Spicy Sichuan Noodles

September 19, 2009 | By andrea | Filed in: Asian, Main Dish, Pasta, Pork, Recipes.

spicy-sichuan-noodles

This is so good! noodles and ground pork mixed with a spicy peanut-flavored sauce. Yumm!

I thought the dish had a nice amount of heat. To make a mild version, leave out the red pepper flakes. Instead of serving the noodles with the sauce ladled on top, I just mixed it all together in the pot and added about 1 .5 cups of shredded cabbage and carrots (Dole bagged cole slaw mix). mung-bean-sprouts1Although I forgot to add the bean sprouts for the main photo, I did add them to each serving when we ate the noodles. Bean sprouts (pictured at right) add nice flavor and cruncy texture so do use them if you can. I didn’t use the Sichuan peppercorns so I don’t know how they would enhance the dish. I’ll probably try and find them for next time, though. With the added veggies, this is a great one-dish meal!

Spicy Sichuan Noodles—Dan Dan Mian
-recipe from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen (Cook’s Illustrated)

Serves 4 as a main course.  

If you cannot find Asian noodles, linguine may be substituted. If you are using natural peanut butter or Asian sesame paste that has a pourable rather than spreadable consistency, use only 1 cup of chicken stock. Also note that the amount of sauce will coat 1 pound of fresh noodles but only 12 ounces of dried noodles, which bulk up during boiling.

8 ounces ground pork 
3 tablespoons soy sauce 
2 tablespoons Chinese rice cooking wine or dry sherry
 ground white pepper 
2 tablespoons oyster sauce 
4 tablespoons Asian sesame paste or peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar 
1 – 1 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon peanut oil 
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 
12 ounces dried Asian noodles or 1 pound fresh Asian noodles (width between linguine and fettuccine) or 12 ounces linguine
3 medium scallions, sliced thin (about 1/3 cup)
2 cups bean sprouts (about 6 ounces) (optional)
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns toasted in small dry skillet until fragrant, then ground (optional)

1. Combine pork, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry, and pinch white pepper in small bowl; stir well with fork and set aside while preparing other ingredients. Whisk together oyster-flavored sauce, remaining soy sauce, peanut butter or sesame paste, vinegar, and pinch white pepper in medium bowl. Whisk in chicken stock and set aside.

2. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large stockpot over high heat.

3. Meanwhile, heat 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add pork and cook, scraping along pan bottom and breaking up pork into small pieces with wide metal or wooden spatula, until pork is in small well-browned bits, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter/chicken stock mixture; bring to boil, whisking to combine, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to blend flavors, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in sesame oil.

4. While sauce simmers, add noodles to boiling water and cook until tender (refer to package directions, but use them only as a guideline and be sure to taste for doneness). Drain noodles; divide noodles among individual bowls, ladle a portion of sauce over noodles, sprinkle with scallions, bean sprouts, and ground Sichuan peppercorns, if using; serve immediately.

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