Monday, August 26, 2013

Dan Dan Noodles (担担面)

Sichuan Dan Dan Mian (Noodles)

Dan Dan Mian (Noodles) is one of Sichuan's famous street foods and simply translates to "Peddler's Noodles".  The hawkers used to carry these noodles and the sauce  in two baskets hanging on each end of the poles over their shoulders - hence the name 'Dan'.  This dish is essentially wheat noodles topped with spicy pork and Sichuan vegetable mixture with sauce.

Recently I discovered another version of Dan Dan Mian which is sweeter and creamier than the usual spicy, hot and numbing flavour of the Dan Dan Mian.  This version has the addition of sesame & peanut sauce and also some carrots and cabbage pickles; and not as spicy which I preferred.   I read it somewhere that the Taiwanese version tend to be sweeter, less spicy and have a thicker sauce which include sesame or peanut paste.

Today I decided to cook a vegetarian version of the Dan Dan Noodle with tofu and King Oyster mushroom as the main ingredients. 

Sesame & Peanut Sauce:

I put everything into my new blender Spectablend and blend until fine and smooth. 

50g white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
80g roasted peanuts
200 ml water
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp sesame oil

300g cabbage, finely shredded
200g carrot, finely shredded
60g raw sugar dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
100ml lemon/lime juice
  • Sprinkle salt over cabbage and carrot.  Set aside for about 20 minutes.  Rinse and drain well.
  • Combine sugar mixture and lemon/lime juice together and pour over vegetables.  Mix well and store in a glass container overnight in the refrigerator.

Mushroom & Tofu Sauce:

160g firm tofu, finely diced
130g King Oyster mushrooms, finely diced
90g Sichuan preserved vegetable (Zha Cai), rinsed and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small knob ginger, minced
2 tbsp scallion
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground into powder
2 tsp chilli bean sauce/ chilli oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
dash of white pepper
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tbsp black rice vinegar
200 ml water
1/2 tbsp cornflour + water (for thickening the sauce)
3 tbsp cooking oil
dash of sesame oil
coriander, for garnishing
cucumber, julienne
Udon noodles

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute ginger, garlic and scallions until aromatic.
  • Add in mushroom, tofu and preserved vegetable and stir-fry for 5 minutes.  Then add in ground Sichuan pepper, chilli bean, light and dark soy sauce, sugar, pepper, black rice vinegar and water.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Thicken sauce with cornflour mixture.
  • In a pot of boiling water, cook noodles according to instructions.
  • Put a serve of noodles in a bowl.  Pour tofu and mushroom sauce over the noodles.  Top with cabbage & carrot pickles, julienned cucumber and spoon a generous amount of sesame & peanut sauce over the noodles.  Garnish with coriander leaves.

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