This Dan Dan Noodles Dish Is Perfect for Busy Weeknight Dinners

A recipe for dan dan noodles, excerpted from the cookbook The Book of Sichuan Chili Crisp by Jing Gao  

Happiness for me is slurping a deep bowl of these classic noodles—they’re an iconic Sichuan street food dish for a reason! They rose to fame in Chengdu, where they were sold by street hawkers, who carried their wares in baskets tied to bamboo poles (called dan in Chinese); hence, their namesake. Because they’re so famous, there are countless variations that have evolved from the original, from Taiwanese to Japanese versions. The beauty of these noodles is that they’re delicious no matter what, but these are the dan dan noodles I know.

An essential ingredient in dan dan noodles is yacai, preserved mustard greens. They add the necessary deep umami funk and crunch that make dan dan noodles so addictive. Yibin suimi yacai is the brand to get, but it can be hard to find. Try your local Chinese grocery store or search online. If you absolutely cannot find it, you can do without it.

Dan Dan Noodles

Serves 4 


Meat Topping

  • Neutral oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp Yibin suimi yacai
  • 115g ground beef or pork
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce


  • 4 tbsp Sichuan Chili Crisp
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground roasted sichuan pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 4 tbsp thinly sliced scallions, green parts only, plus more for garnish
  • 450g dried thin Chinese wheat noodles or noodles of your choice


1. To make the topping: In a wok over high heat, warm the oil until very hot. Add the suimi yacai and stir-fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the ground meat and both soy sauces and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the meat is brown but not dry.

2. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the chili crisp, both soy sauces, roasted Sichuan pepper and scallions. Divide the sauce evenly into four small bowls.

3. To cook the noodles: In a medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking further.

4. When ready to serve, divide the noodles among the four bowls with the sauce and top with the ground meat. Garnish with the scallions and a dash of roasted Sichuan pepper.

The Book Of Sichuan Chili Crisp

Excerpted from The Book of Sichuan Chili Crisp by Jing Gao. Copyright © 2023 Jing Gao. Photography by Yudi Ela Echevarria and Robert Nilsson. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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Originally Published in Best Health Canada