Dan Dan Mian

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Happy Lunar New Year!

I know, I know, late. I’m sorry!

I rang in the Chinese new year a week late at a friend’s house. It was a potluck – a delicious, delicious potluck. I asked what I should make and my friend said “Noodles?” Challenge accepted. I’ve never cooked Chinese food. Ever. Things were about to get exploratory. I didn’t know where to begin looking for authentic Chinese noodle dishes but, fortunately, I’ve got an insider. He suggested Dan Dan Noodles, which we’d had previously when out for Chinese food. Mmm. I loved those dang noodles.

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The ingredients weren’t alll that tricky to find. Though, to make sure I wouldn’t have any ingredient finding hassles I ordered a couple things online. Just a couple! I used Posharp Store for this. Great service and fast shipping. Worth it! The rest of the ingredients I found at our local Safeway. Pretty straight forward!

Let’s get down to business. First things first. Gotta make some Sichuan Chili Oil!

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup vegetable oil (i used canola)
– 1 scallion, cut into segments
– 2 slices of fresh ginger
– 2 garlic cloves, smooshed
– 2 star anise
– 1 piece of cinnamon, approx 1″
– 2 tsps of green peppercorns, slightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
– 1/2 tsp of red peppercorns, slightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
– 2.5 tsps of red chili flakes (i used korean chili flakes)
– 1/8 tsp of ground coriander
– 1/8 tsp of ground cumin

Now, listen up folks. Don’t be like Jessica. Don’t dump all the ingredients into the pot at once and think it’ll be ok. My apartment smelled like burnt stuff for a while after I did that. Second round worked like a charm! Put all the ingredients through the peppercorns in a small heavy bottom sauce pan and put over medium high heat. Let the ingredients fry until the onions and garlic are slightly browned. Then, and ONLY then, may you put in the last three ingredients for about another minute. That’s all! No burning! Now, remove from the heat and let sit. The longer it sits the more the flavors infuse into the oil.

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Now, for the sauce! This sauce is delicious and nutty and delicious and, well, let’s just say I’m positive you’ll love it.

Ingredients:

– 6-8 oz ground veal/pork/beef mix (or ground anything)
– 1 tsp soy sauce
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– 4 garlic cloves
– 1 tbsp of fresh ginger
– 2-3 tbsp of douban chili bean paste (i used this one)
– 3.5 tbsp unsweetened natural peanut butter
– 2 tbsp rice wine (mirin)
– 2.25 cups unsalted or low sodium chicken stock
– 1/2 – 1 tsp sugar (only use this if you used unsweetened peanut butter)
– 1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Go time!

Mix the ground meat with the soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside.

Puree the garlic, ginger, bean paste, and peanut butter in a food processor until nice and smooth.

In a heavy bottom medium pan, heat up one tablespoon of oil and brown the ground meat. Add the pureed paste and stir until combined. Cook a couple minutes until fragrant – smell that delicious! Deglaze the pan with the rice wine and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add the sugar, if using. Finally, add the white pepper, cook for another five minutes, and then remove from the heat.

Now, the noodles!

Ingredients: well, noodles. I just used Chinese noodles. They were in a bag. This doesn’t have to be specific. Just have to be dried, not fresh.

While the sauce is going, bring a pot of salty water to a boil. Dump in those Chinese noodles and cook them according to the packaging and drain.

I know, I know, by now, the suspense is killing you. It’s time to eat. Divide the sauce into 2-4 bowls, portion noodles into each bowl, and top with some chopped scallions and/or cilantro if you like. Drizzle on some of that chili oil, stir up that bowl and go to town!

It’ll look like this after stirred.

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and like this.

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and like this.

I’m sorry, these are delicious and beautiful. Eat up!

Anyone know any good authentic Chinese dishes?

Source: Lady & Pups

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2 responses to “Dan Dan Mian

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