spicy dan dan noodles with bok choy and crunchy chili oil recipe from cooking with cocktail rings 2

Spicy Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy & Crunchy Chili Oil

Dan dan noodles are spicy noodles with pork originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine. This dish is an especially popular street food. The bits of crispy ground pork add flavor and texture to this dish while the bok choy adds freshness and helps to cool down the spice. There is enough sauce to coat the noodles so they are just slick enough to slurp – and trust me, you will want to. If served in the Chinese tradition, the ingredients are layered and mixed tableside, but I like to mix them before dividing among the serving bowls.



For the crunchy chili oil:

2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns

2 star anise

10 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup diced shallots

½ cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes


For the dan dan noodles:

10 ounces chow mein noodles

2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground pork

¼ cup soy sauce

½ cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

3 heads bok choy, sliced


For serving:

¼ cup sliced green onions  

¼ cup chopped peanuts



For the crunchy chili oil:

Add the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise to a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with string to close. Add the spice satchel, garlic, shallots and vegetable oil to a small saucepot. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat until the garlic and onion are just golden brown, careful not to overcook, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat then remove the spice satchel and discard. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and let the oil cool completely.


For the dan dan noodles:

Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil then set aside.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the ground pork and cook, using a spatula to break up the meat, until cooked through and the edges are slightly crispy, about 6 minutes. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, and sesame seeds stirring to combine. Add the noodles and bok choy and toss to combine.


For serving:

Divide the noodles between warmed pasta bowls and top with the crunchy chili mixture, green onions and peanuts and serve immediately.


Serves 4.

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