Shortcut Dan-Dan Noodles

This quick version of the Chinese dish elevates easy-to-find instant ramen noodles. Pickles stand in for traditional fermented greens and the brine replaces the sugar that is usually in the recipe.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Three 3-ounce packages instant ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 pound ground pork 

1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger 

6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup chopped bread and butter pickles, plus 6 tablespoons brine

2 tablespoons hot sesame oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the ramen noodles according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse well under cold water., then drain again Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the ground pork and 2 teaspoons of the ginger and cook, breaking up the pork with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the chopped pickles, 3 tablespoons of the pickle brine, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until the liquid evaporates from the skillet and the pork begins to brown again, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Whisk 1/4 cup water with the remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons pickle brine, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, the hot sesame oil and the remaining 1 teaspoon ginger in a large bowl until well combined. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Top with the pork, toss to combine and serve immediately.