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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. Hi Chelsea,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for giving it a try!! Have the best day:) xx

  1. Instant family favourite, I’ve done tofu and veggie mince versions for myself, chicken for the others. Yum

    1. Hey Kathy,
      Happy Sunday!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t even put my bowl in the sink yet but I have to tell you how great this turned out. It wasn’t just delicious, it was gorgeous! Thank you for another family favorite.

    1. Hi Shelly,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Melanie,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xT

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never had Dan Dan noodles before, so I don’t know how this dish compares to an actual restaurant’s version, but this was delicious! Extremely flavorful! We made it with creamy peanut butter instead of tahini and I think that was the right choice!

    1. Hey Chuck,
      Fantastic!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend:) xT

  4. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING. I only had one issue…she says the recipe makes 6 servings so I thought me and my husband would have leftovers. This was not the case.

    It was so delicious we literally ate it ALL in one sitting 🤣

    1. Hey Heather,
      Fantastic!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend:) xT

  5. You admit this recipe is not authentic, but the name of this recipe and the content of this post is still incredibly offensive. You have “done research” on Dan Dan Noodles and chose to name your recipe “better than takeout.” Better than Chinese takeout. A place that is typically run by Chinese people and people of color. You could have named this “Dan Dan Inspired Noodles” or a million other names that doesn’t throw shade at actual POC and their culture and business. You, a HUGE blog and social media account, could have linked to some of the Chinese-run blogs, recipes, or resources that you looked at to provide actual context about this dish and help uplift other POC accounts. You didn’t do any of that. Your apology/disclaimer in the post does not make up for the fact that you’re benefitting off POC culture without giving a single bit of credit where credit is due.

    1. Anybody ever tell you that if you have nothing good to say, to say nothing at all?

      Or how about you relay your grievances to the owner of this blog in private?

    2. Stop the hate and get over yourself. Some times a recipe is just a recipe. YOU are singularly causing negativity on this blog. You are welcome to focus on the past all you’d like… just keep it to yourself. Thanks. Great recipe btw 👌

    3. Good for you for calling this out. I hadn’t even thought of this, and that’s the whole point. It’s not spewing hate to try and be better for each other. By dismissing this as overreacting you are part of the problem, not the solution. Hate on me all you want, but H has a point!

  6. 5 stars
    This is absolutely tasty! The flavor in this is just amazing. I used ground beef for the meat & bucatini noodles cuz it’s what I had on hand. So good!

    1. Hey Kiki,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

        1. Hi Jill,
          The spinach is added in step 3. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hi Laura,
      Awesome!! Love hearing that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for giving it a go! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    We followed the recipe to the T and we loved it! Great flavor, easy to follow instructions and not a long cook time. It came together quick, and it’s also great as leftovers. This will definitely be a regular in our rotation, thank you!

      1. Hey Will,
        Fantastic! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! The sauce really isn’t meant to be thick, it should be more of a broth. Have a great week:) xx

  8. 5 stars
    Another incredible recipe! It is so flavourful, it came together quickly, and I love that I can now say I can make a homemade version of my favourite take-out!
    I used udon noodles and they worked great!