Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dan-Dan Noodles

Another recipe from my class this week, a vegetarian version of a popular street food in China. There is quite a bit of interpretation in this recipe. I'm not sure what makes it Dan-Dan noodles besides spicy (as it came out of Sichuan cuisine) and noodles. I'm even willing to drop the spicy if it gets you to try it out.

You can use fresh noodles, even Italian pasta such as fettucini or linguine. Or you can use dried Chinese egg noodles. If you are very ambitious, you can make you own egg pasta. Takes a bit of time and elbow grease rolling it out. Lots of fun and the resulting pasta has a very satisfying bite. I understand if you want this to be fast and easy, though.

Many of the recipes use stir fried ground pork. This is vegetarian, and I substituted tofu for the pork. The tofu, which is pretty bland stuff on its own, absorbs the sauce nicely, as do the noodles. My students, some who said they didn't care for tofu, declared it quite tasty.

Dan-Dan Noodles
(serves 4)

3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced
1 teaspoon chile oil (optional or use more if you like hot)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

14-16 oz. soft tofu, cut into small cubes
½ pound fresh egg noodles or 6 oz. dried noodles
2 Tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

In a large bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Add the cubed tofu and gently toss so the tofu doesn't break apart.

Cook the noodles in a large pot of water until just tender. Drain and put in the bowl with the sauce. Toss to cover the noodles in the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. When serving, use a spoon to make sure you get the tofu along with the noodles.

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