oil until the garlic turns a light golden brown. Tip in the chilli flakes, cumin and ground coriander and cook for another minute or so until the flakes darken in colour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Pour into a jar and leave to settle and infuse overnight.
Mix the mince with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Heat a small frying pan with another small splash of sesame oil in a medium high heat and brown the mince in it until it is brown and crispy. Put to one side.
Add a small splash of sesame oil to a small saucepan and again over a medium heat, saute the garlic, garlic and peppercorns for a minute. Add in the douban sauce and peanut butter and continue to heat whilst stirring until it cooks and becomes fragrant. Pour in the cooking wine and use it to deglaze the pan before pouring in the chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer away for another five minutes to thicken slightly. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the sugar to taste.
Cook the noodles to al dente and drain well. Divide between two large bowls. Divide the sauce between the bowls and do the same with the mince. Drizzle over a few teaspoonfuls of chilli oil before garnishing with the spring onion and coriander. Give it another wee squeeze of lemon to finish it off and a quick flick of sriracha sauce.
Enjoy! x (and prepare to sweat)