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Dan Dan Noodles with Pickled Mustard Greens

These aromatic dan dan noodles in a spicy soy-based sauce are wildly popular at South Beauty. A small bowl of them will customarily arrive at the end of a meal--especially in the summer when, paradoxically, eating chile-laden foods is thought to help you feel cooler. Choose noodles that have a firm, chewy texture.

slideshow Fast Weekday Pastas

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or whisky
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame paste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 heads of baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound thin fresh Asian noodles, preferably Shanghainese, or fresh linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons minced Chinese pickled mustard greens (optional)
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, minced


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce with the brandy, hoisin sauce and cornstarch. Blend the mixture into the ground pork.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the sesame paste with the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce until smooth. In a small saucepan, heat the chili and sesame oils. Add the garlic and cook over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the sesame paste mixture and simmer for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.
  3. In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the seasoned ground pork and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Cover the skillet and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the bok choy to the boiling water and cook until bright green, about 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bok choy to 4 small bowls. Cook the noodles in the boiling water until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain well and transfer to the bowls. Pour the sauce over the noodles and spoon the ground pork on top. Garnish with the pickled mustard greens and scallions and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Look for a Riesling from Germany's Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region.

Contributed By Photo © Petrina Tinslay Published September 2005

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