I recently watched a show on The Food Network called, Easy Chinese. The host, Ching-He-Huang featured this Sichuan dish, which I had never heard of. Dandan Noodles is what she called this bowl of comfort food, which she, as a way to get feedback on the recipe, offered to people who were stumbling out of bars one late night. It was pretty entertaining to see how appreciative these inebriated individuals were of the steamy noodles. At face value, it just looked like ground meat over soup and noodles, but after looking through a few recipes online, it seemed a lot more complex than I thought. The staple ingredients are ground pork, sesame paste or oil, chili, vinegar, Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, and soy sauce. So with those main ingredients, I made my version of Dandan noodles.
This recipe also gave me the perfect opportunity to use the beef broth that I had prepared a week ago. I have to say that this has been my most successful batch of beef broth. I used beef shanks, which I ecstatically purchased at a newly opened grocery, FIVE MINUTES walking-distance from our apartment! How exciting is that? I am not exaggerating when I say that having a proper grocery, a stone’s throw away from where I live is life-changing. This broth, which was intensified by the flavors of the bone marrow, is simple delicious. Slowly simmered with carrots, onions, bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns, this is a simple, but unforgettable broth.
So without further ado, here is the recipe for my version of Dandan noodles.
- .5 kilo ground beef (this recipe typically uses pork, but I prefer beef)
- 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- chili flakes
- 1 tsp. ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- leeks for garnish
- 1 pack egg noodles
- 4 cups beef broth
Prepare egg noodles according to instructions.
In a saute’ pan, heat sesame oil and saute’ ginger and garlic in Sichuan peppercorns for 3 minutes. Add ground beef and saute’ until beef is separated. Add in hoisin, soy sauce, and chili flakes and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, or until beef is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat beef broth in a separate sauce pan.
Serve noodles, beef and broth in one bowl and garnish with leeks. You can also use coriander. Serve hot, preferably with an ince cold beer.
*Find Ching-He-Huang’s recipe for Dandan noodles here.