Also known as ‘dandan noodles’ abroad, this dish was traditionally sold by vendors walking the streets of the Sichuan province in China – it is named for the pole (dan dan) that went over their shoulders. Baskets carrying the noodles and the meat sauce were attached at either end of the pole. In Taiwan and the US, sesame paste and/or peanut butter is added to the dish, but this is the classic version.
Serves 2 | Takes 15 minutes to make, 25 minutes to cook
You Will Need
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan on a high heat. Add the Sichuan peppercorns and fry for 1–2 minutes until fragrant. Scoop out the peppercorns with a slotted spoon and discard.
With the heat still on high, add the minced pork, ginger, garlic and preserved vegetables and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Add the wine, vinegar, chilli bean sauce, sugar and soy sauces and mix thoroughly, then stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, breaking up the meat into small pieces. Add 50ml water and bring the sauce to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, if using Shanghai noodles, blanch them by pouring just-boiled water over them in a bowl and leaving them for 5 minutes. If using dried noodles, cook according to the packet instructions. Drain, then toss the noodles with the oil to prevent them from sticking together.
Divide the noodles between 2 noodle bowls and top with the pork sauce, chilli oil and spring onions. Serve with chopsticks and Chinese spoons, telling the diners to stir the noodles before eating to make sure the sauce is evenly distributed.