Dandan noodles are a delicious low-calorie Chinese dish that will tantalize your taste buds. Made with tender ground turkey thigh meat, the flavors of garlic and ginger add a delicious twist to this classic recipe. For an exciting texture, don’t forget to sprinkle some crushed peanuts on top before serving for a delicious crunch in every bite. This dish is not only delicious but also a healthier option, perfect for those who are watching their calorie intake. Treat yourself to a bowl of these spicy dandan noodles – you won’t be disappointed!
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2½ cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, lightly crushed, plus extra for serving
- 500 g minced turkey leg meat with 3% fat
- 250g pack of dried udon or other wheat noodles
- 2 x 90g packs of baby bok choy or other Asian vegetables, cleaned and separated
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened crunchy peanut butter (we used Whole Earth)
- 2 tbsp chili bean sauce (we used Lee Kum Kee)
- 3 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Shaohsing wine (Chinese rice wine)
- 50 g unsalted peanuts, roasted
- 4-5 thinly sliced spring onions for serving
- A handful of coarsely chopped coriander to serve
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan.
- Once really hot and almost smoking, add garlic, ginger and crushed Sichuan peppercorns.
- Cook while stirring for 30 seconds.
- Add the ground beef and stir while shredding it.
- Cook the minced meat over high heat for 10-12 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated and it starts to get crispy here and there – don’t worry if it sticks to the wok a little, just keep stirring.
- In the meantime, cook the noodles in boiling water according to the package instructions and add the pak choy for the last 2 minutes.
- Drain, reserving the cooking water and then rinse under cold water to prevent the noodles from sticking.
- To make sauce, combine peanut butter, chili bean sauce, 3 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons shaohsing in a small pan.
- Add 300ml of the reserved cooking water, bring to the boil and reduce for 5 minutes.
- As soon as the minced meat is cooked, stir in the remaining soy sauce and Shaohsing.
- Pour the sauce into 4 shallow bowls, top with the noodles and bok choy, then spoon over the top.
- For an extra kick, sprinkle peanuts, spring onions, coriander and additional crushed Sichuan peppercorns on top.
Equipment and tools
For this recipe you will need the following equipment and tools:
- Large pan or wok
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- measuring spoon
- Pepper mill or pestle and mortar
- Two small bowls
- Serving plates or bowls
- Garnish bowls
This dandan noodle recipe contains the following allergens:
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
Please ensure that you or anyone consuming this dish is not allergic to these ingredients. If you have any concerns, it is recommended that you consult a doctor.
Storage and leftovers
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Before eating, heat the pasta again in a pan or in the microwave. It’s important to note that the texture of the pasta may change slightly when reheated.
When reheating, you can add a little water or stock to loosen the sauce. Additionally, you may need to adjust the seasoning by adding more soy sauce or other seasonings depending on your taste.
Do not freeze the pasta as the consistency could become mushy. For optimal freshness, it is best to consume them within the recommended storage time.
Health Benefits of Dandan Noodles
Dandan noodles are a popular Sichuan dish full of delicious flavors and a variety of health benefits. This article explores some of the key ingredients in a typical dandan noodle recipe and their potential health benefits.
1. Sesame oil
Sesame oil, commonly used in Asian cuisine, is rich in healthy fats and antioxidants. It can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and support heart health. In addition, sesame oil is a good source of vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties.
Garlic is a powerful ingredient known for its potential health benefits. It may boost the immune system, help regulate blood pressure, and have antimicrobial properties. Garlic also contains compounds that may have cancer-fighting properties.
Ginger is widely known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help relieve muscle pain and soreness, relieve nausea, and improve digestion. Some studies also suggest that ginger may have potential anti-cancer effects.
4. Sichuan peppercorns
Sichuan peppercorns give dandan noodles a unique flavor and slightly numbing sensation. They also contain various bioactive compounds that may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Additionally, Sichuan peppercorns are used in traditional medicine for their potential pain-relieving properties.
5. Ground turkey leg meat
Ground turkey leg meat is a lean source of protein that is lower in saturated fat compared to other meats. It provides essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Including lean poultry in your diet can support muscle growth, help with weight management and promote overall health.
6. Udon or other wheat noodles
Udon noodles, typically made from wheat flour, are a good source of complex carbohydrates. They provide energy and fiber, which can aid digestion and promote satiety. Eating whole-grain pasta can also help keep blood sugar levels stable.
7. Asian Vegetables (Baby Pak Choi)
Baby bok choy and other Asian vegetables are low in calories and rich in essential nutrients. They are a good source of vitamins A, C and K as well as folic acid and fiber. Adding Asian greens to dandan noodles can increase the overall nutritional value of the dish.
8. Peanut butter
Peanut butter, especially unsweetened and crunchy varieties, offers several health benefits. It is a good source of healthy fats, proteins and fiber. Peanut butter also contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium and potassium.
9. Chili bean sauce
Chili bean sauce, commonly used in Sichuan cuisine, is made from fermented broad beans and chili peppers. It adds a spicy touch to the dandan noodles and may also provide some health benefits. Chili peppers contain compounds like capsaicin, which can boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and have anti-inflammatory effects.
10. Shaohsing wine (Chinese rice wine)
Shaohsing wine, a Chinese rice wine, is often used in cooking and adds flavor to dandan noodles. Some studies suggest that moderate wine consumption could have cardiovascular benefits thanks to its antioxidant content, even if only consumed in small amounts in recipes.
11. Roasted peanuts
Roasted peanuts give dandan noodles a crunchy texture and nutty flavor. They are a good source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Peanuts also contain resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that may have various health benefits, including supporting heart health.
12. Green onions
Thinly sliced spring onions add a fresh and mild onion flavor to dandan noodles. They also provide important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. Green onions may have antibacterial properties and could potentially support digestive health.
13. Fresh coriander
Coarsely chopped coriander, also known as cilantro, adds a vibrant and aromatic touch to dandan noodles. Coriander is rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as various antioxidants. It can promote digestion, support immune function and protect against certain chronic diseases.
By incorporating these ingredients into your dandan noodles, you will not only enjoy a tasty dish, but you may also benefit from their various health-promoting properties. Experiment with different variations and enjoy this delicious and nutritious meal!