Dan Dan Noodles is a dish that hails from the Sichuan province in China. You might have heard of Sichuan because that’s where those crazy chilli peppercorns that create an almost-numbing sensation are from. Are they in this recipe? YOU BETCHA! Dan Dan noodles are traditionally topped with chilli oil, delicious umami noodle sauce, crumbled pork mince cooked with preserved mustard stems and some sort of steamed or blanched dark leafy greens.
1. Place soy mince into a bowl and sprinkle with the mushroom powder. Add the boiling water and stir well. Allow to hydrate while you make the chilli oil and sauce.
2. In a large ceramic or glass bowl (large enough to allow for hot oil to bubble up!), place the red pepper flakes, ground sichuan peppercorns, toasted sesame seeds, five spice, star anise, bay leaf and salt. Mix well.
3. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the slice of ginger. Once it turns golden brown and cooked all over, the oil is hot enough to pour over your spices. Remove the ginger and CAREFULLY pour the hot oil over the dry mix and it should bubble immediately and rapidly. Stir gently until bubbling stops, remove the star anise and bay lea and allow to cool.
4. Simply mix all noodle sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
5. In a large frypan, heat the oil. Once hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mince, hoisin, dark mushroom sauce, shaoxing wine, and Sui Mi Ya Cai and mix until the mince is an beautiful even dark brown colour. Once mix is cooked through and hot, remove from the heat and set aside until assembly.
6. Cool your noodles in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes until al dente (take a noodle out to try - that’s the best way haha). Strain and rinse with cold water and get ready to plate!
7. To plate, pour about 1/4-1/3 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the bowl. Top with a serving of noodles, a scoop of your mince, some fresh cucumber and sprinkle with spring onions and crushed peanuts. Drizzle with extra chilli oil if desired and INHALE THIS BOWL OF DELICIOUSNESS!