This Spicy Dan Dan Noodles is made with spicy ground pork, thin wheat noodles, and a creamy and spicy Sichuan pepper chili oil and sesame sauceinfusedbroth. It’s quick and easy to make, jam-packed with flavor. Each bowl is also topped with juicy pork and shrimp wontons!
4.25 ounces / 120 grams uncooked Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles (or any white Asian wheat noodles)
6 pieces frozen Wontons (any kind – I used store-bought pork and shrimp wontons)
2 TBLS chopped Spring Onion (dark green parts only), or more to taste
Peanuts mixed together with Sichuan Pepper Chili Oil (optional)
Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the spring onion (separating the white & light green parts from the dark green parts), ginger, garlic, fresh red chilies as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section.
Make the spicy dan dan sauce: Mix together the sesame paste and warm water in a small measuring cup (or bowl) until the paste has broken down. Then stir in the peanut butter, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, chinkiang vinegar, and Sichuan pepper chili oil until combined well. Set aside.
For the Spicy Ground Pork:
Cook the spicy ground pork: Place a medium-sized dry skillet or wok over medium high-heat. Once hot, add the ground pork and cook for 2 minutes, breaking up the lumps with your spatula, until no longer pink. (Note: If your pork is very lean, add a little oil to the wok before you start cooking. If it’s quite fatty and has released a lot of grease, scoop out and discard some of it before adding any seasonings.) Add ½ tablespoon of low sodium light soy sauce, ½ tablespoon Sichuan pepper chili oil, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the pork starts to crisp up and has browned. Stir in 1 tablespoon mustard tuber and cook for 30 seconds until combined well, then switch off the heat and set aside.
For the Spicy Dan Dan Soup:
Make the Spicy Dan Dan Soup: Heat ½ tablespoon peanut oil, 1 tablespoon peppercorn chili oil, 1-2 teaspoons chili oil, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a medium sized saucepot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the spring onion white and light green parts, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the red chilies and sauté for 30-40 seconds until softened and combined. Pour in the sauce you made earlier and stir until combined well with the aromatics. Then pour in the chicken broth and ½ cup of water and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Uncover and stir in the white sugar and 1 tablespoon of mustard tuber. Simmer for another minute, then switch off the heat.
To Assemble Noodle Bowls:
Cook the noodles: While the soup is simmering, cook the noodles according to package instruction in a separate pot of boiling water. Drain and run cold water over the noodles to help get rid of excess starch and stop the cooking process. Divide evenly into bowls.
Divide the pork: Spoon the spicy ground pork evenly on top of the noodles in the bowls.
Cook the wontons: Add water to the pot again and bring to a boil. Add the wontons and cook according to package instructions. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the wontons into the noodle bowls.
To Serve: Ladle the spicy dan dan soup evenly over the noodle bowls and garnish with chopped spring onion dark green parts. Serve immediately and with peanuts mixed with Sichuan pepper chili oil on the side if desired.
Special Asian ingredients: You can find Chinese white sesame paste, Chinkiang vinegar, Sichuan pepper chili oil, Sichuan dan dan noodles, spicy or regular flavored preserved mustard greens (either ya cai – 芽菜 or zha cai – 榨菜) in Asian or Chinese supermarkets. Alternatively, you can purchase these ingredients online. Su mi ya cai is minced preserved mustard greens and available online from Amazon.
Sichuan pepper chili oil: You should be able to find a readymade jar of Sichuan chili oil at Asian grocery stores. But if that fails, you can order this Sichuan pepper chili oil from Amazon or check out Blank Slate Kitchen to order a jar directly from them if you happen to live in the USA. A homemade one can also be used instead if preferred. The one I use is called Grandpa Sichuan Pepper, but there are many brands that make Sichuan pepper chili oil.
To make it milder. Omit (or use less of) the pure chili oil, peppercorn chili oil, and fresh red chilies. You can also use less Sichuan pepper chili oil, which will reduce the spicy numbing flavors that come from Sichuan red peppercorns.
Make ahead. You can make the spicy ground pork and spicy dan dan soup ahead and store in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat the broth in a pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat until hot throughout. Then follow the instructions above to assemble the noodle bowls. Do not combine the noodles with the soup beforehand as they will continue to absorb the broth over time.
Make it vegetarian. Swap the minced pork for minced Asian brown mushrooms such as shitake, or use a plant-based ground meat substitute. Use veggie broth and vegetarian wontons to. Also, you can top your bowl with crispy pan-fried tofu cubes instead of making the spicy ground pork.
Use a different protein. Ground beef, chicken, or turkey would all work well.
Make it gluten-free. Serve with rice noodles (or any other gluten-free Asian style noodles), and use a gluten-free soy sauce and dry sherry (replacement for Shao Xing rice wine). Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find store-bought gluten-free wontons. You can choose to omit the wontons, or (if you have time) make homemade gluten-free wonton wrappers with a gluten-free filling of your choice.