Dan Dan Noodles

I got a new cookbook yesterday called “Every Grain of Rice” by Fuchsia Dunlop, who went to culinary school in China. It is beautifully illustrated, with photographs and detailed recipes. But, she emphasizes that the recipes are mainly ones that real Chinese people make at home and keeps it simple.

Today I tried out one of the recipes that looked interesting and one that I could use my Chili Oil with. It turned out great and it was not that tough. I have tried to offer some suggestions for alternative ingredients in case you want to try it but don’t have access to a good Asian market.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons cooking oil, avocado, peanut, or grapeseed
4 ounces ground pork
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine, or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sweet bean paste, or peanut butter
1 teaspoon soy sauce
7 ounces Chinese wheat flour noodles , or thin spaghetti
FOR THE SAUCE:
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinkiang vinegar, or 1/2 teaspoon red wine and 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegars
3 tablespoons chili oil, with it’s sediment, to taste
4 tablespoons green onion, finely sliced
4 baby boc choy, rinsed, ends removed, and split in half

Method:

1. Put the oil in a seasoned wok (or a large saute pan) over medium heat. Add the meat and stir-fry until it changes color. Add the Shaoxing wine, stir a few times, then add the sweet bean paste and stir a bit more. Season with the soy sauce to taste. With a slotted spoon, remove from the wok and set aside, leaving behind any oil and grease. Reserve pork.

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2. Bring a panful of water to a boil. Heat the stock in the microwave.

3. Boil the noodles to your liking in the water along with the baby boc choy.

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4. While they are cooking, place all the sauce ingredients except for the chicken stock, in a serving bowl.

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5. When the noodles and boc choy are ready, drain them in a colander.

6. Add the stock to the serving bowl, add the noodles and the boc choy, then top with pork and serve. Before eating, give the noodles and good stir until the sauce and meat are evenly distributed.

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