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Sep 7, 2006 07:43 PM

Dan Dan Mien

Have you ever been to the business class lounge in Hong Kong for Cathay Pacific ?

They have this dish that they call Dan Dan Mien. It's pretty much a noodle soup, with this spicey peanuty sort of flavoured broth. It looks a bit brownish, and tastes amazing. Whenever I fly through the Hong Kong airport, I crave it like crazy and try to have at least two bowls of it.

I know it's not ramen, and it seems as though you have to eat the noodles quickly cause it absorbs the soup really fast. By the way, it is a noodle soup, not something dry.

I think they call it Dan Dan Mien. But I'm not sure. Anyways.... would anyone have a recipe that taste similiar to it ?

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  1. hmmm, I love dan dan mian but I've never had it as a soup -- its always noodles with sauce. But the flavor you describe sounds right. As I recall its a szechuan dish. I think there is a great szechuan cookbook called something like "Land of Plenty"? It should have a recipe.

    Does the version you like have meat or not? This is the sort of recipe that can go either way. The recipe I use at home [can't remember the name of the cookbook] calls for ground pork but I know there are recipes without meat.

    1. Szechuan dan dan mien is more saucy, Taiwan (and probably other places) has a soup version.

      There are probably other things in the authentic version, but here's what I do:

      1) Make ro zao (the pork base)
      Sautee half a pound of ground pork with star anise and a handful or two of dried deep fried shallots (available in an Asian grocery store). Add a quarter cup of soy sauce, a quarter cup of water, a teaspoon of sugar, and a tablespoon of sesame oil. The amounts of all the add-ins you can feel free to vary to your taste. Cook together until reduced to a thick meaty sauce. It will be mostly meat and just barely any juice. Add two tablespoons of pork lard if you have it (it makes a HUGE difference in flavor). Ro zao can be eaten over rice with a hard boiled egg and some veggies. A spoonful is usually served over rice as a side dish to pork chops, etc.

      2) to make the ro zao into dan dan mien, cook noodles in chicken stock and then scoop the ro zao over it. Add leafy greens or Chinese chives to the soup if you like. Also add scallions and cilantro to taste, and white pepper.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pei

        Thank you so much for the tips!! I really appreciate it.. and I'll have to try it out.

      2. There are many versions of Dan Dan Noodles, AKA Dan Dan Mian, and Fuchsia Dunlop, a world authority on Sichuanese cooking, has both recipes in her cookbooks. One version ( Xie Laoban's) is indeed "saucy" and thick-ish because of the use of sesame paste. The other version is more oily and uses Chinese black vinegar (Shoazing vinegar).

        Here's the recipe for Dan Dan Mian: