Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper – Dan Dan Noodles

Great little recipe taken from Fuchsia Dunlop’s “Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper” book. Order it here, great read. Ingredients from the asiatic store on Elm Grove, this may look daunting but is super easy.

For the noodles
250 g egg noodles
8 bok choy, leaves only

For the sauce
4 tbsp tianjin preserved vegetable, or pickled Chinese cabbage, available from specialist shops
1 tbsp groundnut oil
3 spring onions, green parts only, finely chopped
3 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp chilli oil, to taste
2 tsp Chinkiang or chinese black vinegar, premium black rice vinegar, available from specialist shops
1 tsp ground roasted sichuan peppercorns
120 ml hot chicken stock, optional

For the pork
1 tbsp groundnut oil
100 g minced pork
1 tsp shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp light soy sauce

1. Rinse the Tianjin vegetable in a sieve under the tap to get rid of excess salt, and shake dry. Heat the groundnut oil in a wok over a high flame, and then stir-fry the Tianjin vegetable until it is dry and fragrant. Set aside.

2. To prepare the pork topping, add the groundnut oil to the wok and heat through. Add the minced pork and stir-fry, splashing in the Shaoxing wine. Add the soy sauce and fry until the meat is cooked but not too dry. Set aside.

3. Divide the stir-fried preserved vegetable, the spring onions and the light and dark soy sauce, chilli oil, vinegar, Sichuan pepper and stock among four serving bowls.

4. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the pak choy and blanch until just cooked. Place a couple of leaves in each serving bowl. Meanwhile, add the noodles to the boiling water and boil until cooked to taste. Drain the noodles and divide among the prepared bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of the cooked pork.

5. Serve immediately. The noodles should be mixed into the sauce at the table, using chopsticks.

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