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what else is needed for a dan-dan mien bar?

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Chowhounds,

My friend is obsessed with dan-dan mien and I'm going to host a dinner for her soon. I decided to do a self-serve dan-dan mien bar.

I would gladly appreciate any advice about additional ingredients to add to this self-serve bar:

ground garlic paste with sesame oil and rice vinegar
ground szechuan peppers
black vinegar
sesame oil
sesame paste thinned out with broth
fine diced pickled chinese mustard
pork sauteed in sweet black bean sauce & ginger
sauteed tofu (for the vegetarians)
hot noodles

Thanks for any more ideas!!!

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  1. Shredded carrots
    Scallions
    Juilenned cucumber
    chili sauce
    shredded chicken breasts
    chili oil
    ground peanuts
    sugar
    soy sauce
    sauteed shitake mushrooms

    1. What tissue said plus:
      Thinly sliced or diced chilies
      cilantro

      1. And an invitation for me.

        You are a very, very good friend.

        1. What makes a good dan-dan mian has less to do with the type of ingredients than with the proportionality of the ingredients to one another.

          After all, your traditional bowl of dan dan mian is really just noodles, chili paste or sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, preserved veggies, and some ground or minced pork meat, and then all of it garnished with chopped scallions.

          What makes a good bowl of dan dan mian is how much of each of those to serve. The star of the show is the chili paste or sauce, the supporting actor is the Sichuan peppercorns and pork meat, and the background extras are the veggies, with the scallions making what can only be called a "cameo" appearance.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Well put ipsedixit! Thanks to you and everyone else for the suggestions.

            I am running out to Ranch 99 first thing tomorrow morning!

          2. Hi Chowhounds, the party happened last night and everyone loved the dan-dan noodle bar. Each ingredient had a clear label, but despite that, some people still put too much sichuan pepper on their food. Oh well, maybe they will learn next time. But folks loved the dish and most of them had nver had it before so it was nice for them to be exposed to things like pickled mustard greens.

            Thanks again for the great suggestions!