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February 12, 2024

Dan Dan Noodles

This flavorful dan dan noodle recipe packs a punch thanks to a garlicky, gingery, brothy pork sauce with peanut butter—plus you can easily adjust the heat factor to suit your own tastes.

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A bowl of homemade dan dan noodles sprinkled with green onions and crushed peanuts with chop sticks
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More recipes for our favorite takeout dishes at home

What Are Dan Dan Noodles?

There are many versions of dan dan noodles out there—some are quite spicy, and others (like ours) have heat, but don’t completely set your mouth on fire. These Sichuan dan dan noodles are nutty and have an addictively slurpable sauce. Serve these easy dan dan noodles alongside our Dry-Fried Green Beans or Hot And Sour Cabbage. If you’re looking for more of our favorite takeout dishes to make at home, check out our Chicken Chow Mein noodles and Vegetable Stir Fry.

udon noodles, ground pork, peanut butter, chicken stock, soy sauce and spices in prep bowl to make dan dan noodles

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Dan Dan Noodles Ingredients

  • Noodles – Udon or yaki soba noodles
  • Ground pork
  • Pantry – Vegetable oil, granulated sugar, chili paste (like Sambal oelek), low sodium soy sauce, chicken stock, smooth peanut butter, chopped peanuts; dry sherry, rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Spices – Cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, ground (or ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Fresh – green onions, ginger, garlic cloves
ground pork being cooked in vegetable oil in a skillet
ginger, garlic and ground pork being cooked in vegetable oil in a skillet
pork, spices, soy sauce, sherry, chicken stock, peanut butter, Sichuan peppercorns, sugar & chili paste in a skillet
pork, spices, soy sauce, sherry, chicken stock, peanut butter, Sichuan peppercorns, sugar & chili paste in a skillet

How To Make Dan Dan Noodles

  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot. They’re going to get bathed in piping-hot dan dan sauce, so it’s OK if they cool a bit while you make the garlicky, spicy pork sauce.

  2. Fry the pork in a large skillet. When it’s nearly cooked, toss in fragrant fresh garlic and ginger.

  3. Dan dan sauce time! Mix the garlicky fried pork with soy sauce, sherry, stock, peanut butter, cinnamon, ground Sichuan peppercorns, sugar and chili paste. Simmer for five minutes to thicken the sauce and make your house smell AMAZING.

  4. Pour the brothy dan dan sauce all over your cooked noodles, garnish and slurp away!

pork, spices, soy sauce, sherry, chicken stock, peanut butter, Sichuan peppercorns, sugar & chili paste in a skillet
a bowl of homemade dan dan noodles sprinkled with green onions and crushed peanuts

How to Store Leftovers + Tips

  • Peanut Butter or Chinese Sesame Paste? Some dan dan noodle recipes use Chinese sesame paste. This tastes nothing like tahini, and we don’t want you using a false substitute. We use peanut butter as a sub instead because our favorite local Chinese restaurant does and it’s crave worthy! If you omit the peanut butter, it is still a wonderful dish.

  • How to grind your peppercorns: Either use a mortar and pestle, roughly chop with a knife, whiz in a spice grinder or simply use a pepper grinder.

  • What can I substitute for Sichuan peppercorns? If you’re looking for a slightly milder dan dan noodle recipe, simply substitute red pepper flakes for the Sichuan peppercorns.

  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for three months.

a bowl of homemade dan dan noodles sprinkled with green onions and crushed peanuts next to chopsticks

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Dan Dan Noodles

  • Serves: 7
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 553

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh udon or yakisoba noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dry sherry, rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, ground (or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste, such as Sambal oelek
  • 4 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup peanuts, chopped

Method

  1. Divide the cooked noodles in 4 bowls.

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the pork, and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  3. Stir in the soy sauce, sherry, chicken stock, peanut butter, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, sugar and chili paste. Bring to a boil over high heat before reducing heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 6-9 minutes.

  4. Spoon equal amounts of pork and sauce over the cooked noodles. Garnish with green onions and peanuts.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories553
  • Protein21 g
  • Carbohydrates52 g
  • Total Fat26 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol46 mg
  • sodium652 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Dan Dan Noodles

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Mary Lundstrom

    Can I substitute tofu for the pork?

    Sure!

  • Jon

    6 tsp of ground sichuan peppercorns? This sounds face-melting. I used 4 and it tasted fine but like it was almost too much.

    Did you use pre-ground or whole then grind them? That will make a difference. But either way it sounds like you knew how much to use for your spice level so good job!

  • Melissa

    Hey! I’m making this tomorrow :) Do you recommend Dark or Light Soy? And would the quantity change depending on which?x

    We usually use dark.

  • Brendan

    The Sambal looks off to me, thanks to its shrimp paste and lime. Couldn’t I use the oil from Lan Gao Ma Chili Crisp instead?

    Let us know if you try, we'd love to hear!

  • Karen OKeefe

    Are you sure it's 4 cups of stock? I made it with 2 pounds of pork and it was swimming in the sauce.

    Thanks for asking! Dan Dan is meant to be a very saucy dish.

  • Alanna Hunter

    This is the first review I’ve ever made on a recipe online but this recipe was that good! It was so quick and easy! I used to eat Dan-Dan mein at restaurants as a kid and have been wanting to recreate it at home for the longest time but nothing has ever worked quite like this one. We made a few substitutions based on what we had at home but it was still good. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Thanks Alanna, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Arlen

    Perfect amount of spice. Thumbs up from everyone in my family.

    Thanks Arlen, so happy the family enjoyed it!

  • Delaini

    This was totes delish!

    Thank you Delaini! So glad you loved it!

  • How to Faint

    I keep trying to make dan dan noodles and failing horribly, but now I finally know why! There are way too many dan dan recipes out there that aren't mentioning the peanut butter and after making your version today for the first time, I'm realizing it's kind of a big part of a recipe. As in the part that gives it its distinctive flavor. This was supposed to be part of my meal prep for the freezer but tasting turned into full on eating this for lunch and let's face it, I'm having it for dinner and breakfast too. :3

    Yay! Happy to hear you loved it and it solved your dan dan problems!

  • T Knowles

    Made this for lunch today. Yum!

    Yay! So glad yo liked it!