Confession: I absolutely love Chinese and Thai food. That being said, I find most Chinese/Thai dishes in restaurants and recipes in cookbooks to be disappointing. Not the case with this wonderful dish. This is my second time preparing this recipe for the masses and prefer the changes I made this time around, which is often the case when I try new recipes. If you can't find tahini (sesame paste) you can use natural unsweetened peanut butter but if I can find it in Marshall, Minnesota, you should be able to find it by you too! There wasn't a bean sprout to be found in town this week, but they are a nice addition on top. I'm going to try this next with more veggies like pea pods, matchstick carrots, and bok choy. Below is the recipe with the changes I made tonight. Don't be intimidated by the size of the ingredient list. It is a very easy recipe and if you don't have these Asian condiments in your pantry, get 'em!! You won't be sorry!
Dan Dan Mian Noodles
8 ounces ground pork
3 Tb soy sauce, divided
1 Tb sherry vinegar
1 Tb water
2 Tb oyster sauce
4 Tb tahini
1 Tb rice vinegar
1 1/4 C chicken stock
1 Tb peanut oil
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tb toasted sesame oil
12 ounces dried Asian wide rice noodles
1/2 head of Napa cabbage, chopped into wide strips
2 C bean sprouts
1. Combine pork, 1 Tb soy sauce, sherry vinegar, water and pepper in small bowl and set aside. Whisk together oyster sauce, remaining soy sauce, tahini paste, rice vinegar and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk in chicken stock and set aside.
2. Cook wide rice noodles according to package directions.
3. Heat large skillet over high heat until hot and add peanut oil. Add pork mixture and cook until well browned, breaking up pork into small bits with spatula while cooking. Stir in ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Add tahini mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, add napa cabbage, sesame oil and cooked noodles. Use tongs to combine all together until cabbage wilts, sauce thickens and coats the noodles.
4. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with bean sprouts and scallions.