Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dan Dan Mein

 I had a little of ground turkey breast leftover  and  a hankering for something spicy. I decided to use it to make some Dan Dan noodles. Dan Dan noodles are usually made with pork but with all the spices the sauce contains, I'm sure the turkey would work fine as long as I got it to the right consistency . Then, I couldn't find my recipe, one of the few that I have hand written. None of my cookbooks had one that sounded right.
 A quick web search brought up dozens of recipes , no two alike.  I found one from Jamie Oliver that sounded a little simpler but close in flavor to the one I usually make . His called for beef , included vegetables and didn't have peanut or sesame paste .  I used my turkey, added some peanut butter and since I had some Chinese cabbage and pea pods on hand , I added them in.  I make my own chili oil and also one called Mala Oil that is infused with Sichuan peppercorns,  so I used those in place of the chili oil he calls for. It may not have been authentic but it was the best bowl of Dan Dan I've ever had .  It wasn't until the last bite that I realized I hadn't taken a picture . I will be making it again ... soon !  So here I am, committing my changes online lest I forget . And next time I'll  remember to take a photo.

1 T chicken stock base
1/4 lb ground turkey breast
2 T  honey
12 oz  Chinese egg noodles or wheat noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage
1/2 cup pea pods cut into thin slivers
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp Black soy sauce
3 T natural peanut butter or sesame paste
1/4 tsp freshly ground Sichuan pepper
2-5 tbsp good-quality chili oil(I used  my own very potent homemade oils  only using  about 3 T of mala and chili combined so taste as you go
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced on a deep diagonal
1 lime, quartered, to serve
Disolve  the stock base into a large pan of water and bring to a boil.  Saute turkey over medium high heat breaking it apart with a wooden spoon until it is cooked through and broken into a fine crumble.. Set aside off  heat and pour honey over,   then return to heat briefly just until  the honey has coated every bit .
Stir your noodles into the boiling stock, stir occasionally so they don't clump up.   When you have about 30 second left to cooking noodles toss in the shredded cabbage and pea pods. Stir then drain  in a colander, reserving a little of the of the cooking water. Put noodles  with veges into a warm bowl.
Combine  garlic, soy sauce peanut butter , Sichuan pepper and chili oil, thin with a little of the hot water and stir until a nice consistency is reached then pour over noodles mix with tongs until noodles are evenly coated  Pour the  turkey on top of noodles then sprinkle green onions on top   Serve each dish with a lime quarter to squeeze over. Serves 3-4