Updated: Jul 25
These knife cut noodles are incredibly easy to make. Through this recipe I wanted to showcase the noodles, with a simple dish called Dan Dan noodles that originates from Sichuan, China. The word dan dan comes from street vendors carrying these noodles to sell on a pole throughout Sichuan. I love the concept of a good chilli oil and fresh noodles therefore I wanted to keep this recipe fairly traditional. With all that said lets cook...
To serve 2
Dan Dan noodles:
250g plain flour
2g bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
cornflour for dusting
3 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp mild chilli powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp korean chilli paste (optional)
250ml ground nut oil
2 tbsp black rice vinegar
300g pork belly
2 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp sugar
salt and white pepper
Let's start by making the chilli oil, chop the shallots into a medium dice then add to a pan with half of the ground nut oil (125ml). Fry on a high heat until the shallots are lightly brown. Next add the chilli flakes, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, salt, sugar, soy and korean chilli paste and fry on a low heat for 3-4 minutes.
2. To finish the chilli oil, add black rice vinegar and the remaining ground nut oil then stir. Be careful when adding the rice vinegar to the oil as it foams up rapidly. Allow the chilli oil to cool and place into a jar (this chilli oil can be kept in the fridge for up to 1-2 months).
3. Now onto the noodles, in a large mixing bowl add 250g of flour, 2g bicarbonate soda and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in 100ml of water. Bring the dough together by kneading and when ready place into a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Allow the dough to rest for 1.5 hours. (The dough will be quite dry and will take some work to bring together).
4. As we are waiting for the dough to rest we can prepare the toppings for the dish, for the pork belly, slice into small thin strips. Then add the pork to a hot pan with a small drizzle of oil and fry on a medium to high heat until crispy. Now add chopped garlic, honey, light soy, and sugar and fry for a further 3-4 minutes on a low heat. Season with salt and white pepper and place the pork to one side. Toast sesame seeds and grind in a pestle and mortar. Finally slice spring onions and set all the toppings to one side.
5. Now back to the dough, after 1.5 hours of resting remove from the bowl and place onto a work surface lightly dusted with cornflour. Roll the dough into a large flat rectangle until the dough starts resisting, roughly 60cm by 30cm (this does take some effort).
6. When the dough starts to resist too much to being rolled, wrap the dough onto the rolling pin to carefully roll further. Unravel the dough and repeat this process until the dough becomes roughly 1/8 of an inch thick. When ready lay onto a work surface and lightly dust again with cornflour.
7. Now cut the dough equally into 2 pieces and place on top of each other. Fold the dough 3 times so it overlaps each other making it easier to cut into noodles.
8. Cut the noodles 1/8 of an inch thick. When cut, straighten out the noodles and lightly dust again with cornflour. Place the cut noodles onto a tray and prepare to cook.
9. To cook, place the noodles into a large pan of boiling water and cook for approximately 5-6 minutes gently stirring occasionally with chop sticks. When the noodles are cooked drain from the water and briefly rinse with cold water to prevent them from over cooking.
10. Now that all the ingredients are ready we can finally finish the dish, in a serving bowl add a drop of light soy, black rice vinegar and 1 tbsp of the chilli oil to the bottom of the bowl. Add the dan dan noodles then top with more of the chilli oil, pork, sesame seeds and chopped spring onions. Mix all together and nourish...
If pork is not your thing then you could replace with beef, chicken, tofu or mushrooms. This dish is spicy therefore if you wanted to tone it down slightly then simply add very little of the chilli oil. This dish definitely needs a bit of a kick though. If making fresh noodles takes too much time then you could try using egg noodles as a replacement, however its not the same as making your own. Hope you enjoy this recipe!