Spicy Sichuan Noodles — Dan Dan Mian

0

by Susan Hanna

This delicious noodle dish from Cook’s Illustrated features ground pork, a spicy sauce, ginger, garlic and a delicious boost from ground Sichuan peppercorns.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce and check the white pepper, hot pepper flakes and Sichuan peppercorns for colour or anti-caking agents. I have never been able to find additive-free oyster sauce, so I make my own; the recipe is below. Use all-natural sesame paste or peanut butter and sesame oil. I use Marukan rice vinegar and Imagine Organic brand stock. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For A Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (226 g) ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Chinese rice cooking wine or dry sherry
  • Ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oyster sauce (see recipe below)
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) Asian sesame paste or peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon/15 ml)
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons/30 ml)
  • ¾ (3 ml) teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • 12 ounces (340 g) dried Asian noodles or 1 pound (454 g) fresh Asian noodles (width between linguine and fettuccine) or 12 ounces (340 g) linguine
  • 3 medium scallions, sliced thin (about 1/3 cup/75 ml)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) bean sprouts (about 6 ounces/170 g) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Sichuan peppercorns toasted in small dry skillet until fragrant, then ground

Oyster Sauce

  • 1 ½ tbsp. Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp cornstarch

 Preparation:

Combine pork, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce, sherry, and pinch white pepper in small bowl; stir well with fork and set aside while preparing other ingredients. Whisk together oyster-flavoured sauce, remaining soy sauce, peanut butter or sesame paste, vinegar, and pinch white pepper in medium bowl. Whisk in chicken stock and set aside.

Bring 4 quarts (1 L) water to boil in large stockpot over high heat.

Meanwhile, heat 12-inch (30 cm) skillet over high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add pork and cook, scraping along pan bottom and breaking up pork into small pieces with wide metal or wooden spatula, until pork is in small well-browned bits, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter/chicken stock mixture; bring to boil, whisking to combine, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to blend flavors, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in sesame oil.

While sauce simmers, add noodles to boiling water and cook until tender (refer to package directions, but use them only as a guideline and be sure to taste for doneness). Drain noodles; divide noodles among individual bowls, ladle a portion of sauce over noodles, sprinkle with scallions, bean sprouts, and ground Sichuan peppercorns, if using; serve immediately. Serves 4.

From Cook’s Illustrated