Dan Dan Mian or simply Dan Dan Noodles is one of the most popular street food dishes from the Chinese province of Sichuan. The noodles are served in a bowl with a hot and spicy sauce, minced meat and some green vegetables (e.g. spring onions, beans, bok choy, …). The noodles should then be mixed and eaten immediately.
In the traditional Chinese preparation of Dan Dan, ground pork is used. For the vegan version, we use crumbled tofu, mushrooms and spice it up with some more ingredients. The special taste of the noodles is mainly due to the use of a special chili oil and the aromatic sichuan pepper. But the nutty sesame also plays an important role in getting the right taste.
The spicy sichuan chili oil can probably also be found in very well-stocked Asian markets. However, we have come up with a faster and easier way of preparation that can be copied relatively easily at home. Instead of using cinnamon, fennel and the like whole, we go the fast way with the Chinese five-spice powder. And the result is definitely impressive.
Vegan Dan Dan Mian - Spicy Sichuan Noodles
Dan Dan Mian Noodles
- 200 g Chinese wheat noodles
- 1-2 spring onions
- 200 g bok choy
- 8 tbsp sichuan chili oil, see below for a simple recipe
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp tahini
- 2 tsp sichuan pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
Vegan Minced Meat Topping
- 200 g tofu, more of a soft variety
- 80 g mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil, alternatively vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- For the minced meat topping, crumble the tofu. Finely dice or chop the mushrooms. Mix with the remaining ingredients and let marinate for 10-15 minutes.
- For the noodle sauce, grind the sichuan pepper and mix it with the other ingredients. Divide between 2 large bowls. Cut away the woody end from the stalk of the pak choi and halve the individual leaves, depending on their size. Also cut the spring onion into thin rings and set aside.
- Fry the tofu and mushroom mixture in a pan over medium to high temperature for a few minutes until most of the liquid has boiled away. Take off the heat.
- Cook the noodles in a large pot of water according to the instructions on the packet until al dente. Add the bok choy about 2-3 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain everything and collect some of the cooking water.
- Add about 4-5 tablespoons of hot cooking water to the sauce in each bowl. Now put the noodles on top. Place the vegan minced meat topping and the pak choi on top and sprinkle with the spring onions.
- Mix the hot noodles directly with the sauce and toppings and enjoy.
Quick Sichuan Chili Oil
- 200 ml canola oil
- 3 heaped tbsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sichuan pepper
- 1 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- Coarsely crush the sichuan pepper in a mortar. Place in a jar with chili powder and flakes, sesame seeds and the five spice powder.
- Heat the oil to about 150 degrees Celsius. Pour about half of the oil directly over the chili mixture and stir well.
- Let the remaining oil cool down for 2 minutes and then pour in as well. Stir everything well again and allow to cool before sealing. Let it steep for another 1-2 days for the best taste.
Song of the recipe:
Musically, we rely on relaxed Sunday vibes today. Petals is a song by the English musician Bibio. A quiet singer-songwriter track with playful, electronic elements.
(Would you like to listen to all the songs for the recipe? Find them collected in one playlist here)