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Bowl of dan dan noodles, a typical Sichuan street food.

Photo: iStock

Dan dan noodles

Dan dan mian (担担面), or dan dan noodles, is a classic Sichuan street food that has gained global fame. The dish's renowned savoury and spicy sauce is a fusion of chilli oil, soy sauce and various spices. The freshly boiled noodles serve as a simple yet ideal base for the sauce to reveal its rich flavour.

Dan dan noodles have countless variations, with some being incredibly spicy, while others, like our recipe, have heat but won't leave your mouth on fire. Our recipe features a garlicky, gingery, brothy pork sauce with peanut butter that packs a flavoursome punch. You can conveniently adjust the spice level to suit your personal taste.

30 March, 2023
Average: 4 (3 votes)

serves for


total time

0 HR 25 MIN


Fresh udon
2lbs (900g) or yaki soba
Vegetable oil
3 tbsp (44ml)
Ground pork
1lb (450g)
2 tbsp (12g) fresh, peeled and minced
Garlic cloves
3, minced
Soy sauce
1/4 cup (59ml)
Dry sherry
1/4 cup (59ml)
Chicken stock
4 cups (950 ml)
Peanut butter
2 tbsp (32g)
1 tsp (4g)
Sichuan peppercorns
6 tsp (13.8g), ground
2 tsp (8g)
Sambal oelek
2 tbsp (30g)
Spring onion
1/4 cup (25g), thinly sliced, for garnish
1/4 cup (30g), roasted, chopped


Step 01

Cook the noodles as instructed on the packet and distribute them evenly into four bowls.

Step 02

Place a large skillet on medium heat and heat up the vegetable oil. Add the pork and cook it for about 8 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces. 

Step 03

Once the pork is nearly cooked through, add fresh ginger and garlic and cook for an additional minute until it becomes fragrant.

Step 04

Stir in the soy sauce, sherry, chicken stock, peanut butter, cinnamon, ground Sichuan peppercorns, sugar and chilli paste. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, which should take about 5-7 minutes.

Step 05

Spoon equal amounts of the pork sauce over the cooked noodles and garnish with peanuts and spring onions.

What type of noodles to use

Dan dan noodles typically use thin wheat noodles, although they are usually slightly thicker than somen noodles. If you're fortunate, you may be able to find semi-fresh dan dan noodles in the refrigerated section of an Asian market. Alternatively, you can use any type of dried wheat noodle that is on the thin side.

If you're interested in exploring the world of Japanese noodles beyond ramen and udon, we've got you covered. Check out our comprehensive article on the different types of Japanese noodles, from soba to somen to shirataki. You'll discover their unique characteristics, regional variations and traditional serving methods.

How to fry the pork properly

To prepare the pork for dan dan noodles, it is important to cook it until it is slightly overdone. Begin by cooking the pork on medium-high heat to brown the surface, then lower the heat to medium and allow it to roast until all the liquid in the meat is released and evaporated. This will result in dark brown coloured pork without adding any soy sauce. The pork bits will have a slightly chewy, almost-crispy texture when served hot.

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