Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles


Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles are a delicious and satisfying dish that brings the bold and spicy flavors of Sichuan cuisine to your kitchen. This recipe features tender noodles coated in a rich, savory sauce, topped with crispy ground meat and fresh vegetables. The combination of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and chili oil creates a complex and irresistible flavor profile. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, this dish is both easy to prepare and sure to impress. In this article, we will explore the ingredients, detailed preparation steps, cooking notes, serving suggestions, tips, nutritional information, and frequently asked questions for this delightful Dan Dan Noodles recipe.


  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or smashed
  • 1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (make sure to use GF, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter or tahini
  • 8 ounces Chinese style egg noodles, or rice noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken or pork
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped


Step 1: Make the Chili Oil
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 1/3 cup sesame oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully transfer the oil to a heat-proof bowl or glass jar.

Step 2: Prepare the Sauce
In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, rice vinegar, peanut butter/tahini, and 1/3 cup water. Stir until well mixed.

Step 3: Cook the Noodles
Cook the egg or rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In the same pot used to cook the noodles, add the chicken broth and half of the soy sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then stir in the chopped spinach. Keep warm.

Step 4: Cook the Meat and Vegetables
Place the skillet used to make the chili oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and the ground chicken or pork. Season with black pepper and cook, breaking it up as it browns, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and shallot, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Slowly pour in half of the soy sauce mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the meat and the meat begins to caramelize and get crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2-4 tablespoons of the prepared chili oil. Remove from heat.

Step 5: Assemble the Dish
Ladle the broth into bowls. Add the cooked noodles and toss to combine. Spoon the meat mixture over the noodles. Top with chopped green onions and additional chili oil as desired.

Cooking Note

For an extra layer of flavor, you can add a splash of Chinese black vinegar or additional soy sauce to the finished dish. Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less chili oil according to your taste preference.

Serving Suggestions

Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles pair wonderfully with:

  • Steamed or stir-fried vegetables such as bok choy or broccoli.
  • A side of dumplings or spring rolls for a complete meal.
  • A refreshing cucumber salad dressed with sesame oil and rice vinegar.
  • A cold beer or iced tea to balance the heat from the chili oil.


  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Fresh garlic, ginger, and herbs will significantly enhance the dish.
  • Adjust the amount of chili oil to suit your spice tolerance. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of crushed red pepper flakes and chili oil.
  • For a gluten-free option, ensure all your sauces are gluten-free and use rice noodles instead of egg noodles.
  • To make a vegetarian version, substitute the ground meat with crumbled tofu or tempeh and use vegetable broth.

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cooking Time:

15 minutes

Total Time:

30 minutes

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 450 per serving
  • Protein: 25g per serving
  • Sodium: 900mg per serving


Q1: Can I use a different type of noodle?
Yes, you can use any type of noodle you prefer, such as soba, udon, or even spaghetti. Adjust the cooking time according to the package directions.

Q2: How can I make the dish less spicy?
To make the dish less spicy, reduce the amount of crushed red pepper flakes and chili oil. You can also omit the chili oil if desired.

Q3: Can I prepare this dish in advance?
While it is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the meat mixture and sauce in advance and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Cook the noodles just before serving to ensure they do not become too soft.

Q4: What can I use instead of hoisin sauce?
If you don’t have hoisin sauce, you can make a homemade version. Combine 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, and a pinch of black pepper.

Q5: Is there a substitute for peanut butter?
Yes, you can use tahini or almond butter as a substitute for peanut butter. This will slightly change the flavor but still provide a creamy texture.

Q6: Can I add other vegetables to the dish?
Absolutely! Vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, and snap peas can be added for extra flavor and nutrition. Sauté them with the mushrooms and shallot.


Better Than Takeout Dan Dan Noodles is a flavorful and satisfying dish that is easy to prepare and perfect for a quick meal. With its spicy chili oil, savory meat, and tender noodles, this recipe brings the authentic taste of Sichuan cuisine to your home. Enjoy the bold flavors and vibrant colors of this delightful dish, and feel free to experiment with additional ingredients to make it your own.

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