Sunday, January 29, 2023

A Great Chinese Meal

Let’s start with dessert, made by Carol. It was fantastically delicious and not at all Asian.

Almond and apricot tart.

Dandan Noodles

Our main course was Dandan  Noodles, another selection from Len’s ongoing experiments with recipes from cookbook author Fuchsia Dunlop. See the Guardian for a version of her recipe here. According to this article:

“Dandan noodles are the most famous Sichuanese street snack. They were first sold by men who wandered the alleys of Chengdu, carrying their stoves, noodles and secret-recipe sauces in baskets hanging from a bamboo shoulderpole. Older people can remember their calls of ‘Dandan mian! Dandan mian!’ which rang out in every quarter. The noodles were cheap and nourishing, and enjoyed by everyone from odd-jobbers to the very wealthy.”

Sauce preparation.

Mincing a small amount of pork for flavoring the dandan noodles.

Tossing the noodles, sauce, and pork just before serving.

Side dishes: cucumber salad and bok choi with ginger sauce.

Bok choi cleaned, cut up, and ready to go into the steaming basket.

Steamed bok choi with ginger sauce.

Bok choi with ginger sauce, cucumber salad with peanuts, and dandan noodles: ready to eat.

The Popularity of Dandan Noodles

Dandan noodles have been very popular in the US since at least the early 2000s; for example, I know I had them at a Chinese restaurant in St.Louis in 2012. Lots of websites and cookbooks offer recipes for making them. As illustrated by the picture of a package of frozen noodles from P.F.Chang’s, you don't even have to source the special ingredients and go to the trouble of making them yourself. 

Many noodle restaurants have a version of this dish: it's even on the menu at Skipper Dan's of Disney World for $26. I was fascinated by some of the noodle art that I found when exploring this topic.

In New York, the menu of restaurant Ivan Ramen includes Dandan noodles. (source)

A weird noodle mural in weird Austin. (source)

I even found is even a wall poster for sale at Etsy that tells how to make dandan noodles! I’m tempted by this cool item, but I don’t have that much space for more art work.

Poster for sale on Etsy. Link: Chinese Food Print: Dandan Noodles.

Blog post and kitchen photos © 2023 mae sander


eileeninmd said...

Your Chinese meal looks delicious. I would like to try the Dan-Dan noodles.
The salad looks yummy too. The noodle mural looks fun. Have a great day and happy new week!

Trin Carl said...

Those Udan noodles sound great. I've been thinking of tasting Udan noodles after seeing them in Japenese Netflix shows. We have quite a few Japanese restaurants in our neighborhood that I need to try.

DVArtist said...

Ohh this is truly wonderful. I am going to make those noodles. Thanks for sharing the food and your beautiful art.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

Wow! What a fabulous looking homemade Chinese meal. Looks very flavorful and professional. I'm impressed.

kwarkito said...

a noodle world with see noodlemonsters...

anno said...

Oh my, this looks fabulous! And even though I just finished a fabulous breakfast of eggs and greens and potatoes with a healthy side of berries, I am suddenly ravenous for this dish, and all the wonderful flavors and textures. Definitely going on the roster.

Iris Flavia said...

Ginger sauce sounds very,very yummy.
And the noodles look much better than the ones we get here.

Nice mural and poster!

Lori said...

Looks like a delicious meal!! It's so much fun experimenting with different cuisines.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have had DanDan noodles, but they were nore a cross between DanDan that Len made and ramen the salad and bok choi look wonderful. You have made me very hungry.

Nicer mural, too.

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

Yummy! I love bok choi, what a gorgeous presentation of the bok choi dish!

My name is Erika. said...

I've never had dandan noodles, but they look yummy. As does your whole meal. I bet your husband is having fun with his Asian food experiments. Happy new week Mae.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

Making dandan noodles is not easy from what I've seen. We don't get them here which is a pity as your meal looks very good.

Sami said...

I'll have a slice of cake please :)
That poster is cute and the mural is quite unusual, lol.
Thanks for participating in Monday Murals Mae.

s.c said...

That looks very good. Hope it taste also. Thanks for showing us.

Jeanie said...

The noodle bowl looks terrific. I'd not heard of Dandan Noodles but that looks so good. And so does that almond tart!

Cloudia said...

Maybe I will head down to Honolulu's Chinatown today for some noodles! Thanks for this fun post. Have a beautiful week!

Linda said...

I like that mural, even though it is weird.