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Let’s eat dan dan noodles!

Dan dan noodles or dan dan mian (simplified Chinese: 担担面) is a famous snack of Sichuan. It is a noodle dish originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine. The dish consists of a spicy sauce which usually contains preserved vegetables, minced pork, chili oil, Sichuan pepper, and scallions served over noodles. The preserved vegetables cooked in the dish often include  zha cai (榨菜), lower enlarged mustard stems, or ya cai (芽菜), upper mustard stems.

In addition, sesame paste and/or peanut butter is sometimes added. Occasionally the spicy sauce is replaced, especially in the Taiwanese and American Chinese style of dan dan noodles. In this case, dan dan noodles is considered as a variation of ma jiang mian (simplified Chinese: 麻酱面), which literally means sesame sauce noodles. In many American Chinese food restaurants, sesame paste is often used, though this is not authentic to China. In American Chinese cuisine, dan dan noodles is often less spicy, less soupy and sweeter than its Sichuan counterpart.

The name of dan dan noodles is derived from a type of carrying pole (dan dan). It was used by walking street vendors who sold the dish to passers-by. The pole was carried over the shoulder while two baskets containing noodles and sauce were attached at either end. Due to their low cost, the noodles were affordable to local people. Gradually, the dish was called dan dan noodles by the street vendors. Literally, the name translates as “noodles carried on a pole”. However, it may be better translated as “peddler’s noodles”.

Noodles are referred to as mian in simplified Chinese and mein in Cantonese pronunciation. Moreover, a variety of English spellings are used to refer to dan dan. The first word may be either dun dun or tan tan.

Now let’s see the brief instructions of cooking dan dan noodles. Before cooking, you need to prepare the ingredients and seasonings. The main ingredients include noodles and pea seedings. The seasonings include sesame soy, soy sauce, aromatic vinegar, marshed garlic, crushed pepper, scallions, chili seed, red chili oil and chicken soup. The first step to cook dan dan noodles is to put all seasonings into a bowl and put noodles into boiled water till it is cooked. It does not need too much time to cook. When the noodles is near to cooked, put pea seedings in. Then, take noodles and pea seedings out  and put them into the bowl with combination of all seasonings. Here are some tips for you. If you like celery, you can add some. Don’t put too much sesame in. And it’s better to put minced peanut.

If you are interested in having a taste of Sichuan food and love the flavor of spiciness, let’s visit the best Chinese restaurants in Twin Cities and order Dan dan noodles. Grand Szechuan Restaurant is highly recommended to you. It is a Sichuan food dining restaurant in Bloomington, Minnesota. Grand Szechuan Restaurant boasts seasoned Szechuan food chefs and serves authentic Sichuan food. You will miss Dan dan noodles if you don’t enjoy this snack for long time!