Recipe and Photos courtesy of Melissa Joulwan of Well Fed
“Dan Dan Noodles are one of the most popular street foods in the Sichuan (a.k.a. Szechuan) province of southwestern China. The cuisine of the region is known for its bold flavors, with lots of garlic, chiles, and Sichuan pepper.
These are colloquially known as ‘noodles on a pole.’” ~ Melissa Joulwan, Well Fed
Americans have become obsessed with Asian food. Why not? It’s incredibly flavorful, usually a bit spicy, and available on nearly every city street. The great thing about cooking at home is that you can make these dishes without the junk. Use the best and freshest ingredients and your dish can be even better than what you’ll find at the local take out shop.
Our thanks to Melissa Joulwan from Well Fed for sharing this Paleo and Whole30 compliant, Szechuan favorite!
Total Time: 40-45 min
US Wellness Meats Shopping List: Pasture Raised Ground Pork
2 pounds zucchini
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup light-tasting (not extra-virgin) olive or avocado oil
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2-inch piece fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tahini or almond butter
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
pinch coconut sugar (omit for Whole30)
1/3 cup cornichons
garnish: a handful cashews, 2–3 scallions
Instructions for Dan Dan Noodles Recipe
- Make the noodles. Julienne the zucchini with the spiralizer. Place the noodles in a colander and toss them with the salt until the strands are lightly coated. Set the colander in the sink to drain while you prep the other ingredients. (Handy video for how to julienne zucchini right here!)
- Make the chili oil. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, peppercorns, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Warm the oil over medium-low heat while you cook.
- Cook the pork. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. While the oil heats, peel and grate the ginger, mince the jalapeño, and peel and crush the garlic. Add the aromatics to the oil and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Crumble the pork into the pan, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it’s browned, 7–10 minutes.
- Make the sauce. While the pork cooks, place the tahini, sesame oil, Chinese five-spice, and black pepper in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Add the coconut aminos, vinegar, and sugar; stir until combined. Chop the cornichons and set them aside.
- Put it together. Add the sauce to the meat in the skillet and stir to coat the meat. Add the cornichons to the skillet, toss to combine, and transfer the meat mixture to a large bowl. Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Rinse the zucchini noodles under running water, drain well, and squeeze them dry in a clean dish towel. Add the noodles to the heated pan and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until hot. Return the meat to the pan and toss with two wooden spoons to combine; allow it to heat through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cinnamon stick from the chili oil and discard it. Set the oil aside to cool. Chop the cashews and scallions.
- To serve, divide the noodles among individual bowls and top with a drizzle of chili oil, then sprinkle with cashews and scallions.
Meet Melissa Joulwan! Melissa is an American living in Prague, and describes herself as having excellent habits 95% of the time. She enjoys yoga, meditating, making music, cooking and zucchini is her favorite vegetable. A fun fact about Melissa is that she is a retired roller girl. Lean more about Melissa and explore her yummy recipes on her blog, WellFed.