One night my boyfriend and I lost track of time and ended up starting our dinner search when almost every place was closing. We knew we wanted something quick, cheap, but still delicious. Fortunately, one of our favorite Taiwanese spots was still open…but only for another 30 minutes! By the time we got over there, we had 15 minutes left until closing time. We walked in ordered a bowl of Dan Dan Mian and some dumplings in chili oil to share. The dan dan mian was hot and fiery, while the cucumbers and chewy noodles offered some relief. It HIT. THE. SPOT.
We figured, let’s not rush next time and try to inhale fire….let’s figure out how to make it at home!
This recipe was pretty on point, my only wish was that it was spicier, like “I don’t know if I should go on because I’m going to regret this tomorrow morning” spicier. That can be easily remedied though.
The beauty of cooking Asian food is the layers of flavors attributed to by all the different ingredients. On the other hand the tedious park of cooking Asian food is finding all said ingredients. Luckily we live near and Asian market where were able to find everything we needed. Think of it as a scavenger hunt…in a different language! Tips about the ingredients:
- The peppercorns are ESSENTIAL to getting the right flavor. Don’t try to substitute with black peppercorns or green peppercorns.
- The wine…it took us a while to figure out which one it is. Ask a staff person to point you in the right direction if not to the product itself. Apparently, there are different kinds…it’s the one that has a browish hue. So there is a clear kind and a dark kind, it is the dark one.
Luckily we have a wok and the stovetop has a wok feature (Who knew?! It has inner and outer burners to keep the wok super hot and a rounded grate to accommodate the wok). So as David Chang says, get the pan RIPPING HOT and get the meat going.
We made our own noodles as well, and it was easy peasy! I’m still struggling to keep my noodles from sticking. Taking the time to dry the dough and noodles after is key. I rolled out the dough using a pasta machine, then dried it on two clothes hangers (IMPROVISE! Since I don’t have a pasta tree thing), then cut the sheets using the taglierini feature.
Would I make it again? Yes.
What do I need to improve on? My noodles!
Here are a couple links to noodle recipes and techniques!