Dan Dan Mian (Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles)
Why is it called Dan Dan Noodles?
It is said Dan Dan Noodles was created by a vendor who came from Zigong, Sichuan in 1841. Later the noodles became extremely popular in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province. It was sold on streets by peddlers who carried their wares with a shoulder pole. At one end of the pole, there would be a coal-fired stove and a pot to cook the dish; at the other end, bowls, chopsticks, ingredients, seasonings and a bucket used to wash bowls were carried. Thus the noodle was named after the shoulder pole, which pronounces as Dan Dan in Chinese. Nowadays, these vendors no longer ply their trade and Dan Dan Mian is usually sold in restaurants or snack bars.
Flavor of Dan Dan Mian – Numb, Spicy and Chewy
Although the Dan Dan Noodles were named after the original way they were peddled, the numb and spicy flavor with unique minced meat is the main reason for its popularity. To season the Dan Dan Noodles, the red chili oil is a must. The numb and spicy taste that is a little sour stimulates appetite of people. Meanwhile, the chewy and refreshing noodles, as well as crushed peanuts, are also great.
Where to Eat Dan Dan Mian
As Dan Dan Noodles is very popular in China, you can find it easily in any Sichuan restaurant or snack bar in all cities.
Xiao Ming Tang Dan Dan Sweet Noodles
Chinese Name: 小名堂担担甜水面
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 21:00
Address: No.80, Section 2, Hongxing Road, Jinjiang District, Chengdu
Chen Mapo Tofu Store
Chinese Name: 陈麻婆豆腐
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 14:00, 17:00 - 21:00
Address: No.51, Donghuamen Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu
Dongzikou Zhanglao’er Bean Jelly
Chinese Name: 洞子口张老二凉粉
Opening Hours: 08:30 - 18:30 in spring, autumn and winter; 08:30 - 19:30 in summer
Address: No. 39, Wenshuyuan Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu
Chinese Name: 四川会馆
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 14:00, 17:00 - 20:30
Address: Building 10, Times International Center, Shuguang Xilijia, East North 3rd Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Chinese Name: 红辣椒
Opening Hours: 10:30 - 02:00 next day
Address: 3rd Floor, No.828-838, Zhangyang Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai
Price of Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles
The price for regular Dan Dan Noodles is affordable for common people: as low as CNY 8 for a bowl, or even less in some small bars. In some restaurants, you can choose different side vegetables and ingredients to add into your noodles, so that the prices would vary widely with the items you order. In general, you can buy a bowl of such Dan Dan Mian at a cost of CNY 10-20 and the most expensive one usually does not exceed CNY30 for a bowl.
How to Cook Dan Dan Noodles at Home
Ingredients of Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles: thin hand-made noodles, red chili powder, bean sprouts, peanuts, chopped shallots, minced meat, sesames, ground pepper, salt, vinegar, cooking oil.
Note: The noodles should be as thin as the leaves of fragrant-flowered garlic, or even thinner.
See How to make hand-made noodles.
Step 1: Make chili oil: Put some chili powder in a bowl, sprinkle in a few sesame seeds, and then pour hot oil into the bowl and stir them well.
Step 2: Fry minced meat: Quick-fry chopped shallots first, then add minced meat and continue frying. Add cooking wine, soy sauce, salt successively, and fry them until they are well-done.
Step 3: Fry peanuts and crunch them. Boil bean sprouts.
Step 4: Boil the noodles and season them with red chili oil, ground pepper, salt, vinegar, etc., and top cooked minced meat, boiled bean sprouts and crushed unsalted deep-fried peanuts on. If you like eating noodles in soup, you can pour some supreme soup in the bowl before seasoning, or pour in the soup mixed with condiments before topping them your other ingredients.