Weeknight Dan Dan Pork, a favorite Chinese take out dish, made simpler with easy to find ingredients and served over readily available spaghetti noodles. Almost guaranteed the whole family will ask for a repeat performance of this dish on the regular.
Weeknight Dan Dan Pork Recipe
If you are missing takeout from favorite local Chinese restaurant, and wondering what to make for dinner tonight, I’ve taken some liberties with this normally complicated Asian recipe. Dan Dan Pork, often referred to as easy dan dan noodles is typical Chinese Sichuan street food – dan dan referring to the long poles street vendors carry across their shoulders, a pot of noodles on one side and sauce on the other.
There is really no official-official “recipe” for dan dan noodles so it’s a dish that is easy to put your own spin on (and I’ve done just that). And to be clear, my recipe is in no way an authentic Chinese version, which would include hard to find ingredients and require making your own noodles. If you ever get the chance to taste a real version of dan dan, I highly recommend doing so. Until then, enjoy my delicious and very simple recipe, which focuses more on the pork than the noodles. In fact, serving this dish over easily accessible spaghetti noodles is kind of what makes it a hit for the kids in the family, the irresistible carb-laden pasta is a perfect match for this flavorful pork. Trust me on this one!
What Do I Serve With Dan Dan Pork?
- 5-Minute Spicy Lemon Broccoli
- Fruit Salad with Ginger-Mint Syrup
- Cucumbers with Mint Vinaigrette
- Cucumber Edamame Salad with Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette
Ingredients for Dan Dan Pork
- low-sodium chicken broth and low-sodium soy sauce – make sure both are low-sodium otherwise finished dish would be way too salty
- dry sherry – every day cheap dry sherry – found in the wine section of the grocery store
- creamy peanut butter – do not use natural peanut butter for the recipe
- chili garlic sauce -found in the Asian section of the grocery store
- cornstarch – this will thicken your sauce
- brown sugar -light or dark will work
- toasted sesame oil – has more flavor than just regular sesame oil
- spaghetti noodles- you can also use stir-fry noodles, rice noodles or whatever you have on hand
- peanut oil – or any other high temperature cooking oil, such as vegetable or canola oil
- peanuts – salted and dry-roasted
- ground pork
- garlic – freshly minced or use the already minced refrigerated minced garlic or paste
- ginger – freshly minced or ginger paste
- cilantro – if you are not a cilantro fan, substitute green onion
- zest and juice of a lime – this adds so much brightness to this recipe
A little side note on peanuts. If you are a Costco shopper, the Kirkland brand are the best peanuts around. Make sure to grab a can of the super, extra-large, roasted and salted peanuts. They will become your favorite new snack.
The Easy Way To Make Dan Dan Pork
Because we’re already starting with a simplified recipe, the rest is easy!
- whisk together chicken broth, sherry, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar and sesame oil
- add peanut oil to a large, nonstick skillet and cook pork over high heat until it is browned on the edges and all liquid is absorbed
- stir in garlic and ginger, cooking one minute more
- add broth mixture to the pork and simmer 1-2 minutes until thickened
- stir in cilantro and lime
- serve pork mixture over noodles
- garnish with more cilantro and chopped peanuts
Recipe Tips for Dan Dan Pork
- make sure your chicken broth and soy sauce are low-sodium
- make it easy on yourself, purchase the already minced garlic and ginger paste, both in the produce section of your supermarket. Having these on hand really cuts down your preparation time
- don’t leave out the fresh lime in this recipe, zest and juice, it’s a game-changer
- brown the pork well
- make sure chopped peanuts are roasted and salted
Can I Reheat Dan Dan Pork?
Absolutely yes! This dish is excellent served as leftovers the next day or two. Dan Dan Pork reheats perfectly in the microwave. After heating up, I suggest squeezing a little more lime over the top to refresh the flavors.
Even the kids are going to love this easy recipe. Please let me know if you enjoyed it!
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Weeknight Dan Dan Pork
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
- 2 tbsps chili garlic sauce
- 2 tbsps cornstarch
- 4 tsps brown sugar
- 4 tsps toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsps peanut or other vegetable oil
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 2 tbsps minced garlic
- 2 tbsps minced ginger (I use ginger paste)
- 1 cup minced fresh cilantro, more for garnish
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1 lb cooked spaghetti or stir fry noodles
- chopped dry-roasted peanuts
- In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, sherry, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground pork and cook until no longer pink and cooked through, crushing with a spatula to break into small chunks, just as you would with any other ground meat. Continue cooking until any liquid in the pan has been absorbed by the meal (fat/water). Stir in garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Stir in broth mixture, simmer until thickened, 1-2 minutes more. Stir in cilantro, zest and juice of one lime.
- Serve pork over prepared noodles and garnish with crushed peanuts.