Delicious Dan Dan Noodles – They’re Vegan!
Dan Dan Noodles are a traditional street food from Sichuan, China and can easily be recreated in your home kitchen!
I’m lightening them up with Tofu & Mushrooms in place of pork, and adding vibrant greens.
I love these noodles! A combustion of flavors — savory, nutty, spicy, and smoky.
It’s Earth Day! We’re celebrating the people speaking up for nature and making positive changes for our environment.
But the most impactful individual step we can take for the planet doesn’t start with any of these.
It starts with what we eat.
Save money, eat more vegetables and reduce your carbon footprint.
We can make a difference – improve our diet so that it’s healthier – – consider going vegan with a meal a day, or at least once a week. Scientists and nutritionists alike find that embracing a plant-based diet have optimal benefits for both the body and the earth.
See my VEGAN recipes here.
See my VEGETARIAN recipes here.
Dan Dan noddles are intensely flavorful—rich in all sorts of umami goodness!
Packing an intensely earthy-sweet and savory flavor.
This is my Vegan version – traditionally it is topped with minced pork.
The main ingredients are:
Fresh Chinese Noodles (easily found in Asian groceries and health food shops)
A thick and creamy sauce with:
– They are not actually pepper, but the dried red-brown berries of a type of ash tree. The smell of the peppercorn is intoxicating, lemony and perfumed, and the taste, electric. While it leaves your mouth buzzing, it isn’t pungently spicy like black or white pepper and carries a hint of acid sweetness. I grind mine fresh in a spice grinder.
Sesame Seed Paste (Tahini)
Chili Oil (I’ve got a great recipe for that! See recipe)
Soy Sauce (I’ve used a gluten-free tamari)
Black Vinegar (can also use dry sherry or Shaoxing wine, or balsamic vinegar)
Sugar (white or brown)
I am adding: ginger, garlic and shallots to add depth to the sauce.
Replacing traditional wok-cooked pork with Firm Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms (I’m using dried ones, reconstituted… soaked.)
Classic dishes of Sichuan cuisine wouldn’t be the same without Szechuan peppercorns! They do not have the spicy bite of black peppercorns, but lingering lemony overtones – and is an ingredient in five-spice powder.
How to make & master these noodles:
Make the sauce ~ Cook shallots, then add ginger and garlic for base flavor. Add the Sichuan peppercorns and allow to toast for 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients off the heat and stir well.
Boil the noodles al dente, not more!
Prepare the toppings ~ toast sesame seeds, chop roasted peanuts, julienne radishes and slice the scallions.
Add sauce on the bottom of the bowls and swirl together with chopsticks until the noodles are coated.
Add tofu & mushrooms on top and cooked greens – and your toppings.
The dishes of Sichuan cuisine are known for their deep and rich flavors, especially the taste of Sichuan pepper which is rare in other regional cuisines – a must-have seasonings that bring out the intense flavors the dishes are renowned for.
Dandan noodles (dàndànmiàn) are traditionally topped with preserved vegetables too, add if you like.
The name refers to a type of carrying pole (dan dan) that was used by walking street vendors who sold the dish to passers-by. Called “peddler’s noodles.”
Enjoy the flavors of Sichuan cuisine and these delicious Dan Dan Noodles!
Delicious Dan Dan Noodles - They're Vegan!
- 12 ounces fresh narrow Asian noodles
- 2 teaspoons roasted peanut oil expeller pressed, can use neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots peeled, 1/4" dice
- 2 medium garlic cloves peeled, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger peeled, finely grated or minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons Chile oil (see my recipe)
- 2 tablespoons tahini* (sesame seed paste)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon pure cane sugar can use brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black vinegar* see substitutions
- 3 tablespoons filtered water
- 1 cup green vegetables such as: mustard greens, baby bok choy and sugar snap peas (cleaned)
- 8 ounces firm tofu I use organic
- 4 large dried shiitake mushroom caps (to soak, will take 30 minutes) Can use fresh too.
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as expeller pressed safflower
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons scallions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts chopped
For the Sauce:
- In a 12" skillet add the peanut oil, raise heat to medium- low. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes until just a touch golden. Add the garlic, ginger and sichuan peppercorns. Stir well and cook one minute to release their flavors.
- Add the chili oil, tahini, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and water. Give a big stir - use a whisk if the tahini is lumpy. Take off the heat and stir until creamy. Taste the sauce, add a tablespoon more of chili oil if you like it extra spicy. Set aside.
Make the Tofu & Mushroom Topping:
- Soak dried shiitake caps in boiling water in a small bowl, cover with waxed paper; set aside 30 minutes until softened. Press out water of tofu by gently patting with paper towels. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil to a sickproof skillet or seasoned cast iron skillet.Add tofu in a single layer - raise heat to medium-high and cook until golden underneath - carefuly turn over with a spatula and cook until golden all around. Cut softened mushrooms into a medium dice - add to the pan, cook, stirring 2 minutes.Add 1 teaspoon of extra chili oil here if you like spicy - will flavor the tofu nicely. Add the toasted sesame seeds - stir in, remove from heat. Add a sprinkle of sea salt.
Cook the Noodles & Vegetables
- Cook the fresh noodles in plenty of water until al dente.In the last minute of cooking - add the green vegetables and let them poach in the water. Drain all, separating the greens.
Serving & Garnishing:
- Add half of the sauce on the bottom of a large bowl, or individual bowls.Add noodles and stir up a bit with chopsticks.Top with the tofu & mushroom mixture and greens.Drizzle remaining sauce on top.Garnish all over with scallions and peanuts. (Can add julienned purple radish too.) Enjoy! These noodles can be refrigerated and served cold as well.