Dan-Dan Noodles

by Tané Tachyon on September 25, 2013


a large glass bowl of dan-dan noodlesDan-dan noodles are a longtime favorite in my house: Very fast and easy, and I like to make a great big batch so there’s enough both for all-you-can-eat delicious hot dinner one day, and then delicious cold noodle salad leftovers the next day. It also makes a very nice dish to bring to those few events where there’s some reason that I shouldn’t bring cookies.

This is my version of the Americanized sesame-peanut-sauce noodle dish found in Chinese/noodle restaurants in the US, rather than traditional Chinese dandan noodles, which I have never actually run across, so bear that in mind.

Also, the recipe below is for the quantity shown in the large glass serving bowl above (which made for two helpings each for three adults). Usually I make double this amount (and sometimes even four times as much, if I want to be able to bring a big batch to an event and leave a big batch at home), but as it was I had an “oops, I only have one pound of dry pasta in the cupboard instead of two” moment, plus I assume that this would be a more reasonable batch size for most people’s purposes anyway.

Dan-Dan Noodles


  • 1 pound of your choice of dry pasta/noodles — long and thin, short and cleverly-shaped, whatever you like, each kind has its own charms
  • ¼ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or other vinegar of choice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 or so cloves of garlic
  • about a square inch of fresh ginger root
  • a couple tiny hot peppers
  • a handful of basil leaves if you have them
  • pretty peppers from the greenhouse, about to be chopped up for dan-dan noodles1 Anaheim pepper (or other good-sized pepper that is fairly mild in its spiciness)
  • ½ bunch of green onions
  • one 6 to 8-oz package (or amount you made yourself) of pressed/baked tofu (I use Wildwood brand “Royal Thai” flavor)


  1. Put on the stove, on high heat, enough water in a large enough pot to cook the pound of dry pasta. While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, you can get all your prep done.
  2. Combine in a small pot the peanut butter, soy sauce or tamari, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar.
  3. garlic and ginger and peppers and basil in the Cuisinart, about to be ground up for dan-dan noodlesChop up the garlic, ginger root, hot peppers, and basil very finely together (in a food processor or otherwise), and then add them to the pot.
  4. Coarsely chop the Anaheim pepper (or other large, mild pepper) and add it to the pot.
  5. Bring the mixture in the pot just to a boil, and then turn off the heat — you want the sauce to be hot and well blended together, but the spicy ingredients to still have a bit of a raw bite to them.
  6. And of course whenever the water starts boiling, use it to cook the pound of noodles. :-)
  7. Dice the green onions and the pressed/baked tofu.
  8. When the noodles are done cooking, drain them and mix everything together in a large bowl or pot.

Want to mix in even more stuff? Go for it, whatever you feel like! The above is my base recipe, but I often throw in additional ingredients — for example, in the batch I photographed above, I had added/cooked a half pound of sliced mushrooms in with the pot of sauce, and mixed in two cups of chopped cabbage with the green onions and tofu at the end. When my children were little and loved baby corn, I would put in a drained can of baby corn. Chopped peanuts sprinkled on top is classic. Chopped bok choy, little broccoli florets, or more basil leaves are also good — follow your tastes and instincts.


updated October 28, 2013


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Iris September 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Well, I’m pleased to let you know that this dish was a success tonight!! Doubled the sauce part, added red bell pepper and cabbage. Yummy! Always nice to find a peanut sauce that’s easy to make and the measurements are easy to remember. Thanks!


Tané Tachyon September 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Great, I’m glad you liked it!


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