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14 June 2021

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 noodle lovers rejoice! Today we’re cooking up a spicy noodle dish guaranteed to satisfy your spicy 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.

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 in a pan with garnish

Dan Dan Noodles Ingredients

  • FOR THE PORK
  • Vegetable Oil. For cooking. Peanut oil is great here.
  • Ground Pork. 
  • Salt and Pepper.
  • Garlic.
  • Ginger.
  • 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 Vinegar.
  • Sesame Oil.
  • 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

Dan Dan Noodles in a pan

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. Add the garlic, ginger and sui mi ya cai (if using). Cook 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. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Dan Dan Noodles Sauce in a pan

Assemble the Final Dish. Remove from heat and stir in prepared noodles. Toss with sesame seeds, chili flakes, green onions and chopped roasted peanuts. 

Mixing noodles and dan dan sauce to make dan dan noodles

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!

Dan Dan Noodles in 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!).
  • 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 it Hoisin Sauce. Many cooks use a bit of sugar. 
  • 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!

Dan Dan Noodles in a bowl with chopsticks, ready to eat

Recommended Cookbooks

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.

Try Some of My Other Spicy Noodle Recipes

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Dan Dan Noodles in a bowl with chopsticks

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
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: chili oil, noodles, Sichuan
Servings: 4
Calories: 617kcal

Ingredients

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

TO COMPLETE

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg