My Dan Dan Noodles need help
Anybody? I found a recipe that looked likely, but it missed the mark in some ways. There were some discrepancies between the ingredients and the directions, too. It was way too salty (okay, I know how to fix that), and my Szechuan peppercorns were mighty gritty.
If anyone has actually made this and can suggest a better recipe, I would be very grateful. Techniques to improve the texture would be welcome, too. Man, was that gritty. Tasty though.
We think this is the very best Dan Dan Noodles we've had anywhere, including in HongKong. It's from Rhoda Yee's book titled "Dim Sum."
1. Parboil 1/2 lb. egg noodles(fresh) for 3-4 minutes. Drain after rinsing w/cold water.
2. Combine sauce mixture: 1/2 to 1 tsp.chili paste w/garlic; 2-3 tsp. chopped green onion;2 tsp. finely minced ja choy (Szechwan turnip);1/2 tsp. finely minced ginger; 1 tsp sesame oil;1/4 cup chicken broth; 1 tsp. rice wine (or sherry).
3. Heat 1 tsp. oil in wok and stir fry ground pork w. the bean sauce until cooked through. Add the sauce to the meat, and mix until heated through. Lastly, add the noodles, toss to mix well. Serve.
Easy and quick also, delicious! A bowl of joak or hot and sour soup first, then the noodles, makes a great dinner.
We made Dan Dan Mien last week too and it was fantastic but I confess to similar thoughts about the grittiness of the peppercorns and wondered if we were doing something wrong in the grinding or cooking. It was almost as if we had sprinkled sand in the sauce...very tasty sand, but still sand.
Try Szechuan peppercorn oil instead. My BF stumbled across it in a Chinese market next to the chili oils. It's slightly darker in color than canola, and is clearly labelled in Chinese and English (hua jiao yo, or Szechuan peppercorn oil).
It gives all Szechuan dishes a real kick. It's not as fragrant as fresh peppercorns, but it does a much better job at giving dishes that tongue-numbing feeling.
What we've done is cut down on how much actual peppercorns we use and balance it with the oil. I also grind the peppercorns into a very fine powder using a coffee grinder (I have one dedicated to spice grinding). Alternatively, I've used a mortar and pestle, and then sifted out the big chunks.