These Spicy Peanut Dan Dan Noodles are about to be your new weeknight go-to dinner
Your motivation to cook dinner on a weeknight probably isn’t always… there. Even for someone who loves to cook (me!), by the end of the day, my brain is usually SPENT, and all I feel like doing is slinging myself onto the couch. But for those nights when my desire to eat tasty food outweighs my desire to do nothing, I turn to these Dan Dan Noodles. This is one of the simplest, tastiest meals you could make on a weeknight — using basically anything you have in your fridge or pantry — and you can find endless ways to riff on it. I promise, this will become part of your weeknight dinner arsenal.
Add sauce to anything and it will make it better.
I learned this “sauce-on-anything” concept over a decade ago from GSM’s Silent Partner and it’s never let me down. Want to make baked salmon taste less like… baked salmon? Add yogurt sauce. Want to make a rotisserie chicken more exciting? Dip it in literally any sauce. Want eat your veggies without feeling like you’re being forced to? Pour Rooted Fare’s Spicy Peanut Dan Dan Sauce all over them. Even if you don’t make these noodles, you’ll want to dip everything in that spicy peanut-y sauce. But also, make these noodles.
Rooted Fare is the very definition of what “good food” is all about.
They’re actually the very first brand GSM started working with, and they’re the brand I talk about when I explain how sustainability is so much more than being “eco-friendly.” For every jar sold, Rooted Fare shares their profits with the immigrant chef who created the recipe, so they can use the extra income for whatever most empowers them today. Chef Wenling Peng created the recipe for their vegan Dan Dan Sauce, along with this recipe for Dan Dan Noodles. It originates from Sichuan, China and literally translates to "noodles carried on a pole." While traditionally made with meat, their sauce is vegan and contains roasted peanuts, garlic, ginger, dried chili, soy sauce, vegetable oil, and brown sugar, and nothing more. All you’ll need to do is add water.
You can make these noodles in the time it takes to boil water.
Could you make Dan Dan sauce from scratch? Sure. But you probably don’t want to on a weeknight — especially since you can make this entire dish in the time it takes to boil water. And while we’re sharing chef Wenling’s exact recipe here, you can add any topping you’d like. I’ve made this dish with radishes & broccoli, with chicken or shrimp, and without anything but the noodles and sauce (though my favorite variations do have mushrooms. I looove mushrooms). And if you want to kick up the spice level, do what I do and top off the dish with some of Rooted Fare’s Dried Chili Sichuan Dressing.
Well look at that! I just gave you 4 different ways to make this super easy, super delicious meal. You could have it once a week for an entire month without even getting bored. Did I say this would be your new go-to weeknight dinner, or did I say this would be your new go-to weeknight dinner?! And while you’re eating it, don’t just savor the flavor. Make sure you also savor the wonderful feeling of supporting small businesses who support people.
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Wenleng's 20-minute Vegan Dan Dan Noodles
This recipe is by our partner, Rooted Fare.
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 15 min
Serves: 1 (if serving more than one person, multiply measurements)
1 small cucumber
2-3 fresh shiitake, or soak dried shiitake for 1 hr or until soft
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tbsp of Rooted Fare's Roasted Peanut Dan Dan Sauce
2 tbsp of water
100g dried ramen noodles
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Salt or soy sauce, optional
- Slice cucumber in half and slice into thin sticks.
- Chop the green onion and cilantro and set aside.
- Add water to the Roasted Peanut Dan Dan Sauce. Add soy sauce or salt to taste.
- Slice mushrooms. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and cook mushrooms until golden brown.
- Boil the noodles for time listed in its instructions.
- Mix in sauce mixture with noodles into a bowl.
- Top with sautéed mushrooms and garnish with chopped cilantro and scallion.