Monday, May 5, 2008

Dan Dan Noodles

aka dan dan mien.

I was cranky and stressed out the other day, and had a craving for something carby but quick since I was tired and not really in the mood to cook. You've heard of 30 minute meals right? This took me about 10! And what's even better is that you can make this dish entirely with the microwave if you want!

*makes enough sauce for about 2 servings, depending on how much sauce you like on your noodles
- 2 tablespoons of sesame paste or peanut butter (I used chunky peanut butter but sesame paste would be best)
- 3/4 cup water or chicken stock
- 1 clove finely minced garlic

- some grated ginger
- soy sauce to taste

- vinegar to taste (preferably rice wine, but any will do)
- chili oil (optional)

- chili flakes or chinese style hot sauce (optional)

- 1 scallion sliced thinly (optional)

- chinese pickled turnips/radishes (optional)

- ground pork, chicken or turkey (optional)

*I'll explain the microwave method, but keep in mind you can do all this on the stovetop as well.
- Put the sesame paste/peanut butter, water/chicken stock, and garlic in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute.
- Mix until the sesame paste/peanut butter is melted and a smooth consistency (no need for a whisk: the fork or chopsticks you plan on eating with will do just fine). If you like your dan dan noodle sauce to be more watery, add more water/chicken stock. I've had it restaurants where it was almost like a soup, and other places where there was no liquid at all, so it's really up to you and your preferences. If it gets too watery, toss it back into the microwave to help some of the water evaporate and make the sauce thicker. Keep in mind that it will probably thicken a bit as it cools but will also become more watery as you add in the soy and vinegar.

- Add soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, chili sauce/chili flakes to taste. If adding the seasoning liquid makes your sauce too watery, go ahead and toss in the microwave as explained above.
- Add in scallion (or you can save this to add at the end as garnish, or both)
- Add pickled turnips/radishes (I like the crunch and saltiness it adds to the dish but is optional)

- Add cooked ground meat if desired (I believe traditionally, dan dan mien has no meat, but whatever)
- Pour the sauce over noodles (you can microwave some instant ramen noodles to really stick to the microwave theme).
- Enjoy all your 10 minutes of hard work!


That Girl said...

So excited to try this!

munfung said...

cool! been meaning to look for a quick sauce to go with noodles... thanks!