Dan Dan Noodles were originally sold by street vendors who carried the pole (dan dan) over the shoulder with two baskets containing the ingredients and stove at either end. Sellers would ladle over each ingredient in the sauce separately. The local people gradually came to call them Dan Dan Noodles – literally translates as “noodles carried on a pole” or better translated as “peddler’s noodles” as they were really affordable.
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
250g minced pork
60g Ya Cai (finely chopped )
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
4 dried chillies (soaked to soften, seeded, halved lengthwise)
3 spring onions (finely chopped, plus extra, to serve)
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
2 tbsp sesame paste or tahini
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp chilli oil sauce*
500g Shanghai noodles or other fresh flour (wheat) noodles*
*Shanghai noodles and Ya Cai are available in the refrigerated section of Asian food shops. You may google “yi bin ya cai” for packaging picture so it’s easier to buy it.
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