Dan Dan Noodles is one of my favorite noodle dishes and for good reason – I love how the mouth numbing Sichuan peppercorns and spicy chili oil pair perfectly with the chewy noodles and fatty ground pork! Top it off with peanuts, freshly chopped scallions, and one last drizzle of chili oil and you have a perfect meal!
Watch the Dan Dan Noodles Recipe Video Below!
This dish is traditionally made with ground pork but you can sub with another ground meat of your choice (chicken or turkey). Keep in mind that chicken or turkey will be less fatty than pork, so you will not get the rendered fat nor the crispiness of the pork.
I always get asked which brand of chili oil I use at home and my answer is – my own! I love making my own chili oil – check out my Sichuan Chili Oil recipe here!
If you cannot or do not want to use wine, you can sub with sherry, mirin, or chicken stock!
LIGHT vs. DARK SOY SAUCE
Yes, they’re different! Dark soy sauce is thicker, darker, and sweeter (as well as has a higher sodium content) than regular soy sauce. If you do not have dark soy sauce on hand, you can sub with oyster sauce.
I get asked all the time if you can sub black pepper for white pepper – and my answer is, it depends BUT you need to watch the ratio. White pepper has a milder flavor profile than black pepper, so it’s a 1-1 substitute. I would start with less black pepper and add as you go. (But really, you should have white pepper in your pantry! It’s a staple in mine!)
FIVE SPICE POWDER
Five Spice Powder is a commonly used spice blend in Chinese cooking – you can make your own at home but it’s also easily obtained at most grocery stores. It’s comprised of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennelseeds.
This dish is traditionally made with sesame paste but you can sub with tahini. The main difference between Chinese sesame paste and tahini is that Chinese sesame paste is made from toasted sesame seeds, so it has a deeper flavor than tahini (which is made from untoasted sesame seeds). However, I have used both in this recipe successfully!
As always, this is optional 🙂
NOODLE COOKING WATER
The water you cooked your noodles in are key to this dish! You will need to reserve some of them to help loosen up your sauce when putting the dish together. This will help create a beautiful, creamy texture.
I like to top with reserved pork, crushed peanuts, freshly chopped scallions, and one last drizzle of chili oil! These are all optional, so adjust to your preference!
Dan Dan Noodles
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp five spice powder
- 1/4 cup chili oil
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame paste sub tahini
- 2 tsp ground szechuan peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp five spice powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp msg optional
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
Noodles + Garnish
- 1 lb noodles fresh or dried
- 1/4 cup noodle water add more to loosen sauce, if needed
- scallions chopped, optional garnish
- crushed peanuts optional garnish
- Marinate the ground pork with Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper, salt, and five spice powder for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together your sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Fry your pork in 1 tbsp of neutral oil over high heat, or until the pork fat has rendered and crisped in it's own fat, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Cook noodles in boiling water until al dente and transfer immediately to your sauce along with 1/4 cup of starchy noodle water. Add more water if needed to loosen up the sauce.
- Top with reserved pork, freshly chopped scallions, crushed peanuts and enjoy!