O nce you have all the ingredients, assembling this noodle dish couldn’t be simpler. In fact, it is a really cheap and easy mid-week dinner option. Once you have your chilli oil, it lasts for yonks in your cupboard, and the sauce is a couple of ingredients simmered together. I recommend visiting a really good Asian supermarket and making it a one-stop shop.
Be warned that these noodles pack some punch in the heat department. I broke out in a hot sweat when I chowed these down.
Sichuan chilli oil
- ½ cup sunflower oil
- 2 thin slices of ginger root
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons red Sichuan peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons chilli flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon ground coriander
Dan-dan mince and sauce
- 200g beef mince
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1cm piece of ginger, minced
- ½ teaspoon red Sichuan peppercorns, finely crushed
- 3 tablespoons douban sauce (I used the Lee Kum Kee brand “chilli bean sauce” that comes in a small jar)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter (Pic’s peanut butter for the win)
- 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- squeeze of half a small lemon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 portions of dried Sichuan noodles or ramen noodles
- chopped spring onions to serve
- fresh coriander to serve
- Sriracha chilli sauce to serve
- To make the chilli oil (ideally the day before for optimum infusion), heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat until nice and hot. Add in the ginger, garlic, star anise and cinnamon and continue to sizzle in the oil until the garlic turns a light golden brown. Tip in the chilli flakes, cumin and ground coriander and cook for another minute or so until the flakes darken in colour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Pour into a jar and leave to settle and infuse overnight.
- Mix the mince with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Heat a small frying pan with another small splash of sesame oil on a medium-high heat and brown the mince in it until it is brown and crispy. Put to one side.
- Add a small splash of sesame oil to a small saucepan and again over a medium heat, saute the garlic, ginger and peppercorns for a minute. Add in the douban sauce and peanut butter and continue to heat while stirring until it cooks and becomes fragrant. Pour in the cooking wine and use it to deglaze the pan before pouring in the chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer away for another five minutes to thicken slightly. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the sugar to taste.
- Cook the noodles to al dente and drain well. Divide between two large bowls. Divide the sauce between the bowls and do the same with the mince. Drizzle over a few teaspoonfuls of chilli oil before garnishing with the spring onion and coriander. Give it another wee squeeze of lemon to finish it off and a quick flick of sriracha sauce.