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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 | halfbakedharvest.com #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: 504 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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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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! 

Notes

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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We thought this was delicious! I made it according to the recipe except for using commercial chile oil I had on hand, which worked out well, although yours probably would have been better.

    I’ve made countless recipes from your site and loved them, but haven’t tried any new ones recently because (no offense intended!) but the newest ones just haven’t appealed. Maybe I just don’t like summer cooking ;-). Anyway, it’s nice to be back, and I’ll be making this one again.

    1. Hi Helen,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback:) I am so glad you have been enjoying so many recipes! xTieghan

  2. Would you happen to have a good alternative to the peanut butter in the hoisin sauce? My daughter has a nut allergy. I really want to make this! I looked up some nut free hoisin sauces but didn’t find anything I was crazy about and I’d love to make my own. Thanks!

    1. Hey Melody,
      Sunflower butter would be great to use in place of the peanut butter. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe!! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    This meal was fantastic! I had a hard time getting the ground pork to crisp (was it moisture from the mushrooms?) and I used my cast iron lodge, but, to no avail. It was looking so delicious and smelled amazing, I just couldn’t wait any longer (cooked for 10-12 minutes). You’re right, T, the mushrooms added the most amazing flavor to the meat and I absolutely love spinach, so, there’s that perfect combination. So happy we have leftovers for tomorrow!

    1. Hey Lisa,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for your comment and making this recipe. So glad it hear it was enjoyed! I would say to just cook longer to get the crispiness:) xTieghan

  4. I’m looking to double the recipe. Do I double everything, including the sesame oil & soy sauce? I’m just worried about it being too salty

    1. Hey Emily,
      If you are doubling the whole recipe, then yes double everything:) if you are worried about saltiness you could use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! The only thing I wonder is whether it would be possible to sub some of the soy sauce for chicken stock? The only reason I ask is that I don’t like hoisin sauce and so I subbed soy sauce, which of course made it way too salty. Also, it used up a huge amount of soy sauce, so I just wondered if it would affect the flavour too much if I just subbed chicken stock instead? Otherwise this recipe was amazing. I didn’t really need the extra chilli oil to serve it with though, so next time I think I’ll probably just skip that or buy some instead.

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your feedback! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit and thanks for making it! What if you tried using coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce? I think that would work best for you! xTieghan

  6. Neither my husband or I are fans of mushrooms. How vital are they for the taste and texture? Or does everything else mask them sufficiently? Otherwise this looks like a recipe our family would devour!

    1. Hey Becky,
      Totally fine to skip the mushrooms, zucchini or broccoli would also work well for you! I hope this recipe turns out amazing, let me know if you give it a try! xx

  7. 5 stars
    I used store bought hoisin and chili oil here to cut time, and I added the spinach to the ground pork and mushroom mixture as opposed to the broth, so the moisture would have an easier time evaporating from the topping part, I used my Instant Pot clone’s sauté option to pull it off as well. But the end result of this was just incredible, even if not fully authentic, it is tasty and hits every one of the right notes. Plus it is surprisingly simple to make. Definitely recommend this.

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xx

  8. 5 stars
    I have been a follower since 2017-2018. Made probably a hundred HBH recipes from the blog and both cookbooks. This recipe we keep coming back to and I rarely make anything twice. Our favorite meal to make hands down-especially for a group-tastes so good-show stopper for a get together and so easy!

    1. Hi Emily,
      I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for trying it out! Have the best day:) xT