May 15, 2018

Spicy Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy & Crunchy Chili Oil

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Dan dan noodles are spicy noodles with pork originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine.

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Dan dan noodles are spicy noodles with pork originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine. This dish is an especially popular street food. The bits of crispy ground pork add flavor and texture to this dish while the bok choy adds freshness and helps to cool down the spice.

There is enough sauce to coat the noodles so they are just slick enough to slurp. Trust me, you will want to. If served in the Chinese tradition, the ingredients are layered and mixed table-side. I like to mix them before dividing among the serving bowls.

Spicy Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy & Crunchy Chili Oil

What’s in the crunchy chili oil?

Crunchy chili oil also called chili crunch or chili crisp is a great topping for these dan dan noodles as well as dumplings and more. I have another slightly different recipe for the sauce here. If you want to use store-bought chili crisp as a shortcut my favorite brand is Lao Gan Ma.

  • Sichuan peppercorns
  • Star anise
  • Lots of fried chopped garlic
  • Fried shallots
  • Red pepper flakes
Spicy Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy and Crunchy Chili Oil-35.jpg

Key ingredients in the dan dan noodles

  • Chinese egg noodles – Fresh or dried wheat flour noodles with egg are used in this recipe. In Chinese “mein” or “mian” is the word for noodle. The noodles are par-cooked then added at the end to the sauce. If you can’t find Chinese egg noodles I recommend using spaghetti or angel hair pasta.
  • Pork – Ground pork typically comes from minced pork shoulder meat and is incredibly versatile. Try swapping lean ground meat like turkey or chicken for the pork in this recipe.
  • Soy sauce – I use reduced sodium soy sauce so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe, adding more if needed.
  • Bok choy – This is a type of Chinese cabbage. It has adds a nice fresh crisp contrast to the dan dan noodles in this dish. I keep the bok choy fresh in this recipe, it softens as its added to the hot noodles.
  • Chicken stock – Chicken stock is typically made from chicken bones as well as aromatics and vegetables while chicken broth is made with the meat. How does that affect their flavor? Chicken stock has a much richer, more robust flavor which comes from the collagen released from the simmering bones. In this recipe it adds more of a sauce to the noodles so they aren’t as dry.
  • Peanuts – Adding chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts over the top adds additional texture to this recipe as well as a nutty flavor. If the dan dan noodles are not being served immediately, wait to add the peanuts until just before serving so they don’t get soggy.

How to make this recipe

  • Make the aromatics for the chili crisp. Add the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise to a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with string to close.
  • Make the chili crisp. Add the spice satchel, garlic, shallots and vegetable oil to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat until the garlic and onion are just golden brown, careful not to overcook.
  • Let cool and store. Remove the pot from heat then remove the spice satchel and discard. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and let the oil cool completely.
  • Cook the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil then set aside.
  • Cook the aromatics for the noodles. Heat a wok over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Cook the pork. Add the ground pork and cook, using a spatula to break up the meat, until cooked through and the edges are slightly crispy, about 6 minutes.
  • Combine ingredients. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, and sesame seeds stirring to combine. Add the noodles and bok choy and toss to combine.
  • Serve. Divide the noodles between warmed pasta bowls and top with the crunchy chili mixture, green onions and peanuts and serve immediately.
spicy dan dan noodles with bok choy and crunchy chili oil recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Other recipes to try

If you enjoy this recipe give these others a try:

Spicy Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy and Crunchy Chili Oil-36.jpg

Spicy Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy & Crunchy Chili Oil

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the crunchy chili oil:

  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 star anise
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup diced shallots
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

For the dan dan noodles:

  • 10 ounces Chinese egg noodles (chow mein noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 3 heads bok choy, sliced

For serving:

  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts

Instructions:

For the crunchy chili oil:

  • Add the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise to a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with string to close.
  • Add the spice satchel, garlic, shallots and vegetable oil to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat until the garlic and onion are just golden brown, careful not to overcook, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from heat then remove the spice satchel and discard. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and let the oil cool completely.

For the dan dan noodles:

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil then set aside.
  • Heat a wok over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the ground pork and cook, using a spatula to break up the meat, until cooked through and the edges are slightly crispy, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, and sesame seeds stirring to combine. Add the noodles and bok choy and toss to combine.

For serving:

  • Divide the noodles between warmed pasta bowls and top with the crunchy chili mixture, green onions and peanuts and serve immediately.

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