Come On Up To The House

Dan Dan Noodles

1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp sichuan chili powder
2 tsp sichuan peppercorns, ground fine
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
2 tsp sweet wheat paste (or hoisin sauce)
1 1/2 tsp Chinese sesame paste (or tahini)

8 oz ground pork
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp soy sauce
6 oz cabbage, sliced
1 tbsp canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 lb fresh Chinese wheat noodles
1/3 cup ya cai
2 green onions, sliced thin on bias

Start with the sauce. Heat oil, chili powder, peppercorns and cinnamon in wok over low heat for 10 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the oil mixture to bowl. Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, wheat paste and sesame paste into the oil mixture. Divide evenly among 4 shallow bowls.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. While water comes to a boil, combine pork with the wine and soy sauce in a medium bowl and toss with your hands until well combined. Set aside. Cut up the cabbage.

Heat 2 tsp oil in used wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add pork mixture and smear into thin layers across the work surface of the wok with a rubber spatula. Break up the meat into small chunks (1/4 inch) and cook, stirring frequently until browned, about 5 minutes.

Push pork mixture to the side of the wok and add garlic, ginger, and remaining 1 tsp oil to cleared space. Cook, stirring constantly, until garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute. Stir into meat mixture. Add cabbage and let wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add noodles to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until almost tender. Drain noodles. Rinse under hot water, tossing with tongs for 1 minute. Drain well.

Create the bowls. Divide noodles evenly among the prepared bowls. Return meat mixture to the wok and warm. Add ya cai and cook, stirring frequently until warmed through – 2 minutes. Spoon equal amounts of meat mixture over the noodles. Top with green onions and serve. Leave each diner to stir their noodles and sauce together.

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