Szechuan Noodles with Chili Oil

Szechuan Noodles with Chili Oil are the best, and Szechuan (or Sichuan) cuisine is some of the most famous in the world, especially for those who love spicy food.

Szechuan Noodles

In Szechuan province, a bowl of noodles swimming in deep red chili oil sauce is the most common – and most sought-after – form of street food you can find. When we visited China a few years ago and found ourselves wandering through the streets of Chongqing on a cold, rainy afternoon, these Szechuan Noodles were such a welcome discovery!

Szechuan flavours are a wonderful balance of light, spicy, aromatic, and savoury, often featuring region-specific preserved vegetables like ya cai and the world famous “Sichuan Peppercorn”, or huā jiāo, also known as Flower Pepper or Chinese Prickly Ash. The Sichuan Peppercorn is the key ingredient to a spicy dish from Szechuan province, because while it has it’s own fragrant and slightly spicy flavour, it also provides a very slight numbing effect to the mouth, which helps us enjoy the unique flavours of the various chilies and spices used in the various dishes you will be tempted to try in this spice-laden heaven. In this dish, we get the flavour of Sichuan peppercorns and spices from the Szechuan Chili Oil – you can buy it at any Chinese grocery store, or in the Chinese section of most Safeway stores, etc.

The recipe below is sometimes referred to as Dan Dan Noodles – the “Dan Dan” being the bamboo pole that many street vendors used to carry their noodles and sauce on when selling this popular street dish. We have created a simple version of chili noodles here for you to make at home, and it does not include some of the ingredients that some might say are essential to their familiar version of Dan Dan, such as the ya cai preserved vegetable. We wanted the recipe to be easy to make for anyone, and not just those with access to specialty ingredients – although living here in Vancouver, we are very lucky to be able to buy many specialized ingredients that can’t be found elsewhere.

Please enjoy our simple Szechuan Chili Noodle recipe any time, but especially on a cold day when you need some internal heat!

Szechuan Noodles

Szechuan Noodles
Szechuan Noodles with Chili Oil (Dan Dan Noodles)
Print Recipe
Spicy, fragrant, deliciously addictive sauce with perfectly cooked dan dan noodles and a sprinkling of fresh green onion. There's no other flavour like it! This is a very quick recipe - get a frying pan and a pot of boiling water ready before you start.
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls 5 min
Cook Time
5-6 min
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls 5 min
Cook Time
5-6 min
Szechuan Noodles
Szechuan Noodles with Chili Oil (Dan Dan Noodles)
Print Recipe
Spicy, fragrant, deliciously addictive sauce with perfectly cooked dan dan noodles and a sprinkling of fresh green onion. There's no other flavour like it! This is a very quick recipe - get a frying pan and a pot of boiling water ready before you start.
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls 5 min
Cook Time
5-6 min
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls 5 min
Cook Time
5-6 min
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a hot pan, begin to fry your minced pork. As it begins to fry and bubble, add your soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic chili sauce. Let this cook together until all the pork is fully cooked and beginning to brown slightly.
    Szechuan Noodles
  2. When the pork looks cooked, add your Szechuan Chili Oil. The chili oil will have a very dark, almost black substance under the layer of bright red oil on the top. make sure that you get some of that dark chili and spice paste in your spoonfuls of this delicious condiment. You may add more or less if you wish - spice is a very personal thing! As you can see from the picture, we like it spicy... Reduce the heat and mix your Chili oil in with your pork. Let it simmer on low while you cook your noodles.
  3. To a pot of boiling water, add your 2 rolls of fresh egg noodles. If you can find fresh Dan Dan noodles at the store, that is ideal. You can also use ramen in a pinch. The noodles will cook very quickly, so keep an eye on them. Give it about 2 minutes, and your noodles will be cooked and floating to the top of your boiling water.
    Szechuan Noodles
  4. Drain and quickly rinse your noodles with hot water. Set them aside while you portion out some of your sizzling chili pork at the bottom of a big bowl. Add some of your fresh green onion on top of the pork.
    Szechuan Noodles
  5. Put your cooked, lightly rinsed noodles on top of the steaming pork and green onion. Top with the rest of your green onion.
  6. Some folks will top off their bowl with a ladle full of chicken or pork stock at this point, for a "soup" version of this dish. That's a delicious option, especially if you are having this on a cold day!
    Szechuan Noodles
Recipe Notes

Again, we know that this dish isn't the traditional Dan Dan recipe, due to it's lack of preserved vegetable. Some folks also add sesame paste or tahini, while others would never do that. What we discovered during our extensive travels through Szechuan province and through China itself, is that there are many variations to the most common dishes, and that is to be expected when so many people have enjoyed these dishes for so long. The absolute key ingredient here is that Szechuan Chili oil - without that lovely blend of spices and the famous flower pepper, the flavour is just not the same! Look for Chinese grocery stores in your city to get the best ingredients for this recipe.

We hope that you enjoy making this very simplified version of Szechuan Noodles with Chili Oil!

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