Beef Dan Dan noodles
In the second part of our series with chef Ching He Huang, she shows us simple Beef Dan Dan noodles.
For the meat topping:
2 tbsp vegetable oil2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped250g/9oz minced beef1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry100g/3.5oz cornichons or cocktail gherkins in vinegar, drained and finely diced1 tbsp light soy sauce
For the noodle base and sauce:
500g/1lb 2 oz any wheat flour noodlesToasted sesame oil1 tsp sesame paste, or tahini blended with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil1 tsp chilli oil1 tbsp black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar750ml/1 ¼ pints chicken stock
For the garnish:
1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns1 large spring onion, finely chopped1 small handful of fresh coriander, leavesand stalks finely chopped1 tsp chilli oil1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions then drain and toss them through with some toasted sesame oil. Put to one side.
To make the meat topping, heat a wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the garlic, ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the minced beef. As the beef starts to turn brown, add the rice wine or dry sherry and cook for a few seconds. Stir in the cornichons or gherkins and cook until fragrant, then season with the soy sauce and keep on a very low heat.
Next make the noodle sauce. Put the sesame paste or blended tahini, the chilli oil and vinegar into a small wok or pan, add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low.
Put the Sichuan peppercorns for the garnish into a small pan and dry roast until fragrant, then remove from the heat and crush in a pestle and mortar, or place in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin
To serve, either divide the noodles between four bowls or leave in the wok, then ladle on the sauce and top with the stir-fry. Garnish with the Sichuan peppercorns, spring onion and coriander. Drizzle chilli oil over the dish, add a drizzle of sesame oil to taste around the edge of the sauce and serve immediately, with extra chilli oil if you like.