Dan Dan Noodle Soup with Lamb
A ‘dan dan’ is the pole that noodle sellers use to carry the baskets of fresh noodles and sauce, with one at either end. The star is Sichuan chilli bean paste, or toban djan, but you can use other chilli pastes if you can’t get your hands on it. Combined with the Sichuan peppercorns, you get a lip-tingling intensity. You can also try it as a stir-fry dish by omitting the stock water, and using fresh noodles.
|½ tbsp||vegetable oil|
|230g (8¼oz)||minced (ground) lamb (or frozen vegan mince and ¼ tsp yeast extract for a vegan alternative)|
|2 tsp||garlic paste, or 3–4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped|
|1 tbsp||ginger paste or 5cm (2in) piece of fresh root ginger, chopped|
|1||carrot, ﬁnely diced|
|1||large onion, ﬁnely diced|
|120g (4¼oz)||dried wheat noodles|
|1||spring onion (scallion), ﬁnely sliced, to garnish|
|For the soup:|
|600ml (20ﬂ oz)||boiling water, or ready-made fresh vegetable stock|
|1 tbsp||crushed yellow bean sauce, or brown or red miso paste|
|1 tbsp||chilli bean paste, or 1 tsp any hot chilli paste|
|2 tsp||crunchy peanut butter|
|½ tsp||ground Sichuan peppercorns|
|1 tbsp||toasted sesame oil|
Prepare the soup mixture by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl or jug, then set aside until needed.
Heat the oil in a large wok over a high heat. Throw in the minced lamb (or vegan mince) and brown for a few seconds. Then add the garlic, ginger, carrot and onion and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Your kitchen should smell amazing at this stage, so take a second, stop and breathe it in. But don’t take all day, we’re on a schedule!
Next pour the soup mixture into the pan and mix well, simmering for another 3 minutes.
Now it’s noodle time. Put the noodles in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes, then drain. Divide your hot noodles between 2 serving bowls and pour over the soupy mixture. Sprinkle over the chopped spring onion (scallion). Strap in your taste buds: you’ll never forget your ﬁrst Dan Dan Noodle Soup.