Before this recipe, the only dan dan noodles that I had were from Pei Wei. They were good, but I had a teeny suspicion that they weren’t quite the same as the real thing. Then one day, Hubs made a version that claimed to be more authentic. I instantly loved them. We have them at least once a month. The key is the Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorns. They have a very different flavor than black peppercorns – more herbal, spicy but with a mellower heat. We found them here. We now have a one-pound bag of peppercorns. Not to worry, they will get eaten up.
I adapted the original recipe two ways – the way Hubs makes it, and a version with less obscure ingredients. If you aren’t able to find black vinegar, dark soy sauce, or fresh Chinese noodles, the substitutions are in parenthesis. You can also make a vegetarian version using crumbled tofu in place of the ground pork. The cucumber and bean sprouts are an homage to the Pei Wei version, and a way for me to sneak some veggies into the dish.
- Mix together the 1½ Tbs soy sauce, dark soy sauce, chili oil, black vinegar, and Sichuan peppercorns. Set aside.
- Heat 1 Tbs peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add ground pork, rice wine, and 2 tsp of soy sauce. Stir-fry until pork is just cooked through, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Reduce heat to medium. Add the noodles, and stir to combine. Pour sauce over the noodles and toss. Top with sliced scallions, chopped cucumber, and bean sprouts.