These spicy noodles are named for the pole—or dan dan—street vendors used to carry the ingredients for the dish. It’s usually spicy, and often made with peanut butter or sesame paste.

dasfadfasPhoto by Tracey Kusiewicz

Spicy Peanut Dan Dan Noodles

Serves 4

  • ¾ lb ground pork
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 to 4 green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter or tahini
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or lime juice
  • Pinch red chili flakes or a squirt of Sriracha
  • ¾ lb fresh Asian noodles
  • Chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)

In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, cook pork in a drizzle of oil, breaking it up with a spoon until no longer pink. Add garlic, ginger and half the onions and cook until pork is deep golden, with crispy edges.

Add peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, chili flakes and ½ cup water and cook, stirring, until peanut butter melts and sauce is smooth. Taste and add more soy sauce if it needs salt, or vinegar (or a squeeze of lime) if it needs more acid. Add a splash of water if it seems too thick.

Meanwhile, cook or soak noodles according to package directions. Drain well and toss with pork mixture, and serve topped with remaining green onions and a sprinkle of peanuts.