Monday, February 15, 2010

Chinese New Year-Dan Dan Noodle Soup & Gift

Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is commonly called "Lunar New Year", because it is based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.

This year is specially important in our house because is the year of the TIGER. My husband was born the year of the Tiger. Tiger year is traditionally associated with massive changes and social upheaval. Therefore, 2010 is very likely to be a volatile one both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level. The horoscopes say (for those of you who believe in that sort of thing) that those compatible with the Tiger — the Dragon (ME) and the Horse in particular — may also find 2010's erratic circumstances inspiring them to ever bolder action, and ultimate success. With that I hope you have a GREAT TIGER YEAR!!!

I almost forgot...For a few months now I've been wanting to get new self scraping paddle attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and couple of days ago my LOVELY HUSBAND surprised me with one. I was so excited I had to tell my friend about it...She listen and said that I act as if he's given me diamonds...LOL Is there anything better than a man who listens to his wife's needs and wants??? I'll take him over diamonds any day!!!

Dan-Dan Noodle Soup

* 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
* 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for serving
* 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* Kosher salt
* 2 half-sour dill pickles
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
* 4 scallions, finely chopped
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
* 8 ounces ground pork
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 to 4 teaspoons Chinese chili oil, plus more for serving
* 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
* 9 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
* 1 medium head bok choy, sliced crosswise


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Pulse the sesame seeds in a mini food processor with 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt until powdery; set aside.

Prepare the stir-fry: Quarter, seed and finely dice the pickles and put in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the garlic, ginger, scallions, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Mix 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the broth in a third bowl. Mix the pork with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt in another bowl. Place the four bowls by the stove.

Place a large skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, then the pork, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked but not dry, 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet; stir-fry the pickles for 1 minute. Add the garlic mixture and fry 30 seconds. Add the broth and boil until reduced by half, 4 minutes. Divide the broth among bowls and drizzle with the chili oil and vinegar.

Meanwhile, add the noodles and bok choy to the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 minutes. Drain and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Season with salt, then divide among the bowls. Top with pork and sprinkle with sesame powder. Serve with more sesame and chili oil.


  1. Hello Sylwia, Happy Lunar New Year to you and your husband. I really love your Dan Dan Mian
    (担担面), looks exactly like those served in the Chinese noodle store.

  2. Happy New Year to you!! I have had dan dan noodles before, but not the soup. It looks delicious.

  3. This soup looks looks so very tasty. Bookmarked. I'm starting to appreciate Chinese soups more these past few months, for their fresh ingredients, simplicity and wonderful flavors. a Year of the Horse person I can expect changes. Hurray!!! I could do with some positive change.