Oh boy this is a spiiiiiiiiiicy dish.......but it's so darn goood, you'll be going for another bite again.......and again......and again. If you like spicy food, Sichuan dishes and, of course, Dan Dan noodles, then this is YOUR recipe. Add whatever green veggies you like.....spinach, green beans, snap peas (my personal fav). Now, I'll be honest with you for a minute. This is not a quick and easy recipe. Weelllll.....it's easy, but not quick. And you will have to head off to your local Asian speciality market (if that's not possible, you can find all the hard to find ingredients online).
But, if you put in the effort, I PROMISE you it will pay off in SPADES!
In case you can't find Sui Mi Ya Cai in your grocery store, you can purchase it here. (I don't get anything if you click this link.....just want to provide it so you can make the dish)
Comment below and let me know what you think! And if you make this recipe, tag your pics #amenuforyou. I love seeing what's cooking in your kitchen from A Menu for You!
- For the Chili Oil:
- 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 inch-long piece of cinnamon
- 2 star anise
- 1 cup oil
- ¼ cup crushed red pepper flakes
- For the Meat and Sui Mi Ya Cai:
- 3 teaspoons oil
- 8 oz. ground pork
- 2 teaspoons sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons shaoxing wine (you can find this in your local Asian grocery store)
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon five spice powder
- ⅓ cup sui mi ya cai (preserved veggie -- it's available online or in your local Asian market)
- For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon five spice powder
- ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder (grind whole Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle)
- ½ cup of your prepared chili oil (scary, but yes! -- you can add 1/4 cup if you want to cut a bit of the spice, but I say "embrace the spice")
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- ¼ cup hot cooking water from the noodles
- For the Noodles & Veg:
- 1 lb fresh or dried white noodles, medium thickness
- 1 small bunch leafy greens (spinach or bok choy -- you can also substitute green beans or snap peas)
- chopped peanuts
- chopped scallion
- lime wedges
To make the chili oil: In a small pot, add the Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon stick, star anise, and oil. Over medium low heat, slowly heat to 325 degrees, and then turn off the heat. Wait 6 - 7 minutes, then remove the peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and star anise with a slotted spoon. Discard the peppercorns, cinnamon, and star anise -- their job is now done.
Add the crushed red pepper flakes and allow them to steep in the hot oil. It should start smelling really fragrant. Allow the oil to cool. This makes more chili oil than you’ll need, but you’ll be glad to have it on hand for use in other dishes. Store in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.
ALTERNATIVE #1: You can skip making your own chili oil and buy chili oil. You should be able to find it in the Asian aisle in your grocery store, or at your local Asian market.
To make the meat mixture: In a wok, heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat, and cook the ground pork until it's nicely browned. Add the sweet bean sauce, shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, and five spice powder. Cook until all the liquid is evaporated. Set aside.
Heat the other 2 teaspoons of oil in the wok over medium heat, and sauté the sui mi ya ci for a few minutes. Set aside.
To make the sauce: Mix together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning if you like. You can loosen it with more hot water, add more Sichuan peppercorn powder, etc. This is YOUR sauce, so make it however you like it.
To prepare the noodles and veggies & assemble: Cook the noodles according to package directions. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl. With the water still boiling (yes, the same water you just removed the noodles from) blanch the greens. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in colander.
Divide the sauce among four bowls, followed by the noodles and the leafy greens.
Add the cooked pork and sui mi ya cai over the top.
Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and scallions. I like to add a squeeze of lime juice, but that's up to you!