Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles. For those nights when you’re craving spicy, warming, Chinese inspired noodles, but don’t want to wait for takeout. Crispy caramelized ground chicken in a sweet, spicy, and tangy mushroom sauce atop egg noodles in steaming, spicy broth. These quick vegetable-filled Chinese inspired noodles can be made and ready in just about 30 minutes. Not only are they a touch healthier, but these noodles taste so much better than your average takeout!
Tuesday night just got better with these yummy takeout noodles. Yep, switching things up again this week and swapping out my usual sweet recipes for something a bit more savory. Not typical of me, but I was way too excited to share these Dan Dan inspired noodles with you guys.
First things first. I want to put it out there that I’m very well aware that these noodles are not authentic Chinese. I do know this, and I don’t mean to offend anyone by sharing this recipe. This recipe is just my take on Chinese style Dan Dan noodles. My easier, much, much simpler, “short cut” take. These noodles are saucy, spicy, so very warming, and beyond delicious.
Quick and easy enough for a weeknight, but fun enough for a Saturday night Halloween movie marathon.
If you’re not familiar with Dan Dan noodles, they are spicy Chinese noodles with a dark sauce that usually contains preserved vegetables, chili oil, minced pork (I’m using chicken), and green onions. From everything I’ve read, the meat is caramelized and made crispy, then served over noodles. You can serve the noodles either dry or in a spicy broth…
I went for the spicy broth, because it’s been snowing here and it’s cold. So spicy broth wins. Always.
Here are all the details on making these noodles.
As I said, these are not authentic Dan Dan noodles. I took some short-cuts to make the noodles weeknight-friendly, but still delicious.
Start with the chili. You can buy this of course, but I’ve yet to find a great chili oil I love. Plus it’s so easy to make. Simply simmer sesame oil with garlic and red pepper flakes until the garlic is fragrant. This takes only five minutes. Simple.
While that’s happening, make the sauce. It’s s a simple mix of hoisin sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and peanut butter or tahini. Hoisin is not traditional, but it adds so much flavor without having to add a million and one ingredients to the sauce.
Side Note: I’ve yet to find a great hoisin sauce that doesn’t contain tons of sugar…so I began making my own. If this interests you, the quick sauce mix-up is in the recipe notes!
Next, boil the egg noodles. You can really use any kind of noodle, but a good egg noodle is probably best. If you are gluten-free, use your favorite rice noodles. Those will be great too!
Drain the noodles, then add the broth and some of the sauce mix to that same pot. This is your “spicy broth” to mix the noodles with. Keep this on low while you brown the chicken.
The final step is to brown the chicken in a skillet with the remaining sauce and mushrooms. Finely chop the mushrooms, as they add not only a vegetable, but also flavor. You don’t even realize they’re there, but they add SO MUCH. Trust me.
Once the sauce coats the chicken, let the chicken get a little crisp in the skillet and begin to caramelize around the edges.
To assemble, ladle the spicy broth into bowls, add the noodles, and toss with the broth. Then top with that crispy caramelized meat, spoon over additional chili sauce, and add fresh green onions.
Find a spoon, find chopsticks. ENJOY.
A couple notes…
Be sure to serve the noodles as soon as you toss them with the broth. The broth is minimal and really thickens up once you toss it with the noodles.
If you want to make these noodles vegetarian, just double the mushrooms. I haven’t tested that, but I’m sure it would be so delicious.
And that is it…simple, quick, and easy. The ultimate cold-weather Chinese style noodles. Not really a soup, more like extra saucy noodles. AND SO GOOD!
If you make these better than takeout Dan Dan noodles, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles.
Calories Per Serving: 550 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or smashed
- 1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (make sure to use GF, if needed)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter or tahini
- 8 ounces Chinese style egg noodles, or rice noodles
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound ground chicken or pork
- 2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped
- black pepper
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1. To make the chili oil. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 1/3 cup sesame oil, the garlic, and chili flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and very carefully transfer the oil to a heat proof bowl or glass jar. 2. Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar, peanut butter/tahini, and 1/3 cup water in a bowl. 3. Cook the egg/rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. To the pot used to cook the noodles, add the broth and 1/2 of the soy sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the spinach. Keep warm. 4. Place the skillet used to make the chili oil, over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and the chicken. Season with black pepper and brown all over, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shallot, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Slowly pour in 1/2 of the soy sauce mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the chicken and the meat begins to caramelize and get crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2-4 tablespoons chili oil. Remove from the heat. 5. Ladle the broth into bowls. Add the noodles and toss combine. Spoon the meat over the noodles. Top with green onions and additional chili oil. Enjoy!
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Homemade Hoisin: in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder, and a pinch of black pepper.