Episode 01

This is to go with the first episode of Wok with Nana - the recipe for dan dan noodles, just like the way my aunt makes them in Chengdu.

Auntie Lu’s Dan Dan Noodles

Feeds 4 as a street snack

7oz (200g) dried Shanghai noodles

For the meat topping

3 Sichuanese dried chilies, snipped in half, seeds discarded

½ tsp whole Sichuanese pepper

0.9oz (25g) Tianjin preserved vegetables

3.5oz (100g) minced beef 2 tsp light soy sauce

For the sauce

½ tsp ground roasted Sichuan pepper (I simply roasted the peppercorns in a pan and grinded them with a mortar and pestle)

2 tbsp sesame paste

3 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp dark soy sauce

4 tbsp chili oil with chili sediment

1. Heat oil in a wok over moderate flame. When the oil is hot but not yet smoking, add the chilies and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry briefly until the oil is spicy and fragrant. Take care not to burn the spices. Add the preserved vegetable and continue until hot and fragrant. Add the meat, splash in the soy sauce and stir-fry unit the meat is brown and a little crisp, but not too dry. Season with salt if need be. Set aside.

2. Divide the sauce ingredients among the serving bowls and mix together.

3. Cook noodles for about 10 minutes. Drain and add to serving bowls. Sprinkle each with the meat mixture and serve immediately.