What are dan dan noodles? First, you need to know that you will LOVE our recipe for gluten-free vegan dan dan noodles (a/k/a dan dan mein or dan dan mian), whether you know what dan dan noodles are or not, whether you’ve ever had them before or not. Here’s something crazy: the top dan dan noodles search is for ‘dan dan noodles near me’ (or ‘dan dan mian near me’ if they speak Sichuanese), because people don’t realize how easy it is to make dan dan noodles at home! With our recipe ‘dan dan noodles near me’ means in your kitchen! It doesn’t get much closer than that!
(Before we made them ourselves our all time favourite dan dan noodles were the Szechwan Dan Dan Mein from Jing Jing’s restaurant in Palo Alto, California.)
Dan Dan noodles are noodles tossed and coated with a savory peanut sauce (are you salivating yet?), a dish which originated in the Sichuan province of China. According to Wikipedia, the original name, dandanmian, literally meant “carrying pole noodles” as the street vendors would put a pole across their shoulders, like a yoke, with a basket on either end, and sell the noodles on the street. Says Wikipedia, “The name refers to a type of carrying pole (dan dan) that was used by walking street vendors who sold the dish to passers-by. The pole was carried over the shoulder, with two baskets containing noodles and sauce attached at either end. As the noodles were affordable due to their low cost, the local people gradually came to call them dandan noodles, referencing the street vendors. The name translates directly as “noodles carried on a pole”, but may be better translated as “peddler’s noodles”.”
Our recipe is super-easy, and super yummy. You can include garlic, but if you are on a low FODMAP diet it is equally delicious without! We use the natural peanut butter from Costco, and also the gluten-free, vegan ramen noodles from Costco, but of course you can use whatever unsweetened peanut butter and ramen noodles you like. (For an easy way to cook these noodles in the Instant Pot see here.)
Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Dan Dan Noodles Recipe
3 Tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter (the fewer ingredients the better, we use the Costco organic which has just two ingredient: peanuts and salt)
3 Tablespoons Sambal Oelek chili paste (available on Amazon if you can’t find it locally)
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar (or other very light vinegar)
2 Tablespoons liquid aminos
2 teaspoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon crushed garlic (optional)
2 bricks ramen (we use the Lotus Foods brand organic millet and brown rice ramen, available at most health food stores or from Costco)
A few leafs of leafy green vegetables such as spinach, bok choy, or swiss chard for garnish (optional)
Prepare the ramen according to directions on the package or in your Instant Pot using our directions here. If the ramen comes with a flavouring packet do NOT use it. If you are going to garnish with leafy green vegetables, float them on top of the ramen bricks, or quickly steam them separately.
While the ramen is cooking blend all of the other ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
Remove the ramen from the water as soon as it is done cooking. Quickly put it in a bowl, pour the sauce over it, and gently toss. Put the leafy green garnish on top and give it a very quick gentle toss. That’s it, you’re done! (Told you it was easy!)
This is one of those dishes that is even better the next day!
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