Fresh Wheat Noodles with Sesame Sauce

Christopher Hirsheimer

In China's Sichuan province, noodles are sold not only at shops and stands, but literally on the streets, by vendors who balance their wares, in pails, on bamboo panniers. The name of this fast-food dish comes from the ''dan-dan'' noise the pails make banging together as the vendors hustle on their way.

Fresh Wheat Noodles with Sesame Sauce
In China's Sichuan province, noodles are sold not only at shops and stands, but literally on the streets.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 oz. lean ground pork
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame paste
  • 1 tbsp. chile oil
  • 2 tsp. white rice vinegar
  • 1 lb. sun mian (fresh wheat noodles)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 8-10 leaves napa cabbage, finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, white parts only, julienned

Instructions

  1. For the marinade, combine dark soy sauce, shaoxing, and 1 tbsp. sesame oil in a small bowl. Add pork and set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. For the sauce, combine stock, sugar, light soy sauce, sesame paste, chile oil, vinegar, and remaining 2 tbsp. sesame oil in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add noodles to boiling water, using a wooden spoon to gently untangle them as necessary. After water has returned to a boil, cook noodles until tender but firm, about 7 minutes. Drain noodles and divide between 4 large individual bowls.
  4. Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Add garlic, cabbage, and half the scallions, then stir in pork. Cook until all water from cabbage has evaporated, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, add sauce, mix thoroughly, then pour over noodles. Garnish with remaining scallions.