Dan Dan Mian (Spicy Sichuan Noodles)

By DK on Aug 24, 2011
Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms

We love Sichuan anything - the vegetarian version of course!. So much so that our first year of marriage saw us visiting only a Sichuan restaurant, ordering the only 3 dishes that we do, all the times we had to eat out. We did not eat out much though - I was all into cooking (aren't most of us in the first year of marriage?) and the husband had had enough eating out throughout his single life to eat "anything" the wife dished out in the name of food. So the weekends saw us going to this one place (again and again..), so much so that the minute they see us, they knew what we were going to order. Years down the line, as recent as last week, we still have a local sichuan place that we visit who (once again) don't ask us what we want when they see us. They know!. It always goes like this -

Them: "Hey! welcome. How are you?"
Us: "Doing great! You?"
Them: "Same here (some regular banter). So, the usual?"
Us: " Yes."
Them: "In a minute....."

Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
There is no necessity to give us a menu, no need to ask our spice level, anything. We know they hope that one day we will change something and shock them. I know they welcome it. We want to, but we always keep that for "the next time" and we never do (till date at least). I dunno what that makes us - a boring couple? or people with similar palate immensely content about the very same dishes? However you word it, the underlying fact is - we LOVE sichuan food. Period. So other than the "usual affair", I sometimes feel the itch to try something "different" at home too that's sichuanese. Hence this recipe. Almost everyone I have known, loves noodles. Now mix in some spice and heat, it becomes a household name.
Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
Changes I Made: I came across this recipe from the Best International Recipe cookbook that had Pork and fish sauce in it. I made it vegetarian by using Tofu and Shiitake mushroom to give it the meatiness and volume along with more soy sauce to replace the fish sauce. The plum sauce went in cos...err...I had some in the fridge and cos I have this unexplainable itch to throw stuff randomly in a pot at times. Other than that, I have kept the recipe as it is from the book. After quite a long search I managed to find the "Asian sesame paste" in one of the Asian stores. But you can use Peanut butter instead as the book suggests. I have personally not tried it since I found the sesame paste but am sure it will equally lip smacking good like this one.The only gripe we had with this recipe when I made it - it was not enough! Got over way before we could say "Burp!". Its pretty simple once you have the ingredients assembled. Then its mostly mix, toss and combine types. The soft, noodles with saltiness from the sauce and heat from the white pepper and sichuan peppercorns makes this addictive. Its not "burn your mouth" kinda hot, its the "making you feel warm" kinda hot, if you get my drift. (if you don't, then you have another excuse to try this recipe out ;)) The tofu and mushrooms give this dish the body and the heartiness.
References
recipe adapted from the best international recipe cookbook
Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 30 min
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Serves: 2 people
Ingredients
    • 6 Oz. Mori Nu Silken (extra firm) Tofu
    • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
    • 1 tbsp Plum Sauce (optional)
    • White Pepper, ground, to taste
    • 2 tbsp Asian Sesame Paste (see Tips)
    • 1/2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
    • 1/2-3/4 cup Vegetable Broth (or water)
    • 1 tsp Vegetable Oil
    • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
    • 1/2 tbsp Ginger paste
    • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
    • 1/2 tbsp toasted Sesame Oil
    • 9 oz. fresh Chinese Noodles
    • 2 Scallions, sliced
    • 1/2 tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns, toasted and ground
    • 6 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms
    Tips
    If you don't find Asian Sesame Paste (not the middle eastern Tahini), then you can substitute smooth Peanut Butter instead. A few toasted and crushed peanuts can be used as a garnish in that case. Since Sesame Paste is little salty, additional salt is not used in this dish. If your Sesame paste has a pourable consistency instead of spreadable consistency, then use only 1/2 cup broth/water. You can add 1 tbsp Chinese Rice Cooking Wine or Dry Sherry to this recipe.
    Method
    1
    Cook the fresh noodles as per the instructions in the packet.
    Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
    2
    Meanwhile in a pan, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine (if using), plum sauce, pinch of white pepper, sesame paste, vinegar and the broth.
    Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
    3
    Add the tofu to this sauce and set aside for about 15 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
    Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
    4
    Meanwhile in the skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 of sliced scallions, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook until the mushrooms get soft - about a minute or so.
    Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
    5
    Now add the Tofu along with the sauce to the mixture.
    Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
    6
    Bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until slightly thickened - about 4-5 minutes. Off the heat and  stir in the sesame oil. Cover and set aside.
    Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
    7
    Drain the cooked noodles and then divide it in individual bowls.
    Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
    Ladle a portion of sauce over the top. You can sprinkle it with more scallions (crushed and toasted peanuts if using peanut butter), bean sprouts and Szechuan peppercorns for the heat. I additionally served it with red chilli paste. Vegetarian Dandan noodle with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms
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    15 Responses to “Dan Dan Mian (Spicy Sichuan Noodles)”
    1. ahmed

      :wink: nice recipe thank you

    2. RAMYA MATANGY

      i’ll avoid mushrooms as i’m allergic.a great recipe with my friends over.

    3. Leena Naik

      Hi, DK . I am from India, GOA.. I really love your cooking style and presentation… thanks a lott for such gr8 gr8 srumptious recipes.I ‘ve learn’t lot from you..thanks again :http://chefinyou.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif-) I have a question for you . What is TOFU ? and where can i get it?. pls pls reply waiting for your answer

    4. Payal

      Hi D.K,
      Just wondering if I don’t eat mushrooms what to substitute it with? Perhaps bell peppers or broccoli. Looks absolutely yummy will definitely try soon. I must agree sesame paste is yum…but so is PB as a satay base. Can you please give a Satay sauce recipe, if possible without onion & garlic? Thanks :)

    5. kiran singh

      D.K U R GREAT………..

    6. D, i think the confusion is because in your “Tip”, You ask to substitute PB if we “do” have sesame paste. Should that be “don’t”? Love the noodles and love sichuan anything :)

      Oh yes, you are right. Thanks for the pointer – have updated the post :)

    7. :) Really need to go shopping for ingredients.

    8. :-P Me too love Sichuan. Gimme a bowl right now DK.
      But how come PB instead of ground sesame? Or can we use either or both?

      The book suggests to use PB in case you do not have sesame paste. Not use together but instead :)

    9. This looks so delicious.. How can resist a dish like this :-)

    10. vineeta
    11. Jumana

      It looks so yummy..will make it soon when I ve all ingredients..

    12. Nice recipe DK. Looks yummy :)

    13. Sonal

      Wow…I must make this!!! Looks so yummy!! I was thinking of buying the szechuan peppers and now I have the perfect excuse!! Thanks for the recipe DK :-D

    14. Feel like grabbing that bowl and having rite now,super delicious noodles.

    15. I believe Noodles is ubiquitous… Came across around 3 recipes today after I myself made szechuan noodles for lunch today!

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