‘dan dan mian’, a symbol of sichuanese food, translates to ‘street vendor noodles’ or more literally to ‘carry carry noodles’ as this iconic bowl was sold off of bamboo shoulder poles back in the day.
consequently, it is not a soupy dish and relies on the incredibly savory ground pork for most of its flavour. these are the types of dishes that I want to make more accessible to reid as traditional restaurants will always make it the way its been made. with some minor tweaks to ingredients, asian dishes like this can easily be made gluten free.
we use king soba millet and brown rice noodles as they have the same ‘al dente’ springy texture as ramen.
you can sub the pork for ground round and the chicken stock for veg stock for a vegan version.
2 tbsps. neutral oil, like avocado, rice bran or canola
300g ground pork or ground round
1/4 cup ya cai (chinese pickled mustard green)
1 tbsp. cooking wine or sake
1 tbsp. gf tamari
1 tbsp. chili crisp or chili oil
2 tsps. hoisin
2 tsps. chinese black vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. chinese broccoli or yu choy
350 g soba king noodles (any of the buckwheat or rice ones will do - we used the millet and brown rice noodles)
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken or veg stock
fried garlic, to garnish
cilantro, chopped, to garnish
Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Drizzle oil into the pot of water for glistening vegetables.
Meanwhile, heat oil on medium-high heat in a wok.
Add the pork or ground round and cook until browned, breaking up pieces with a potato masher or wooden spatula.
Add the ya cai (pickled mustard greens) and ingredients from cooking wine to salt. Stir to combine. Set heat to lowest setting to keep warm.
Blanch chinese broccoli or yu choy in boiling water. The temperature of the water will decrease once the vegetables go in, but keep them in until the water comes to a boil again. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, set vegetables aside on a plate.
Cook noodles in the same water for 4-5 minutes, following package instructions. Gluten free noodles tend to stick to each other so move noodles around often with tongs. Drain and portion into bowls.
In a small pot, heat chicken or veg stock until simmering. Turn off heat.
Top noodles with ground pork or ground round, blanched veg, fried garlic and cilantro. Pour about 1/4 cup of stock into each bowl and serve immediately.