When I lived in New York City, there was a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Division Street in Chinatown — the name of which I’ve long since forgotten — that served up the best sesame noodles I’ve ever tasted. These noodles — called dandan or dan dan in China — are a specialty of the Sichuan region, but are popular and sold by street vendors all over China. Over the years, I’ve experimented with many, many different recipes, still trying to replicate those Chinatown noodles I loved so much. This recipe comes pretty close. I hope you’ll try it. Kids love it when it’s called simply “peanut butter noodles.” Best of all, this is a really quick and simple dish to prepare.
- 8 oz. fresh Chinese egg noodles (preferred) or dried soba udon noodles
- 1/4 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter (I prefer crunchy for the added texture)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Hot Asian chili sauce, to taste (I like to use Sriracha for this dish)
- Minced green onions for garnish
- Chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili sauce until smoothly blended.
- Next, cook the noodles according to package directions in generously salted water. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water.
- Toss the noodles in the bowl with the peanut sauce and garnish with green onions and chopped peanuts
Serve the noodles chilled or at room temperature (I prefer room temperature) as a side dish.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.