Dan Dan Mian (Dan Dan Noodles)
To showcase the versatility of Mizkan condiments and sauces, I am sharing with you a very popular Chinese noodle recipe called Dan Dan Mian. As I mentioned in my previous post about building an all-purpose Asian pantry, you can use Mizkan sauces and condiments for a variety of Asian cooking, for example: Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, and other Asian cooking without losing the authentic taste and flavor of the dish. I will show you how exactly with this Dan Dan Mian recipe.
Dan Dan Mian (担担面) originated from Sichuan, China, and it has since become popular all over the world. Sichuan, also spelled as Szechuan, is the birthplace of many dishes you already love: kung pao chicken, mapo tofu, hot and sour soup and so much more. Sichuan cooking is prized for its intense flavors of combining numbing (“ma”) and spicy (“la”) flavors into scrumptious, addictive, and absolutely incendiary great dishes that you just can’t stop eating. Dan Dan Mian is one of it.
I have tried many versions of Dan Dan Mian, but the ones I had tried in Sichuan a few years ago left lasting impressions. Unlike the usual watered down versions served outside of Sichuan, Dan Dan Mian in Sichuan is an epitome of Sichuan cooking—fiery with the tingly nuance as you chow down the dry noodle dish in an extremely flavorful, nutty, aromatic, and slightly sharp tasting sauce. It was absolutely delicious and I was instantly hooked.
Traditionally, the sauce of Dan Dan Mian is made of Chinese black vinegar, Chinese sesame sauce, soy sauce, MSG plus red chili oil and Sichuan peppercorn. Many people shun away from buying new bottles and sauces just to make a dish, and this is particularly true when it comes to Asian cooking. You don’t have to do that anymore with Mizkan condiments and sauces. Asian cooking uses very similar basic sauces and Mizkan is your all-purpose sauces to stock up. I used Mizkan Ponzu in lieu of Chinese black vinegar. Mizkan Goma Shabu Sauce to replace sesame sauce. In addition of soy sauce, I use Mizkan Oigatsuo Tsuyu Soup Base (Green Label with No MSG) to bring out the umami flavor in the dish as the Tsuyu sauce is made with real Bonito (fish) flavoring. And the end result was absolutely pleasing and delightful, and the taste was close to the Dian Dian Mian I had in Sichuan years ago. And the best thing about this Dan Dan Mian recipe is that you don’t even have to cook, other than the ground meat. It’s so easy and hassle free!
So there you have it, now you can use Mizkan Japanese condiments to make Chinese dishes without extra money spent on new sauces, while getting amazing results in terms of flavor and authenticity. Of course, you can still use Mizkan for your Japanese cooking. For recipe ideas, please check out all my Japanese recipes made with Mizkan. Stay tuned as I will teach you how to use these sauces again next month. Happy cooking!
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