Dan Dan Noodles
Note: Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds; find it in a jar in the Asian section of the supermarket. Omit or decrease the amount of chile oil if you are making this recipe for young children. From “Family Cookbook,” by Caroline Bretherton.
• 10 oz. dried Chinese egg noodles
• About 1/2 lb. small broccoli florets
• 1/4 c. soy sauce
• 1 tbsp. tahini paste (see Note)
• 1 tbsp. cornstarch
• 2 tsp. sesame oil
• 2 tsp. chile oil (see Note)
• 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 2/3 c. chicken stock
• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1-in. piece of fresh ginger root, finely chopped
• 12 oz. ground pork
• 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped, to serve
• 1 3/4 oz. salted peanuts, roughly chopped, to serve, optional
Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain well. Keep them in a bowl of cold water until needed (to keep them from sticking together).
Meanwhile, cook broccoli for 2 minutes in pan of boiling salted water, then drain and refresh under cold water.
To make sauce, whisk soy sauce, tahini and cornstarch to a thick paste, then whisk in sesame oil, chile oil, vinegar, sugar and stock.
Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet and stir-fry garlic and ginger for 1 minute, until it starts to color. Add pork and stir-fry over high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it browns. Add sauce and allow to boil until it thickens, about 2 minutes.
Add drained noodles and broccoli, stirring them in well to make sure they are well coated with the sauce and heated through. Serve scattered with the green onions and peanuts.