Dandan Mian - Long Pole Noodles
The Sichuan street food classic. It was once served from two baskets hanging on a pole, one with the noodles and one with the sauce and garnish. Keep this in mind when preparing them- the sauce and topping can be made ahead of time and tossed on the hot noodles for a quick lunch or afternoon snack.
Handful (about 250 g) Dandan noodles or any Chinese wheat noodle
- 1 ½ Tbsp Chinese sesame paste or tahini
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp black vinegar
- 2 Tbsp oil (preferably chili oil)
- 1 tsp Sichuan Red pepper or Sichuan Green Pepper, ground
- 3 dried chilies
- 100 g ground pork
- 3 Tbsp zha cai (preserved mustard stems) or 2 Tbsp Tianjin Preserved Vegetable
- 1 tsp yellow wine
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 green onion, sliced thin
- ¼ cup peanuts, chopped (opt.)
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (opt.)
- 1 tsp fried garlic (opt.)
In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and stir well. Set aside.
Add the noodles to a pot of boiling water.
While the noodles are cooking, add oil to a wok on high heat. Add the chilies and fry for a few seconds. Add the ground pork and, breaking it apart with a spatula, cook until slightly brown.
Add the pickled vegetables and stir. Add the yellow wine, soy sauce and salt. Simmer for a few seconds until most of the liquid is evaporated.
Drain the noodles into a colander, reserving some of the pasta water for the sauce.
Put the noodles in a bowl, add the sauce and some pasta water, then toss until the noodles are well coated.
Divide the sauced noodles into bowls, and top each bowl with the pork mixture, sliced green onions, and whatever else seems nice.
Fragrant, delicate, with a long-lasting but inoffensive acidity, black vinegar is made from double-fermented black glutinous rice. The older Shanxi black vinegar, Lao Chen Cu, is sealed and aged for a deep, caramel-like flavour. The newer Zhenjiang vinegar is sweeter and more forgiving. Use Zhenjiang vinegar for your Sichuan recipes unless aged vinegar is specifically called for. Never use balsamic vinegar.