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Oct 28, 2007 12:47 PM

Dan Dan Mian

I've read many of the posts here and I am not seeing what I am looking for. I've had the best Dan Dan Mian, ( three helpings), at a small restaurant in Beijing.
What I had resembled this resipe I found on the web:
It was more "soup like" than a dish with peanut sauce on it that I am seeing posted.
If anyone has ever been to Cathay Pacific's First/Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong, it's almost identical.
My question: Does anyone know who serves Dan Dan Mian in this style??? It can be anywhere close to the NoVA, DC, Soutern MD area.


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  1. The cold stuff with peanut sauce is a purely American concoction, from what I can gather. What places have you tried so far?

    Szechuan restaurants in the area include Hong Kong Palace (Falls Church), Joe's Noodle House (Rockville), and China Star (Fairfax).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Steve, do you know if China Star serves what I am seeking? If so, I will be there by tomorrow! Thanks.

      1. re: LoveFood2Much

        Unfortunately, I don't think they have any noodle dishes at China Star.

        Here is their website:

    2. I suggest you try A&J (Northern Chinese small plates restaurant), either in Rockville or Annandale. They definitely have Dan Dan Mian, and the rest of the food is great too. Try the sliced pig ears in red chile oil, and the cold gluten with mushrooms. On weekends, they have brunch with fresh warm soy milk and freshly fried yau tieu. I love this place.

      4316 Markham St
      Annandale, VA 22003
      (703) 813-8181


      1319 Rockville Pike # C
      Rockville, MD 20852
      (301) 251-7878

      2 Replies
      1. re: Torina

        Torina, thank you very much. I've read much about A&J as well as most of the top notch Chinese restaurants due to my dim sum infatuation.

        The Annandale location is close to me and I was going to try China Star in Fairfax first but I can't get their menu's to download to be 100% sure they serve Dan Dan Mian.
        You have now convinced me to try A&J tomorrow for lunch! I will report back-thanks again.

        1. re: LoveFood2Much

          Great! I hope you like it as much as I do :) After I wrote to you, I got a craving, so I may be there tomorrow too, haha ....

      2. I do like A&J's version, but be warned that it is not as spicy as other dan dan mian versions are. I personally like the one at Peking Village in Merrifield, with the Hong Kong Palace version as a runner-up. I don't think China Star has dan dan mian anymore, not since Peter Chang left. If you go to HK Palace, get one order of dan dan mian and one of the Chengdu spicy cold noodles. I think you'll like them.

        6 Replies
        1. re: FoodieGrrl

          I just returned from lunch at A & J's in Annandale and as promised, I have my reviews:

          1. The first dish that arrived was Ma La Huang Gua-Cucumber Salad in Hot Garlic Sauce. It was excellent. Not much that can go wrong because it's a simple dish but it was spicy hot but not overwhelming with a good amount of chili oil, the garlic was fresh and cut in nice slivers so it was easy to eat, and the Chinese cucumber was very flavorful without the bitterness that I've tasted at other places.

          2. The next was the Dan Dan Mian-Noodles in Hot Spicy Sesame Sauce Topped with Peanut Powder that was recommended by a few posters as being similar to what I was asking for in the topic introduction. This was NOT even close. Although it was flavorful and tasty, it had an over abundance of peanut sauce and seemed to be the dish I wasn't looking for. The dan dan noodles where good-not great not bad, the amount of heat was respectable but not as spicy as I would have prefered and the sesame flavoring was hidden by too much peanut. I ate it all because it had a nice flavor but it certainly doesn't resemble the recipe I have linked on this posting from Recipezaar. I will still search out the elusive Dan Dan Mian.

          3. Next two items were the Luo Bo Si Su Bing-Turnip Pastry and the Niu Ro Zheng Jiao-Steamed Beef Dumpling. Both were excellent in flavor and I enjoyed them both. As a big fan of any type of Turnip, the little shards that were inside the light pastry shell tasted great. The steamed beef dumplings were hot and flavorful.

          4. The last two items, Niu Ro Shao Bing-Sesame Biscuit with Sliced Beef and the Guo Tie-Pork Pot Stickers were a hit and miss. The Sesame Biscuit itself was excellent with a light and flaky crust but the beef was awful. It was cold and flavorless as if shoe leather. The only real flop of the meal. The potstickers were a real surprise to be presented in a crepe shape with lot's of delicious pork and very crispy wonton skin. A definite hit and I have 1/2 leftover for a snack later.

          With my Honeydue Pearl Tea and tip, the total was $30. This was more than most people would spend for lunch but I wanted to try more than normal and I was by myself. If you went as a couple, $20 would get you a lot.

          Service is perfect and I was the only non-Asian eating there.

          My overall rating I would give an 7.5 out of 10.

          I would eat there again but not go out of my way and I certainly need to look for the Dan Dan Mian elsewhere.

          1. re: LoveFood2Much

            Sorry the Dan Dan Mian wasn't what you were looking for! Definitely let us know when you find it, as I would love to try the version you like as well. BTW, which noodles did you get? I always like the hand-pulled, chewy wide noodles.

            I agree with you about the sesame biscuit, I find it underwhelming.

            If you return, do try the bean curd with mushrooms and the pigs ears. There is also a really good cold gluten dish (don't remember exactly what it's called though).

            1. re: Torina

              Torina, did you look at this recipe I posted earlier?

              This is spot on for the type of Dan Dan Mian I am seeking.

              You mentioned the pig ears before. I will try them the next time. Is it a crispy, crunchy, or chewy texture? Flavor?

              I love all types of bean curd dishes so trying the bean curd with mushrooms will be a no brainer.

              I went for the traditional dan dan noodle as opposed to the chow fun style. Believe it or not, PF Changs has a real nice dish with the wide Chow Fun noodles, even though they call it Dan Dan noodles that is really good for a chain restaurant .Even their steamed dumplings are nice and light and tasty. I also was shocked at how good Big Bowl's steamed barbecue buns are, some of the best I ever tasted. They are mostly meat and the bun doesn't overwhelm you like a giant ball of wet white bread.
              Sometimes there are surprises in the least likely places.....

              (From PF Chang's
              )DAN-DAN NOODLES
              Scallions, garlic and chili peppers stir-fried with ground chicken nesting on hot egg noodles. Garnished with shredded cucumber and bean sprouts.

              1. re: LoveFood2Much

                LoveFood, I did check out the recipe -- unfortunately this is one of those seasons of life where I don't have that much time for experimenting in the kitchen -- I have ferreted it away for another time.

                The pigs ears are chewy, and the flavor of the ear is subtle, dominated by chili and cilantro. The dish is mostly about the texture.

                I have not had good experiences at PF's in the past, but next time I am stuck at Tysons Galleria and starving, I will check out their Dan Dan.

                1. re: LoveFood2Much

                  thank you, LoveFood, for that Dan Dan recipe. I long to taste that overrpowering combination that I enjoyed in China. the only thing I remember differently is a whole lot of cilantro. I don't suppose Joe's Noodle House seves it, do they?

              2. re: LoveFood2Much

                looking at your recipe for dan dan mian-- i would order the noodles with meat sauce at A&J and add their chili sauce that's on every table. it won't have the peppercorn effect but it will be spicy. as you can tell from my handle, i also love dandan mian

            2. i would also think that Oriental Regency near Tyson's serves Dan Dan Mian during their weekend brunches. maybe someone could tell us if they are they kind OP is looking for.

              1. TemptAsian Cafe in Landmark does this style of Dan Dan Mian. One note of caution: I personally always have a hard time getting them to understand that I like spicy and/or numbing, so about half the time that I go there, the dishes are horribly toned-down. The other half of the time, though, the food is quite good. (Someone mentioned in some thread recently a Chinese phrase meaning "as it should be" as being more effective than just asking for "spicy" and getting something with a whole bunch of red chilis thrown on top; if anyone knows that magic phrase, please share.)

                Temptasian Cafe
                6259 Little River Tpke, Alexandria, VA 22312

                3 Replies
                1. re: sweth

                  i tried temptasian sometime after peter cheng's short residency and found the dishes a bit monochromatic? hot with the same sauce in everything but lacking complexity. maybe it was just me or they have improved. (we went as three asians so i think they gave it to us full throttle spicy. too spicy.)

                  i have some ideas about the phrase, but nothing exact. have you tried, "wo yao hen lah, HEN LAH, HEN LAH?"

                  1. re: Minger

                    This just means "I want VERY SPICY"

                    1. re: crowsonguy

                      wo yao che dao dao di di de sichuan chai = roughly i want to eat original sichuan cuisine.

                      if you can say that well, you should get a bit of respect from the kitchen.

                      i once made the mistake of asking for cashew chicken as spicy as the indians eat it, and i got a dish that was inedibly spicy.

                      i think there could be chinese spicy then sichuan spicy, ie even many chinese might find sichuan spicy too spicy. the nuance here is get them to serve what they normally serve their asian customers, not necessarily what they might authentically serve themselves.

                      i've sampled asian spicy at temptasian and wish it they had toned it down a notch or three.