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 peeled, grated fresh 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, strain and rinse well under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the ground pork and 2 teaspoons ginger and cook, breaking up the pork with the back of 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. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates from the pan and the meat begins to brown again, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  3. Whisk 4 tablespoons 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.