Dan Dan Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms

William Morrow Books

One of the original street foods of the world, this amazing Szechuan dish was once served by vendors walking around with a stick across their shoulders. On one end hung a pot with some hot broth and on the other end was a pot with the noodles. It eventually evolved into one of the spicier Szechuan offerings, and then on its arrival to the States the spices were tamed to please more palates. We’ve kept our V Street version of this dish pretty spicy. If you can’t hang, then by all means cut back on the sauce. We use fresh ramen noodles here, but any noodle you choose (even spaghetti!) will work just fine if cooked properly.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced into 1/4-inch-thin strips
  • Dan dan Sauce (see below)
  • 24 ounces fresh ramen noodles (substitute 16 ounces dry noodles of choice)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green parts only)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the black vinegar, sesame oil, white pepper, garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
 
2. Toss the mushrooms in the vinaigrette and place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes or until crispy on the edges.

3. Warm the dan dan sauce in a small saucepan over low heat.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. When tender, drain them immediately and add to the dan dan sauce, tossing gently to coat evenly.

5. Transfer the noodles to serving bowls and top with the shiitake caps and scallions.

Dan Dan Sauce

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 small pickled chile with oil, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Always stir before using.

Cook time: 
Yield: 
Serves 6
  • Every bite is precious: Buddhist cooking in Japan

    Japanese monks are teaching a new generation of chefs to use seasonal ingredients – and zen principles – to elevate their cooking. Contributor Abigail Leonard reports from Tokyo on Buddhist cuisine.

Top Recipes

Food, history & feminism: “The Women’s Pages”

Charleston's The Post and Courier food editor Hanna Raskin discusses the importance of the women's pages to the history of food writing and roots of feminism.