Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Dan Dan Noodles

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Learning to cook dishes from another cuisine can leave me either inspired or disappointed, because the result can be as delicious as I'd hoped or totally awful. When the second scenario is the case, it's usually due to one of two things: using the wrong ingredients or not understanding the right technique. Both are unfamiliar when it comes to, say, a dish from Sichuan, China. My pantry isn't stocked properly, and I'm not ready to make a huge investment in ingredients for just one dish.

Thankfully, this version of Dan Dan noodles, adapted from the latest issue of Bon Appetit, is easy to pull off on both fronts: Besides Sichuan peppercorns, there's nothing too difficult to find (they'd be sorely missed, but you could make it without them), and the technique is as simple as using high heat and working quickly. It's a slightly Americanized version, yet the taste is wonderful, deep, and satisfying—and it comes together in less than 20 minutes.

About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer.

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