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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!

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles | #asian #takeout #easyrecipes #dinner

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.

Some background.

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.

photo of Better Than Takeout Dan Dan meat mixture in pan

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.

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles with hands on bowl

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!

side angled photo of Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles

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.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
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.

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  • 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! 


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. 
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    1. Hi Dinah,
      So sorry, I’ve not tried this recipe with tofu, but I bet it would work well for you! I hope this recipe turns out well, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  1. I can’t remember if I ever passed this along to you. We eat this dish at least once a month. When I want to lighten it up a bit, I dice mushrooms and sub them out for the meat. It makes for an awesome meat free version and is still so flavorful. This is a great Dan Dan recipe, we’ll done

    1. Hey Johana,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you making this recipe so often and sharing your review, so glad it is always a winner! 🤩

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious!! Packed with flavor! Only changes I made was to use a whole pound of ground chicken and to sprinkle chopped roasted peanuts on the finished bowl. Yummmmy!

    1. Hey Carole,
      Happy Monday!! 👻 I am so glad this recipe was tasty for you, thanks a lot for trying it out! xT

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious. I did not have mushrooms but added chopped zucchini. It was easy, once the mise en place is complete. I especially like that the recipe includes homemade substitutions such as hoisin sauce.

    1. Hey Janet,
      Happy Sunday!!🎃 I am delighted to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

  4. 5 stars
    Loved making this recipe. Chili oil was killer & less spicy than I expected. Crunchier ground chicken was different from other versions & was oh so flavourful. Tieghan you are a star. Kisses to Oslo. XO

    1. Hi Natalie,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and truly appreciate you making it! Have a great weekend! 🍁🍂

    2. 5 stars
      This is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and spicy! We love to eat Dan Dan noodles and this recipe has a lot of different flavors that combine into an awesome bowl of noodles. We love this recipe!!

      1. Hey Cami,
        Happy Monday! 👻 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! Happy Halloween! 🎃

  5. 5 stars
    Another winner! My hubby doesnt usually go out of his way to compliment but these babies taste like the real deal! Amazing and I will be making alot!

    1. Hi Rosemarie,
      Fantastic!! So glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for trying it out! Have a great weekend! xx

    1. Hi Jenna,
      You will want to use something in place of the peanut butter, sunflower seed butter would be a great option. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  6. OMG
    It was amazing ! This is definitely going to be one of my fave. Thank you for sharing such inspiration with us xxx

    1. Hey Delphine,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe! I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Hope you’re having a great week! xT

    1. Hey Dana,
      Happy Wednesday!👻 I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try and sharing your feedback! xx

  7. 5 stars
    Made this recipe with 1 pound of ground turkey but followed remainder of recipe precisely. It took much longer to caramelize the meat/mushroom mixture probably because I used a non-stick pan but the wait was worth it to bring out the flavors. The recipe was delicious with the turkey substitution, but will try chicken or pork next time for a slight variation. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

    1. Hey Kim,
      Happy Wednesday!👻 I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try and sharing your feedback! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Loved the broth with these noodles, it had such great flavor. I can’t do traditional Dan Dan noodles b/c of the spice but this recipe was just right. Finally, forgot to get the mushrooms, so just threw in some carrots and that was fine. Definitely would make this again.

    1. Hey Bethany,
      Of course, zucchini would be delicious! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  9. 5 stars
    My husband loved this local place near us that had Dan Dan noodles. They unfortunately moved so we aren’t able to enjoy them often. We’ve tried sooo many Dan Dan recipes with no luck until this one! My husband was raving at how this was even better than our local restaurant. 10/10! Highly recommend!

    1. Hey Kayla,
      Happy Monday!! Thanks a lot for making this dish and sharing your review, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a great week! xx

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Happy Monday!! Thanks a lot for making this dish and sharing your review, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a great week! xx