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May 2, 2010 01:57 PM

taiwanese noodles from DinTaiFung

On my last trip to Asia I tried these fantastic noodles from DinTaiFung:

It was described on the paper menu as Taiwanese-style noodles. They were vegetarian, and were fairly thin noodles in a somewhat strong sesame sauce with peanut.

Here is the Chinese description of the same dish:

Does anybody know if this is a common Taiwanese preparation, or if it's specific to DinTaiFung? And more importantly, does anyone know where I could find this dish in San Francisco?

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  1. That's Sichuan style dan dan mien (dan dan noodles), as interpreted by Din Tai Fung.

    There are multiple versions across the SF Bay Area in Sichuan restaurants (a very common staple), non Sichuan Northenr Chinese restaurants, to a Japanese Chinese place in San Jose (Hana), to versions with broth in ramen restaurants (as tantanmen, e.g. Himawari in San Mateo, maybe Halu in San Jose, and Kahoo also in San Jose).

    My experience is that you may find something remotely similar, but it does not and will likely not taste the same as DDM you have in Asia. Here's another thread discussing why DDM is different in Asia/Hong Kong (as an example) than in the USA.

    1 Reply
    1. re: K K

      Yeah, Halu had tantanmen last week when I was there -- it was their current special, along with the anniversary lobster ramen. My wife ordered the tantanmen, and we both liked it, but the broth was very thick (probably thickened with egg yolk?) and intensely flavored (salty/spicy) -- almost more like a sauce -- so it was actually hard to finish the entire portion.

      I believe it was $12.

      Ramen Halu
      375 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

    2. Shanghai Dumpling King (which specializes in XLB like DTF) serves Shanghai noodles with peanut sauce. The noodles look the same size and the sauce sounds similar but not sure if it's what you're looking for but they're good. p.s. There's a DTF in SoCal in Arcadia, close to Santa Anita race track.

      Shanghai Dumpling King
      3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

      5 Replies
        1. re: ML8000

          thanks for the responses. it looks like they are indeed dan dan noodles. after doing some searching it looks like most of the interpretations here are very different from the one at Din Tai Fung. those were really good -- not too sweet, not too oily, and fairly spicy. i may have to take a trip to arcadia to find the same recipe again. :(

          1. re: cornflower55

            It says Dan Dan Noodles on the webpage. From the picture the noodles look thinner than the traditional Dan Dan Noodles. They appear to be the thin noodles typically used in some Taiwanese noodle dishes (e.g. pig's feet noodles).

            1. re: tvr172

              Yes they are thinner than the Dan Dan noodles I have had here. What is interesting is that the printed menu says Taiwanese style noodles so maybe there is a different name for this noodle.

              The noodles do look the same as the picture in the wikipedia entry for Dan Dan noodles:


              However the dish is nothing like the description for the traditional Sichuan preparation in the Wikipedia entry.

            2. re: cornflower55

              A nice but different rendition is dan dan mien at Z&Y, a Sichuanese place in SF Chinatown. Thicker noodles, lots of numbing Sichuan peppercorn, and a fair amount of chili oil are some differences from what you show.

          2. Trouble is, you will find as many variations of dan dan noodles as there are Chinese restaurants. All depends on the cook that day.