After the success of Korean red pepper paste , I wanted to try some other unfamiliar ingredients and they don’t get stranger than Sichuan peppercorns not chilli hot exactly they cause a strange fragrant-numbness in your mouth ( this is apparently caused by hydroxy-alpha-sanshool) this emphasises the effect of chilli.
I wanted to try a simple sichuan dish – Dan Dan Noodles. What a great name saying it , just feels nice in your mouth like Bang Bang or Yum Yum Chicken . I used a recipe from Fuschia Dunlops’ Sichuan Cookery she is the proclaimed Elizabeth David of Chinese Cuisine, the instructions are simple to follow and accompanied by passionate descriptions of pungent spices and tantalising textures. I cannot wait to try some of the offal dishes – kidney flowers is an instant top of my must-try list.
Other than the peppercorns I had all the ingredients in the cupboards and freezer , pork mince and egg noodles. Even the pickled cabbage I made last week.
Dan Dan Noodles
200g of dried egg noodles egg noodles
2 small bok choy
4 tbsp pickled Chinese cabbage, available from specialist shops or recipe here
1 tbsp groundnut oil
2 spring onions finely chopped
3 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp chilli oil, to taste
2 tbsp Chinkiang (chinese black vinegar)
1 tsp ground roasted sichuan peppercorns
1 pint hot chicken stock
1 tbsp chilli oil
100g minced pork
1 tsp light soy sauce
- Fry the pork in the chilli oil & soy sauce until golden brown , put aside.
- Meanwhile fry the picked cabbage spring onion and stalks of the pak choi (reserve the green leaves) in chilli oil
- Once softened, add the chicken stock , vinegar, sichuan peppercorn bring to a simmer.
- Add the noodles a cook until soft
- Lastly stir in the green leaves of the pak choi.
- Pour the noodles into a bowl with plenty of sauce and scatter over the fried pork