Fast Food

Dan Dan Mian

Spicy, from Sichuan

Dan Dan Mian

What is it?

The classic noodle dish is a Sichuan favourite. Sichuan food, one of the four great traditions of Chinese cuisine, is famous for its tongue-numbing dishes. Dan Dan Mian is a classic example; a spicy sauce served over plain white noodles.

The recipe for the spicy sauce can vary but traditionally contains pickled vegetables, chilli oil (lots of it), Sichuan peppercorns, minced pork and scallions.

The resulting dish balances the five flavours essential to Sichuan cooking – salty, sour, sweet, spicy, and numbing.

The name?

Dan Dan Mian used to be a street food but is now ubiquitous to Sichuan restaurants across the country.

The name refers to a type of carrying pole (a dan dan) that vendors used to carry their stove, noodles and pots from place to place. Translated literally, the name means ‘Peddler’s Noodles’.

Where to eat it?

Sichuan cuisine is very popular in Beijing.

Sichuan Office Restaurant is a good place to start at No. 5 Gong Yuan Tong Tiao, Jian Guo Men Nei Street No. 5, Beijing (Tel: 8610 65122277).

If you don’t mind an earthier ambiance, you will find locals slurping away at Chuan Zai Dan Dan Mien, Chongwen district, No. 3 Chong Wen Men Wai Road, Beijing (Tel: 8610 67131191).

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