dandan noodles

For dandan noodles, a pork mixture is spooned over nooles and the dish is then topped with a sesame sauce and peanuts. Recipe: Dandan noodles (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Dandan noodles

30 minutes. Serves 8

Oil

1 pound ground pork

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped ginger

2 to 4 cups Sichuan flavor base, to taste

Cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons each cornstarch and water, mixed)

1/4 cup prickly ash oil

1/4 cup chile oil

2 cups dan dan sesame sauce

1 1/2 pounds wheat noodles, cooked

Black vinegar

Crushed peanuts for garnish

1. In a wok heated over high heat, add enough oil to lightly coat the base of the wok. Add the ground pork, chopped garlic and ginger, stirring until the pork is browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the Sichuan flavor base (add msore or less depending on desired texture and heat). Cook the base with the pork to marry the flavors, then add the cornstarch slurry. Return the heat to high, and cook until the liquid comes to a boil and thickens, stirring constantly.

3. Pour over the prickly ash oil and chile oil and remove from heat.

4. In each of 8 serving bowls, ladle one-fourth cup dandan sesame sauce. Divide the noodles evenly among the bowls. Spoon over the pork and drizzle over a little black vinegar to taste. Garnish with crushed peanuts and serve immediately.

EACH SERVING (WITH 3 CUPS SICHUAN FLAVOR BASE)

Calories 831

Protein 28 grams

Carbohydrates 71 grams

Fiber 6 grams

Fat 48 grams

Saturated fat 8 grams

Cholesterol 100 mg

Sugar 10 grams

Sodium 1,419 mg

NOTE: Prickly ash oil and wheat noodles can be found at Chinese and most Asian markets.