Dan Dan Noodles
This dan dan noodles recipe is made with thin noodles coated in a spicy sauce that is loaded with Sichuan flavors, perfect for spicy noodle lovers.
Spicy food lovers rejoice! Today we’re cooking up a spicy noodle dish guaranteed to satisfy your fiery cravings. It is loaded with Sichuan flavors, including chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese 5 spice and more.
It’s called Dan Dan Noodles, and you’re going to love this one.
This recipe is quite easy to prepare, with ground pork cooked up with veggies, then tossed with noodles in a quick sauce with wonderfully spicy ingredients.
You may have enjoyed this recipe at your favorite Chinese restaurant or takeout place, but homemade is so much better, as you can control all of the ingredients. And your preferred level of heat.
I make mine a touch extra spicy, of course, but feel free to adjust seasonings and ratios to your preference.
What are Dan Dan Noodles?
Dan Dan Noodles is a classic Chinese noodle dish from the Sichuan province prepared with a spicy sauce. The sauce is usually made with chili oil, Sichuan peppers and other flavorful ingredients. It usually includes pork and preserved vegetables and was traditionally served in a small bowl as more of an appetizer or as a soup.
The name refers to the poles (dan dan) used by street vendors to carry their wares over their shoulders, selling noodles to hungry citizens. Recipes vary widely from region to region and cook to cook and are often influenced by personal and regional taste.
This is more of an Americanized version, though I’ve used many traditional Sichuan ingredients to focus on those delicious, spicy flavors.
I hope you enjoy it! It’s very satisfying and easy to make once you have the proper ingredients.
Let’s talk about how we make Dan Dan noodles, shall we?
Dan Dan Noodles Ingredients
- FOR THE PORK
- Vegetable Oil. For cooking. Peanut oil is great here.
- Ground Pork.
- Salt and Pepper.
- Sui Mi Ya Cai. This is Sichuan Preserved Mustard Greens. Use Kimchi as a substitute, or omit if desired.
- DAN DAN NOODLES SAUCE
- Chicken Broth. You can use vegetable broth if desired.
- Chili Oil.
- Dark Soy Sauce.
- Rice Wine Vinegar.
- Sesame Oil. Toasted sesame oil is outstanding here, but any Chinese sesame oil is good.
- Sesame Paste (Tahini). Peanut butter is a good substitute.
- Chinese 5 Spice Powder.
- Sichuan Peppercorns.
- TO COMPLETE
- Noodles. Use Dan Dan noodles, or use wheat noodles or egg noodles.
- For Serving: Sesame seeds, spicy red pepper flakes, chopped green onion, chopped roasted peanuts
How to Make Dan Dan Noodles – the Recipe Method
Cook the Pork. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat. Add the pork with salt and pepper to taste and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, breaking it apart to better cook it through. Add the garlic, ginger and sui mi ya cai (if using). Cook the mixture down for 2 minutes, stirring.
Dan Dan Noodles Sauce. Add the chicken broth, chili oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, tahini, 5 spice powder and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir to incorporate and form your dan dan sauce. Reduce heat and simmer the mixtrue for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
Assemble the Final Dish. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in your prepared noodles. Toss with sesame seeds, chili flakes, green onions and chopped roasted peanuts.
Boom! Done! Your dan dan noodles are ready to enjoy. I like to garnish mine with extra red pepper flakes, chopped green onion, sesame seeds and crumbled peanuts.
Looks delicious, doesn’t it? So good! Grab yourself a bowl!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Heat Factor. Medium. You can easily up the heat and spice factor with extra Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese 5 Spice, and spicy chili flakes. Use a hot chili oil to get your heart going. Include some fresh or dried spicy Sichuan peppers to really spice things up.
- Sui Mi Ya Cai. Sui Mi Ya Cai is Sichuan preserved mustard greens and are traditionally used to make Dan Dan noodles. It is a bit like kimchi, which you can use as a substitute. As this is more of an Americanized version of the dish, you can skip it if you’d like. Preserved vegetables are commonly used in Sichuan cuisine. Buy Sui Mi Ya Cai from Amazon (affiliate link, my friends!).
- Sichuan Peppercorns. Sichuan peppercorns (aka Szechuan pepper) are different than other spicy foods, bringing not so much heat to a dish, but a distinctive tingling and numbing experience to your tongue and lips. They can be an acquired taste, so keep this in mind if you have not tried them before. They are different from black peppercorns, with an almost floral taste described as lemony, perfumy, almost soapy. They are often hit or miss with people, so I suggest using it sparingly at first if you have any concerns.
- Make the Sauce Ahead of Time. You can easily whip together the dan dan sauce ingredients ahead of time with a bit of planning. Simply whisk the ingredients in a small bowl, then transfer the resulting sauce to a container. Seal and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. It can save you a bit of time. Make up to 1 day ahead.
- Additional Sauce Options. Doubanjiang, a Chinese chili-bean paste, is often used to make Dan Dan noodles. Give it a go. Shaoxing wine is a nice addition as well, as is Hoisin Sauce. Many cooks use a bit of sugar or a touch of chili sauce. Again, this is often more of a personalized dish and varies with the preferences of each cook, so feel free to make personal additions. Make it your own!
- Vegetable Options. You can add in any of your favorite vegetables to round out your meal. I love my Dan Dan noodles with baby bok choy, sugar snap peas, broccoli or other popular stir fry veggies. Make it your way!
- The Noodles. You can find Chinese noodles labeled “Dan Dan Noodles” in Asian markets or in grocery stores, though many noodles will work for you. Consider dried rice noodles, egg noodles or wheat noodles. I love fresh noodles, though dried noodles are great. Just be sure to cook the noodles according to package directions.
That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this Dan Dan noodles recipe. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
If you love Chinese recipes and cooking, I recommend these books for the American cook. They’re loaded with easy Chinese recipes that are full of flavor. I refer to them quite often.
- The Food of Sichuan, by Fuchsia Dunlop (affiliate link, my friends!) – This book is fantastic with loads of authentic Sichuan recipes and knowledge. Highly recommended.
- Easy Chinese Cookbook: Restaurant Favorites Make Simple, by Chris Toy (affiliate link, my friends!)
- The Essential Wok Cookbook, by Naomi Imatome-Yun (affiliate link, my friends!)
Try Some of My Other Spicy Noodle Recipes
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Szechuan Chicken
- Cashew Chicken
- Dragon Chicken
- Bourbon Chicken
- Mapo Tofu
- Spicy Chicken Fried Rice
- XO Sauce
- Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans Recipe (Ganbian Sijidou)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Dan Dan Noodles Recipe
FOR THE PORK
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil peanut oil is great
- 12 ounces ground pork
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger peeled
- 1/3 cup Sui Mi Ya Cai Sichuan Preserved Mustard Greens - use Kimchi as a substitute, or omit if desired
DAN DAN NOODLES SAUCE
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons chili oil
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame paste tahini
- 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns coarsely ground
- 8 ounces Dan Dan noodles boiled per packaging instructions - or use wheat noodles or egg noodles
- For Serving: Sesame seeds, picy red pepper flakes, chopped green onion, chopped roasted peanuts
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat. Add the pork with salt and pepper to taste and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, breaking it apart.
- Add the garlic, ginger and sui mi ya cai (if using). Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
- Add the chicken broth, chili oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, tahini, 5 spice powder and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir to incorporate. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in prepared noodles. Toss with sesame seeds, chili flakes, green onions and chopped roasted peanuts.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 10/22/21 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 6/14/21.