street, cleaner

dan dan mian

a version of the many-versioned dan dan mian, or sichuan spicy noodles. wiki says this about it. fuchsia dunlop has lots to say about sichuan cuisine, including the dan dan mian in the city chengdu. i have nothing but this blog entry.

i honestly don't know what the traditional recipe is. the only versions i have eaten have all used wheat noodles with some sort of ground meat (pork or beef), bathed in an oily red broth that includes sesame oil, red chili peppers, and if i'm lucky, sichuan peppers. most are soupy and/or oily, for which i confess, i have no predilection as it seems to simultaneously dilute and muddy the spice in the dish. i have tried both of ms. dunlop's recipes and i prefer one to the other, but still felt the need to tweak it by incorporating chubby hubby's japanese version. there's still some of the funk you expect, yet it's brightened up with the addition of fresh chilis, which also adds a lot of heat. (you can dial that down if you want.)

dan dan mian, upclose

dan dan mian, or something like it adapted from fuchsia dunlop's recipe and chubby hubby's as well

1 glug cooking oil
1-2 dried chili peppers (w or w/o seeds)
1 teaspoonful sichuan pepper, lightly cracked/roughly chopped
1-2 tablespoonfuls preserved mustard greens, chopped finely (optional, but it actually provides most of the saltiness in this version. if you omit it, add soy sauce or tamari)
1/2 lb ground turkey or ground chicken or finely minced shiitake mushrooms or any combination you want
1-2 tablespoonfuls sesame paste or tahini
1 tablespoonful mirin
1 tablespoonful toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoonful of black vinegar
1-2 green onions, chopped
1 red jalapeño, sliced

heat cooking oil in medium hot pan. when oil is hot but not smoking, add dried chili peppers and sichuan pepper, sautée until fragrant but be careful to not burn. add preserved mustard greens, then protein of choice. sautée until lightly browned. add sesame paste, mirin, sesame oil, black vinegar. the mixture should be wet; keep soupy or cook down to desired dryness. add half the green onions and jalapeño to mixture, leave until just wilted. serve over noodles of choice and garnish with rest of green onions and jalapeño.


I am about to be like one of those horrible AllRecipes commenters that is all I made this turkey tetrazzini using tuna instead of turkey and apple cider instead of milk plus also puffed rice instead of noodles and it turned out nothing like the photo led me to believe, but it is our favorite Wednesday night supper!, lol.

But not exactly.

I read this while I was acutely aware of some adult-allocated ground pork thawed in the fridge and while reading it realized that I had both all-buckwheat soba and also scallions. So, I decided to give it a whirl, but used kimchi for the watercress and I did not have jalapeno. Oh, also, I didn't have mirin but I used a half-measure of honey and half rice wine vinegar (Bittman), but if I were to do that again with this, I would add another 30% vinegar.

It was good. What is interesting is that I pre-emptively decided to dial down the heat and then while re-reading yr post to the Mr as I caught him up on what it was upon which we supped -- What's this called? "I dunno. Do you like it or not?" -- we decided that you were completely right on, because it was tasty, but savorishly funky, and as such it needed more heat.

OK, I am exactly like one of those crazy AllRecipes people.

oh ho ho ho, you should've seen the recipe pre-editing: "1/2-3/4 lbs ground turkey or ground chicken or mushrooms or seitan or TVP or or or" arrgh. i had to dial down everything to UHF

soba! great idea! and oy vey, i FORGOT there's a splash of black vinegar in there too. add whenever you remember

Ok, that is funny, because I felt as if it def did need more vinegar. See, you are a genius at conveying the saveur, even if you mistype the rest, lol.

mistype? more like scrambled eggs for brains :)

i cheat w/ the amoy spicy sichuan noodle sauce, though i've tried others, but they tasted off. then i like to throw in some blanched spinach or fresh bean sprouts. yes, i'm a lazy cook sometimes. hehehe

aw hellz yeah me too! thanks for the tip!

i looovee dan dan mian! I was thinking of shortening the recipe by using chilli oil + fermented bean sauce (some have minced meat in them)

minitotoro, i'm down with any sort of short cuts, for sure. i'll look for the bean sauce with meat, that will definitely save some time.

there's this "narcissus" brand that we usually buy in Singapore, I can send you a can when I am there usually for summer! It's nice with congee. The good thing about this is that the meat is already marinated and nice. (and convenient!)

i'm still trying to get to KL again this spring or summer, maybe i can even get to singapore this time!

Wow! When will you be there? In July? If you are around in Singapore for July 24th Saturday, I'll send you an invite for my wedding!=)))

zomg, congratulations! that's wonderful! be careful i might just show up ;)

woohoo! I'll get your postal address when the invitation cards are ready...

ha! you're on! email me at green.bananas via gmail!