Dan Dan noodles have it all! A pile of bouncy, chewy noodles and a meaty, peanutty sauce with flavor for days. My version includes some greenery with baby bok choy, and it’s based on a recipe my mom used to make. It’s a Chinese Sichuan dish, and it’s heavy on the chile oil.
Heat the neutral oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the pork, salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up the pork into smaller pieces and cook until browned and the pork is no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Deglaze with the cooking wine, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the soy sauce. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add the bok choy, season with salt and cook until bright green, the leaves are wilted and the stems are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Keep warm while you cook the noodles.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the noodles with a spider or tongs and place directly into the bowl with the Peanut Sauce. Toss to combine, adding 1 tablespoon reserved pasta water at a time, as needed, to reach desired consistency.
To assemble, plate the noodles. Top with the pork and bok choy mixture. Garnish with a drizzle of the Chile Oil and the chopped peanuts.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chile oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and a couple turns of black pepper until smooth. Set aside.
Homemade Chile Oil:
Yield:About 1 cup
Heat the oil and Sichuan peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the peppercorns start to sizzle and become fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. In a small jar, combine the red chile pepper powder and salt. When the oil is hot, pour over the red chile and allow to sit and steep for a few minutes. Set aside.