Dan Dan noodles originated as a street food dish in the Sichuan province of China. It was originally a kind of noodle sold by hawkers carrying two large cane baskets with a long thick wooden pole over their shoulders who would set up temporary food stations along the street, hence the name Dan Dan Noodles - which translates as noodles carried over the shoulders on a pole! One basket contained the ingredients for making the noodles, and the one on the other end contained the equipment for cooking.
According to local folk tales, the founder of Dan Dan noodles was Bao Bao Chen from Sichuan province in China. It started when in 1841, he went to Zigong city in Sichuan looking for work, and saw that many food vendors were selling food on the street. Because he was good at making noodles, he created the Dan Dan noodles to sell.
The original Dan Dan noodles were naturally vegan. Freshly cooked noodles dropped into a bowl of chilli paste, sesame sauce and chilli oil mixed with other seasonings; served on top with the stir-fried preserved Sichuan sprouts. The noodles were red and bright in the sauce, salty and slightly spicy, and full of aroma and fragrance.
Dan Dan noodles were later introduced to Chengdu, and after the re-inventions from many other hawkers, they added minced pork meat to the preserved sprouts. Since then, it has travelled to many other provinces within China, then to Hong Kong, Japan and even all over the world. It has become one of the most recognizable signature noodle dishes among the Sichuan cuisine; and is now known as one of the "Top Ten most popular noodles in China”.
My vegan Dan Dan noodles recipe takes us back to the dish’s original plant based form. It is full of freshness from the fried green beans and plump, juicy mushrooms as well as being protein rich from the flavoursome tofu, served with a delicious spicy sauce that can be adjusted according to personal taste.
Freshly cooked noodles are submerged into the thick and aromatic sauce then topped with the rich tofu and mushroom mixture; before everything is tossed together whilst still hot.
Smooth but packing a punch, with added sesame and a touch of five spice flavouring; the taste and textures of this dish are rich and fragrant without being heavy or greasy. This recipe bears all the hallmarks of the traditional vegan version whilst being less spicy and a lot healthier. It is delicious and absolutely addictive!
相傳擔擔麵始創者是四川人陳包包，1841 年他從農村走到自貢市，看到街上有許多賣食物的小販，由於自己擅做麵食，便也挑擔上街擺賣。他的擔擔麵是素麵，手工造的麵條，吃來軟滑，以四川芽菜為配料，拌以麻醬、辣辣醬、花椒油 .... 等等調味料拌成擔擔麵醬。麵條在醬汁中色澤紅亮，鹹鮮微辣，香氣撲鼻。
400g firm tofu
150g portobello mushrooms
150g green beans
4 slices ginger
1 red chilli
250g pak choi or any green vegetables
1 large bunch of coriander
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp Chinese chilli paste in oil (adjust spiciness according to personal preference)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tsp ground Sichuan pepper
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
¼ tsp Shiitake mushroom seasoning (or 1 tsp organic umami Yondu or Maggi liquid seasoning)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chilli oil
1 tbsp oil (heat up to pour over the above ingredients to bring out the flavour of the ground five spice & Sichuan pepper)
1 cup noodle water to add in at the end
1 tbsp Toban Djan (chilli bean sauce)
1 tbsp vegan Hoi Sin sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee vegan Peking duck sauce)
1 tbsp vegan Oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp wine
½ tsp five spice powder
¼ tsp shiitake mushroom seasoning (or 1 tsp organic umami Yondu or Maggi liquid seasoning)
1 tsp sugar
Cornstarch slurry : 1 tbsp corn flour mix with 1 tbsp water
- Make the Dan Dan sauce, combine everything in a bowl, heat the oil to boiling point then pour over the mixture, mix well and leave to one side.
- Mix the stir-fry sauce in a bowl from the ingredients listed above.
- Drain, rinse and pat-dry the tofu, wash the pak choi, green beans, mushrooms and coriander.
- Separate the pak choi; cut the mushrooms into small cubes; slice the green beans finely. Cut the tofu into big slices, then use a fork to mash them up into even sized large crumbs, similar to mined meat.
- Cut the ginger into thin strips then cut the strips into tiny cubes; deseed and finely chop the chilli; arrange the coriander together, then cut off the stem part from the leaves, chop the stem and leaves separately and finely, put into two separate small dishes.
- Chop the peanuts or crush the sesame seeds (if using), put to one side.
- In a frying pan heat 1tbsp oil, add the ginger, chilli, coriander stems, and the green beans. Stir around to cook for a few minutes over medium to low heat until the green beans are soft. Add the tofu and mushrooms, mix well together. Add the stir-fry sauce, stirring to combine. Add 1 cup of water and stir-fry everything till well mixed and simmer for 2 minutes; season to taste, then quickly add the corn starch slurry a little at a time over a low heat until the sauce thickens, mixing well. Turn off the heat, stir in the coriander leaves, making sure to leave some on one side for garnishing later.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil with a little salt and oil then add the noodles, stir and cook according to instructions on the package, making sure not to let them overcook. Add the pak choi in near to the end and let it cook for 30 seconds before turning off the heat immediately. Add 1 cup of your noodle water to the Dan Dan sauce and mix well.
- Assemble the noodles. Ladle ½ cup of Dan Dan sauce (depending on each person’s preference) into each serving bowl before draining the noodles and adding into the bowls. Add some pak choi then top with the tofu and mushroom mince. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts or crushed sesame seeds over the top, garnish with coriander and serve hot.
- Stir and mix the Dan Dan sauce from the bottom of the bowl ensuring the rest of the dish is evenly coated with delicious flavour to enjoy Dan Dan noodles at its best.
波多貝羅蘑菇 (portobello mushrooms) 150g
薑 4 片
紅辣椒 1 支
香菜 1 大束
芝麻醬 (tahini) 2 大匙
麻油 2 大匙
生抽 1 大匙
花椒粉 ½ 小匙
五香粉 ½ 小匙
香菇調味料 ¼ 小匙（或 1 小匙有機鮮味 Yondu 或 1 小匙美極鲜醬油)
香醋 1 大匙
糖 1 大匙
辣椒油 1 大匙
油 1 大匙（加熱倒在上面的材料上，帶出五香粉和花椒粉的味道）
煮麵水 1 杯最後加入
辣椒豆醬 1 大匙
海鮮醬 1 大匙（我用李錦記純素北京烤鴨醬）
素蠔油 1 大匙
生抽 1 大匙
老抽 1 大匙
麻油 1 大匙
紹興酒或白酒 1 大匙
五香粉 ½ 小匙
香菇調味料 ¼ 小匙（或 1 小匙有機鮮味 Yondu 或 1 小匙美極鲜醬油)
糖 1 小匙
玉米澱粉漿：1 湯匙玉米粉和 1 湯匙水混合
- 炒鍋中下油 1 湯匙加熱，放入薑粒、辣椒、香菜莖和青豆用中小火翻炒幾分鐘，直到青豆變軟。加入豆腐和蘑菇，攪拌均勻。倒入炒醬，攪拌混合。加進 1 杯水拌炒混合煮開，小火燉 2 分鐘 ; 調味，然後快速加入玉米澱粉漿，分次加進，直到醬汁變稠，攪拌均勻。關火，拌入香菜葉，保留一些作裝飾用。
- 將一鍋水燒開，加少許鹽和油，然後下麵條，按照包裝上的說明煮至剛好便成，小心不要煮過時。將白菜在最後加入，煮 30 秒，然後立即關火。將 1 杯煮麵水加入擔擔麵醬汁中拌匀。
- 把 ½ 杯擔擔麵醬（放多少決定於每個人能吃辣的程度）舀入大碗中，然後將麵條瀝乾並加入碗内。夾進一些白菜，然後放上豆腐和蘑菇醬。在上面撒上切碎的花生或碎芝麻，用香菜裝飾，趁熱上桌。