Dan Dan Noodles(担担面): a street food wonder

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

I received a message the other day from my friend Juliane in Switzerland. “I dream of making these noodles. Do you know how to cook it?” She sent me a blurred snapshot taken from a magazine. It was a bowl of noodles in chilli oil soup, with a bit of preserved vegetable and a few strips of fresh green leaves. Considering that Juliane worked in Sichuan province, China, I guess it’s one of the local signature dishes that she might have had before: the unbeatable street food Dan Dan noodles (担担面).

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

Dan Dan, in Sichuan dialect, refers to the shoulder pole traditionally used for transporting goods. Originally, local noodle vendors walked around the streets, using shoulder poles to carry food and equipment such as a stove at one end and noodles, sauce, bowls, chopsticks and a washing-up bucket etc. at the other. Gradually, consumers started calling this snack “Dan Dan Noodles”.

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

From its humble street food background, Dan Dan noodles is now a classic Chinese noodle dish adored by many, including foodies outside China. It’s down-to-earth, affordable and super tasty. Most of all, it’s quite simple to make.

  1. Fry the peanuts then the minced meat
  2. Mix the sauce
  3. Cook the noodles
  4. Assemble and enjoy

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

Don’t let the length of the ingredient list scare you. They are what make this dish a wonder. It might take you some time to find all of them, but for a great finished taste, every bit of ingredient contributes. Nutty flavour comes from fried peanuts (some versions use soy beans instead). Preserved Sichuan pickle provides rich saltiness. Chinese sesame paste is a must. Its powerful fragrant, along with Mala flavour (spicy and numbing) created by the chilli oil and Sichuan peppercorn, is the soul of Dan Dan noodles. I highly recommend you to use homemade chilli oil and to grind toasted Sichuan peppercorn yourself. They do make a difference.

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

A final tip: you can make the sauce in advance or in bulk. It can be stored in the fridge up to a week. Just remember to leave out garlic and toasted sesame seeds. Add them prior to serving.

Dan Dan Noodles(担担面)
Rate this recipe
Average: 5/5
2 ratings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 2 persons

Dan Dan Noodles(担担面)

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

Ingredients

    For the garnish
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons skinless raw peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped spring onion
  • For the mince
  • 100g pork or beef mince
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved Sichuan pickle
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • For the noodles
  • noodles for 2 persons, i.e 200g dry thin noodles
  • some leafy green vegetable, i.e Pak Choi
  • For the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water thinned pure Chinese sesame paste (see note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese chilli oil (or to taste)
  • 1 pinch salt (see note 2)
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Put oil and peanuts in a cold wok or frying pan. Cook on low heat until peanuts turn golden brown. Take out the peanuts and place them onto kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Set aside.
  2. In the remaining oil, stir in minced meat, ginger, preserved Sichuan pickle and rice wine. Add soy sauce and chilli flakes when meat is cooked. Give it a quick stir. Set aside.
  3. Cook noodles following the instructions on the package. Add vegetable at the very end of the process.
  4. While waiting for the noodles to cook, mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Pour the mixture into 2 serving bowls. Add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water from the noodle pot in each bowl.
  5. Place well drained noodles and vegetable into the bowls. Top with cooked mince. Garnish with fried peanuts and spring onion.

Notes

1. Pure Chinese sesame paste has a very thick consistency. Add 1 tablespoon of water to 1 tablespoon of paste. Mix well with the back of a spoon.

2. Adjust the amount of salt according to the volume of the noodles.

https://redhousespice.com/dan-dan-noodles/

I’m kind of a noodle fanatic. Dan Dan noodles is always on my top three list. Hope it’s your cup of tea too.

Have a yummy day!

An enthusiastic cook with a Chinese palate and a global mindset.

A classic Chinese noodle dish. Down-to-earth, affordable, and super tasty. Make Dan Dan noodles in 20 minutes and enjoy this street food wonder.

4 thoughts

    1. Thanks Heddi! Yes you can find everything in Switzerland. Even in our little “la ville de Neuchâtel”. Do you know there is a HongKong shop in Rue de L’Ecluse? They have all the basics. And the Thai shop on top of the painted street has some good stuff too. For example I used to buy Chilli flakes there. Tell me if you have any other questions. Have a great day!

I'd like to hear from you