Read more: Seriously Asian: Dan Dan Noodles
- Yield:four as an appetizer or light meal
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 1 (8-ounce) package dried wheat noodles
- 6 ounces yellow or mung bean sprouts
- For the meat topping:
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or lard
- 3 dried red chiles, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon Tianjin preserved vegetable
- 1/4 pound ground beef or pork, minced
- For the sauce:
- 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
- 3 tablespoons sesame paste or tahini
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons chili oil (oil and chili sediment from bottom of jar)
Heat oil or lard in a wok over medium heat until shimmering. Add the crushed chilies and Sichuan pepper and stirfry until oil is spicy and fragrant, about 10 seconds, taking care not to burn the spices. Add pickled vegetables and stir-fry 20 to 30 seconds longer. Add minced meat and soy sauce and cook meat until it's lightly browned and crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside.
Bring large pot of water to boil. Blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds, remove from pot with slotted spoon, and rinse briefly under cold running water. Set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions in same pot.
While noodles are cooking, combine sichuan peppercorns, sesame paste, soy sauce, and chili oil. Set aside.
Drain noodles and toss with meat topping. You may add spoonfuls of the sauce to individual serving bowls, or keep on the table for your diners to add at their own discretion.