|Fresh, fast and extremely tasty. You’ll make this dish again and again.|
This is one of those dishes that you prepare for dinner and pack for lunch but then wind up eating before noon. It happens to me every time because it’s so good I can’t wait for the proper lunch hour. Traditional Dan Dan Mian is from the Sichuan province of China: numbingly spicy chili noodles topped with ground pork, peanuts and scallions. I fell in love with dan dan mian while studying abroad in Beijing and I make it at home adding raw julienned carrots to give the dish more vibrant color. Recently, I have been making it healthier by shifting pork to ground turkey and adding kale for a balanced one-bowl meal.
This recipe is adapted from Appetite for China, an awesome resource for authentic and accessible Chinese food. One of the most recognizable characteristics of Chinese cuisine is the size of the morsels. Those cuts not only make for a more civilized, knife-less table experience, they also help the dish to cook faster. As Bee Wilson examines in her book, Consider the Fork, Chinese cooks adapted their quick stir-fry method of cooking as a way of conserving limited fuel. While micro-managing gas and electric might feel a little too Settlers of Catan in 2014 America, take advantage to pre-chop vegetables, simmer aromatics, and cook on high heat to bring this easy weeknight or #mealprep dish together in under 30 minutes.
You can adapt this recipe just as I have to bring in your favorite seasonal vegetables and proteins. I like to add julienned cucumbers in the summer and I think sauteed mushrooms would taste great with the spicy chili sauce. Peanuts are protein, but you can also make a vegetarian or vegan version of this dish with tofu. The possibilities are endless!
|Get excited for a healthy meal by brightening everything with colorful veggies, nice dishware and proper linens. Never let eating be dull.|
Spicy Sichuan Noodles with Ground Turkey, Kale and Peanuts
8 ounces ground turkey
1/2 bunch kale (or spinach), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3 scallions, thinly sliced
8 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
2 carrots, julienned or grated
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 handful dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
4 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoon Chinese black rice vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chili oil (adjust according to your tolerance of spiciness)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn*
Prepare the sauce by whisking together everything in a large bowl. Set aside.
Boil water in a large pot and cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain the noodles into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss with prepared sauce and transfer to a serving dish(es).
Heat peanut oil in a large work or skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat. Add garlic, ginger, and white part of scallions and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add turkey and cook, stirring and breaking until brown and a little crisp. Add kale and toss until just wilted. Season with salt to taste.
Spoon cooked turkey and kale over noodles. Top with chopped scallion greens, carrots, red pepper, and chopped peanuts and serve.
*You can find Sichuan peppercorn (ma jiao) at Asian markets. It adds a unique numbing sensation to the spiciness of the dish. If you cannot find it, the dish will survive without.
|Give it a try and let me know how it turned out below!|