Cooking Corner: Ching’s Midnight Dan Dan Noodles
Ching’s Midnight Dan Dan Noodles
An easy take on a traditional Chinese noodle dish. Ching’s Midnight Dan Dan Noodles are a favorite among the Chinese people. The name originated from the walking street vendors who sold the dish to passers-by. The name of the pole they carried while walking was called a dan dan. The pole was carried over their shoulders with one basket hanging from either side. One side held the noodles while the other housed the toppings and garnishes. The noodles were a tasty, low-cost meal for locals and quickly became known as Dan Dan Noodles (peddler’s noodles).
How to Make a Spicy Szechuan Cucumber Salad
Adapted from: The Cooking Channel
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
What You Need
- 1 lb flat wide wheat-flour noodles (udon)
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp finely grated freshly peeled ginger root
- 2 red Fresno chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 9 ozs ground beef
- ½ cup finely diced cornichons or sweet gherkins
- 1 tbsp Chinese sesame paste
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoshing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
- Freshly ground white pepper
- ¼ cup chili oil
- ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 3 red Fresno chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 2 large scallions, finely chopped
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, very hot
For the Noodles:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
- Add the noodles and salt, stir, and cook until al dente, approximately 4 minutes.
- Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water, then shake out any excess water and transfer to a bowl.
- Pour the sesame oil over the noodles and toss well to coat.
For the Toppings:
- Heat a wok over high heat until smoking and pour in the peanut oil.
- Add the ginger,chiles, and garlic; stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the ground beef and cook; breaking up the meat with a spatula until browned; approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the cornichons, sesame paste, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar and peppercorns; cook until the beef begins to crisp. Season with white pepper and remove from heat.
For the Garnish:
- Mix together the chili oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, peppercorns, and chiles in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Divide the noodles among 6 deep soup bowls and sprinkle the meat toppings evenly over each.
- Pour the hot stock evenly over the noodles, and serve with the chili oil mixture, scallions, and cilantro alongside at the table for added garnishing.
- NOT suitable for family members who may have a peanut allergy
- Rice wine/dry sherry will cook/burn out; leaving the flavor only
- Sesame paste can be substituted with an equal amount of tahini mixed with 1 tsp toasted sesame oil; if desired