Fiery Dan Dan noodles

On Sundays I don't like cooking. I prefer just spending time with my husband. So tonight's dinner was an easy choice though I'd been thinking about this dish for a while. Once again the idea for the recipe comes from Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie's America' and if you saw 'Jamie's American Roadtrip' NYC episode, so you must remember the dish that made him shout 'Uuuuuuhhhhuuuu! Where have you been all my life?!!!!' Even introducing the recipe in the book, Oliver writes that this dish is right on the edge of his chilli tolerance, but that's the beauty of it, and you've kinda just got to go for it. Personally, I love chillies but still I halved the amount of chilli oil. But my husband went for it and loved it! I loved it too for one more reason it took less then 20 minutes to make and fresh spring onions and lots of greens make it fresh while chilli pushes all the right buttons.

Some background from the book:

In the western Szechuan province of China they make this dish in massive buckets, which they carry on poles over their shoulders. In China, 'dan' means pole, so these are quite literally 'pole pole noodles'.

What we need:

Serves 2

200 gr of minced beef
1/5 tbsp of honey
200 gr wheat noodles
2 handfuls of green vegetables ( Chinese cabbage, bok choi, broccoli, spinach) - I didn't use bok choi
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
1 tbsp of black pepper
2 tbsp of chilli oil
1 spring onion
1 lime
some vegetable oil
some salt (optional, but I felt that meat needs some seasoning)

What we have to do:

1. Put beef into a dry pan and fry until it turns brown and crunchy. It takes about 10-15 minutes. Then add honey and a bit of salt, mix it and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
2. While beef is frying, put a pot of water on the heat and bring it to boil. Add some salt and put the noodles in. Cook for 6 minutes. Then into the same pot put chopped cabbage and broccoli. Cook for 2 minutes and drain.
3. Take a pan, add some oil, put the garlic and spinach. Then add cooked noodles and vegetables. Pour soy sauce and chilli oil. Give it a good mix with tongs and divide into two or even three bowls. Sprinkle over crunchy beef and finish with some spring onions. Serve it with a lime quarter to squeeze over.

P.S. You can make your own chilli oil by getting a handful of mixed dried chillies, toasting them in the oven to bring flavour, whacking them in a food processor with a bottle of groundnut oil and pouring it back into the bottle. This will keep well in your cupboard for a year.
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  1. What a terrific quick meal. Porters who transport goods from suspended poles are locally called stick-stick men.


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