Dan Dan Noodles
Why we love it:
- 1 pound Ground Pork
- 3⁄4 teaspoon Five Spice Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (or mild oil of choice: peanut, avocado, safflower, etc)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt.
- 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorn. - freshly ground
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger - minced
- 4 cloves Garlic - smashed and minced
- 1 bunch Scallions - minced, save some for garnish
- 8 ounces Ramen Noodles fresh or dried - (or chinese egg noodles depending on where you shop - in a totally delicious yet inauthentic pinch, use spaghetti!
- 5 heads Bok Choy 4-6 medium heads or 1 bunch of spinach
- 1⁄4 cup Sherry Vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup Soy Sauce or tamari
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 3 Tablespoons Tahini
- 1⁄4 cup Chili Garlic Sauce (sambal oelek is widely available)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1⁄4 cup Roasted Peanuts
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for noodles.
Trim ends of the spinach or cut bok choy lengthwise into quarters and wash very very well. Both tend to be quite sandy. Set aside.
Cook noodles as directed on the box, until they are al dente. Add the greens in the last minute of cooking. Drain but reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water.
Heat the 2 Tbsp oil in a large saute pan or flat bottom pot with sides and add the pork once its hot. Add the 5 spice powder, salt and peppercorn. Stir and cook over medium high heat while breaking up the pork with a wooden spoon.
Peel ginger root with the back of a spoon - just scrape off most of the skin. Smash it with the back of your knife, do the same to the garlic cloves. And mince away. Add in most of the scallions and do the same - keep 1-2 scallions separate and slice into rings for a nice bright garnish.
After a couple of minutes when pork is about half browned and getting crispy in places, add the minced ginger, garlic and scallion.
Cook for 4 minutes, stirring often, then when pork is very fragrant, fully browned, add the vinegar, soy sauce, stock, reserved noodle cooking water and tahini. Cook over high heat, stirring and scraping up the brown bits until sauce thickens up a little bit - about 3 minutes.
3. CHILI SAUCE
Stir together the cinnamon and garlic chili sauce.
Use big bowls and evenly divide noodles into each. Top with the greens (though if they’re a little wound together, that’s ok). Spoon the pork and sauce mixture generously over top.
Spoon the chili sauce over evenly or to taste - it will be spicy!
Garnish with roasted peanuts and scallions.