I have never been to China. And I don’t know much about China and Chinese culture either. Therefore, there isn’t a great story about how I ate these noodles in some small hole in the wall in an old neighbourhood of some metropolis. There will be recipes in the future that will come with a great story like that. But not this one. No. I came across Dan Dan noodles for the first time when I was reading one of my cookbooks. The reason I gave it a try was because how easy it was to adjust it to my intolerances. And because it involved making chilli oil myself, something I wanted to give a try for a long time.

The first time I ate these noodles, I was pleasantly surprised. Chinese take-out is something I grew up with. Not that we ate it often, but it would appear on our dinner table every once in a while. Most noteworthy moments were moving days and birthdays. However, Dan Dan noodles are nothing like the Chinese take-out I knew. It is far less sweet and fatty. There are no flavour enhancers, onions and garlic powder. And another advantage: it takes less time to make than cycling to the Chinese restaurant to pick up an order. About fifteen minutes to be more precise.

There are as many varieties of Dan Dan noodles as their are cooks who make it. This is just one of them. So experiment a little with the measurements. Especially the amount of water you add to the sauce. Sometimes I like it to be a little soupy, other times I prefer it more dry. And feel free to adjust the quantity of chilli oil to the amount of heat you are able to handle. In this way, this dish will never be the same. Something I like in a recipe.

Ever since I made this bowl of warming spicy goodness, it has become a staple in our household. It appears on our menu about every other week. That’s how much I enjoy it. And therefore it seemed like a great option for the first dinner recipe I share on this new and improved version of my website. I hope you’ll give it a try and fall in love with it as much as I did.