Recipe courtesy of Ching-He Huang

Dan Dan Noodles

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Sea salt

1 pound flat Asian wheat noodles (such as udon)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon finely grated peeled ginger

3 red Fresno chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces ground beef

1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)

1/2 cup finely diced cornichons or sweet gherkins

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

1 tablespoon Chinkiang black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns

Freshly ground white pepper

For the toppings:

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup chili oil

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon ground Sichuan peppercorns

3 red Fresno chile peppers, seeded and finely diced

2 large scallions, thinly sliced

1 small handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Make the noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles, stir and cook until al dente, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and toss to coat.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until smoking and add the peanut oil. Add the ginger, chiles and garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds; add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Combine the tahini and the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a small bowl. Add the cornichons to the wok. Stir in the tahini mixture, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar and ground peppercorns; cook until the beef begins to crisp, 2 to 3 more minutes. Season with white pepper and remove from the heat.
  4. Prepare the toppings: Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine the chili oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, ground peppercorns and chiles in a small bowl.
  5. Divide the noodles among bowls and sprinkle the beef mixture evenly over each. Pour the hot broth over the noodles; top with the chili oil mixture, scallions and cilantro.