Dan Dan Noodles with Chicken

Chicken Dan Dan Noodles

Chicken Dan Dan Noodles

As I mentioned earlier, I recently came into the possession of a Sichuan cooking book that is full of appetizing authentic recipes. The only problem with authentic recipes is that it can be hard to find all the ingredients. While, I rarely follow recipes without adapting them, I really wanted to follow this recipe especially since I have never had Dan Dan Noodles before πŸ™‚ The most difficult ingredient to find was the Sichuanese ya cai, preserved vegetables. However, I persevered and after visiting three Asian stores, I came upon a dusty packet that looked exactly as the one described by Fuchsia Dunlop, the cookbook author on her blog. I almost did a happy dance in the store, but I was already getting weird looks for spending so much time analyzing the food on the shelves πŸ™‚

The recipe required ground pork, but I decided to use cubed chicken breast instead. Also, in my excitement about finding ya cai, I totally forgot to buy chili oil so I ended up making my own!

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 8 – 10 oz fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 Tb peanut oil
  • 4 Tb Sichuanese ya cai
  • 2 scallions, green parts only, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tb light soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tb dark soy sauce
  • 3 Tb chili oil (for 1 cup: 1/4 cup red pepper flakes, 1 cup peanut oil, 1 piece ginger)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground roasted Sichuan pepper
  • chicken topping: 1 Tb peanut oil, 1 chicken breast cubed, 1 tsp sherry, 2 tsp light soy sauce

If you do not have chili oil, make your own a few hrs or the day before. Place the pepper flakes in a ball jar. Heat the oil with the ginger until very hot. Let cool for 5-10 min (225 – 250F). Pour over the pepper flakes, stir and let sit for a few hours or overnight.Β 

Heat up a pan over medium heat. Roast your Sichuan pepper until fragrant. Remove from heat, let cool, and grind in a mortar.

Heat up oil over medium high heat. Stir fry the ya cai for 30 sec or until fragrant. Place in a bowl and mix with the remaining sauce ingredients and scallions.

Dan Dan noodle sauce

Dan Dan noodle sauce

Wipe the skillet clean and prepare the chicken topping. Stir fry chicken in peanut oil for a few minutes, add the sherry and soy sauce and continue cooking until the chicken Β is cooked through.

chicken topping

chicken topping

Cook noodles according to package directions (mine took about a minute of boiling in water). Assemble the dish by first placing some sauce in a bowl.

assembling the dish: ya cai sauce

assembling the dish: ya cai sauce

Add your noodles and mix with the sauce.

egg noodles and sauce

egg noodles and sauce

Top with chicken and serve!

Dan Dan Noodles - served!

Dan Dan Noodles – served!

I have to admit that the ya cai didn’t smell super appetizing to me, but it was addicting once I started eating it! My only gripe is that it was quite salty so next time I may try soaking it in water first to get rid of some of the salt.

This was another quick (assuming you have the chili oil ready)Β and delicious dinner and I am looking forward to cooking more dishes from my Land of Plenty cookbook!

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9 Responses to Dan Dan Noodles with Chicken

  1. chef mimi says:

    Love fuchsia! Great recipe!

  2. I really appreciate your persevering until you found the proper ingredient! I would do the same. I picture the smell of the ya cai to be “fishy”? Looks good!

  3. I’ve never had ya cai! Sounds so super tasty!! I lovvvve when you post Asian recipes, my FAVorite πŸ˜‰ This looks amazing. I die for noodles, seriously! And I appreciate your healthier twist with the chicken subsitution. I wonder if I can find ya cai?

    • hmmm, I am not sure how easy it will be to find it. The store I found it in had plenty of packets and they also carried the Tianjin preserved vegetables, which are suggested as a substitute. I could always send you some if you cannot find it, just let me know πŸ˜‰

  4. Randall says:

    Looks delectable. Pinned it to my Food Creations board on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com.savorthefood/food-creations/.

    Thanks for sharing!! πŸ™‚

    Randall
    http://www.savorthefood.com

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