Dan Dan Noodles. A classic Chinese noodle dish made of thick chewy noodles coated in a delicious spicy nutty sesame sauce that is packed with flavor! Perfect as a meal and ready in less than 20 minutes!
What are Dan Dan Noodles?
Dan Dan Noodles (aka Dan Dan Mian) are an iconic Chinese noodle dish that originates from the Sichuan province in China. These spicy Sichuan noodles are very popular in Sichuan cuisine. Many street vendors or noodle shops will serve different types of these Chinese noodles. In addition, all Sichuan restaurants have their own version of these spicy noodles. In fact, there are even regional variations too! But the key ingredients usually remain the same.
This Chinese dish is iconic for its fresh noodles, spicy sauce with a complex flavor profile and crispy ground pork! Altogether this authentic dan dan noodle recipe will satisfy all your taste buds! If there's one iconic dish that makes me think of China, it's this one! If you like spicy food, then you need to try this one out! There are many versions of dan dan noodles but this one rivals the Chinese restaurants as it's packed with flavor and it's so delicious!
Please scroll down to below recipe card for exact measurements.
Note: The Asian market is likely to carry these ingredients. You may find some at your select local grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
- Fresh wheat noodles: I highly recommend fresh ones over dried or frozen ones for the best texture. If you use dried wheat noodles, please follow package directions to cook noodles. If you can't find either fresh or dried wheat noodles, substitute with spaghetti noodles or thick egg noodles.
- Ground pork: traditional dan dan noodles use ground pork. But feel free to substitute with any ground meat such as ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef or crumbled extra firm tofu for a vegan option.
- Reserved noodle water: the starchy water helps to loosen the noodles and helps create a very creamy spicy sauce when mixed. If you forget to reserve the noodle water, hot boiling water will work.
- Green onion or fresh scallions
- Neutral oil, like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid olive oil, coconut oil or any heavy scented oils.
- Sesame paste: or substitute with tahini paste, or peanut butter for a peanut sauce
- Chinese chili oil: or substitute with a homemade chili oil (I share one here on the blog!). This is a spicy red oil made of red pepper flakes, tingly Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, onions, garlic, cinnamon and cloves. It's delicious and fragrant in the best way possible!
- Dark soy sauce: different than regular soy sauce as it's thicker and darker.
- Regular soy sauce: or substitute with low sodium soy sauce or light soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, substitute with tamari sauce, coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce of your choice.
- White granulated sugar: to help balance out the saltiness from the soy sauce.
- Chinese black vinegar: optional but highly recommend!
- Garlic cloves
- Sichuan peppercorn powder aka Szechuan peppercorn powder: this is the key ingredient of this popular Chinese noodle dish for those Sichuan flavors!
- Sesame seeds: or substitute with sesame oil
- Chicken bouillon powder: I love adding this ingredient as it contains a bit of MSG giving the noodle dish an "ahh that hits-the-spot-taste!" If you're refraining from MSG, feel free to omit this altogether.
- Regular soy sauce
- Shaoxing wine: or substitute with rice wine vinegar or Dry Sherry wine.
- Chinese Five-spice powder: most Asian or Western grocery stores will carry this item. You can also easily find this online, on Amazion It really adds a nice floral fragrance to the ground pork.
- White granulated sugar
- White pepper or black pepper
How to Make Dan Dan Noodles
Season Ground Pork
Season ground pork with Seasoning ingredients as listed. Set aside as you prepare other ingredients.
Make Noodle Sauce
In a small bowl, combine Noodle Sauce ingredients as listed above.
Transfer Noodle Sauce to a Bowl
Transfer the noodle sauce to the base of a large serving bowl.
Cook & Brown the Pork
In a wok or large skillet on medium-high heat, cook marinated pork ground and break it up in finer pieces. Cook until the pork is browned, crispy on the edges and fat has rendered out. Set aside and keep warm.
Boil Wheat Noodles
In a medium pot filled with enough water, bring to a boil. Add fresh wheat noodles and lower to medium heat. Boil for 2-3 minutes until Al Dente.
Reserve Noodle Water
Reserve ½ cup of hot noodle water.
Strain the noodles. Do not rinse off with cold water.
Transfer Noodles into Bowl
Place hot noodles on top of the Noodle sauce in large serving bowl. Followed by the reserved noodle water.
Add Cooked Pork & Mix well
Place crispy pork mixture on top. Garnish with green onions. Enjoy by giving the noodles and pork a good stir with clean utensils until they're mix well and coated in sauce.
Storage & Reheating
This dish will last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, microwave for 2-4 minutes until hot or reheat on the stovetop and add a bit of water to help loosen the noodles.
- Brown the pork. This allows the juices to come out and create more flavor.
- Do not over cook the noodles. You can always taste test the noodles to see if they're to your liking. They should be cooked until al dente.
- Do not rinse the noodles. You will rinse off the wheat flour flavor in the noodles making it taste a bit bland.
- Use a large serving bowl. This will make it easier to mix the noodles, pork and sauce without it spilling over.
What can I serve these noodles with?
These noodles are typically served with a preserved vegetable called Zha cai aka pickled mustard greens. These can be found at the Asian market in the preserved vegetable aisle. They add a nice acidity to help balance out the spicy, savory, nutty noodles! But you can enjoy it with any leafy greens that you enjoy!
Are there any substitutes for Sichuan peppercorn powder?
You can substitute with a 1:1 ratio of ground black pepper and ground coriander.
What can I replace Chinese chili oil with?
Any chili oil that you can find at the grocer will work as a replacement.
What is in dan dan noodles that makes your mouth numb?
The sichuan peppercorn powder is what makes your mouth numb when enjoying dan dan noodles. It has a "mala" numbing effect on your tongue.
Other recipes you may enjoy!
- Scallion oil noodles
- 10-minute easy Sesame Noodles
- Shanghai Fried Noodles
- Easy Spicy Peanut Noodles
- 10-minute Garlic Chili Oil Noodles
Easy 20-min. Dan Dan Noodles
- 1 lb fresh wheat noodles or sub with dried wheat noodles, thick egg noodles or spaghetti
- ½ lb ground pork or sub with ground chicken, turkey, beef or tofu
- ½ cup reserved noodle water
- 1 green onion finely chopped for garnish
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or any neutral oil
- 2 tablespoon sesame paste or sub with tahini paste or smooth peanut butter
- 2-3 tablespoon
Chinese chili oilor sub with any chili oil of your choice or make my homemade version here
- ¾ tablespoon dark soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon regular soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar *not shown in video
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds toasted
- ¼ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- Season ground pork with Seasoning ingredients as listed. Set aside as you prepare other ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine Noodle Sauce ingredients as listed above. Pour sauce to the base of a large serving bowl.
- In a wok or large skillet on medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and cook marinated pork ground until browned and fat has rendered out. Break it up in finer pieces. Set aside and keep warm.
- In a medium pot filled with enough water, bring to a boil. Add fresh wheat noodles and lower to medium heat. Boil for 2-3 minutes until Al Dente. Reserve ½ cup of hot noodle water. Strain noodles. Do not rinse off with cold water.
- Place hot noodles on top of the Noodle sauce in large serving bowl. Followed by the reserved noodle water.
- Place crispy pork mixture on top. Garnish with green onions. Enjoy by mixing the noodles and pork into the sauce until everything is coated in sauce.
Suggested Equipment & Products
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.