05.21.17

Paleo Dan Dan Zoodles

Anyone else’s family used to frequent PF Changs like mine? haha, we were all about that place growing up. My mom and I used to love getting the Dan Dan Noodles so, obviously, I had to recreate it it in my clean-eating kitchen. Well, boy.. I didn’t quite realize what I was getting into because 1. there is like 100,000 different ways to make Dan Dan Noodles and 2. If I want to make it taste like PF Changs I’d need a ton of sugar, hoison and things that I don’t normally use in my kitchen. Therefore, to get to this recipe here I had to do some MAJOR recipe investigating and it turned out fantastic!

So there is one ingredient you probably don’t already have in your kitchen, Sichuan Peppercorns; but, let’s change that, okay? They aren’t in most grocery stores so you’ll either have to find your closest asian market OR just order on Amazon! That’s what I did! I just think there’s something addictive about that mouth tingle to them that makes you wanna just keep having more bites.

In this recipe, I made homemade Chili Oil (recipe from thewoksoflife.com) that is infused with the sichuan peppercorns, and I really think that this chili oil is what makes the dan dan noodle recipe taste so dang good.  So please don’t use store bought. Make this homemade one, it seriously is so easy and takes like 10 minutes! Plus, I love using the leftovers in quick stir fry recipes. 

Dan Dan Zoodles
Serves 4
A spicy, delicious paleo dan dan noodle recipe that will rock your world!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
For the Chili Oil (recipe from thewoksoflife.com)
  1. 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  2. 1 inch-long piece of cinnamon
  3. 2 star anise
  4. 1 cup oil
  5. ¼ cup crushed red pepper flakes
For the Sauce
  1. 2 tbsp. almond butter
  2. 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  3. 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  4. 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  5. 1 tbsp. avocado or olive oil
  6. 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  7. 1 tsp. freshly grate ginger
  8. 2 lbs. ground pork
  9. 1/2 tsp. chinese five spice powder
  10. 4 tbsp. prepared homemade chili oil
  11. 4 small heads of baby bok choy (or four cups baby spinach, packed)
  12. 1/4 cup or less chicken or beef broth
  13. 1/4 tsp. ground sichuan peppers OPTIONAL (I ground whole sichuan peppercorns with a mortar and pestle)
  14. 3 zucchini's, spiralized
For Garnish
  1. mung bean sprouts
  2. 4 scallions, sliced
  3. 1/2 medium cucumber, julienne
  4. handful of salted, roasted cashews, coarsley chopped
Instructions
  1. To make the chili oil: In a small pot, add the Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon stick, star anise, and oil. Over medium low heat, slowly heat to 325 degrees (stick a thermometer in there to keep up with temp), and then turn off the heat. Wait 6 - 7 minutes, then remove the peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and star anise with a slotted spoon. (This makes more than you need for the recipe, but store it in a jar and refrigerate and you'll be glad to have it on hand to use in other stir fry dishes.)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter, coconut aminos, toasted sesame seed oil and rice vinegar. Set Aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp. olive or avocado oil over medium heat. Add the ground pork and using the back of a spoon, break it up the meat. Season with the chinese 5 spice and salt and pepper, to taste. Brown, stirring often, until pork is cooked through (no longer pink). Drain off excess fat if needed.
  4. Add in the garlic and the ginger, cook 1 more minute.
  5. Add in the chili oil.
  6. Cut off the ends of the baby bok choy and discard. Separate leaves and toss into the pork mixture. Cook, stirring, until bok choy has wilted. About 5 minutes.
  7. Pour in the almond butter sauce and reduce heat to medium low, saute for about 3 more minutes until the sauce has fully coated the pork mixture. Drizzle in a little chicken broth if you would like for your sauce to be a little thinner... your call!! I added one big splash of it and it was perfect. Remove from heat and cover until ready to serve.
  8. Now, here is where you can taste and decide if you want to do this, but for a real sichuan pepper experience, add some ground sichuan pepper to the pork mixture. I added about 1/4 tsp. Totally up to you though, the chili oil already adds some heat if you'd like to keep it more mild.
  9. Heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat, add spiralized zucchini and saute until just softened, only 2-3 minutes.
  10. Divide sauteed zucchini amungst 4 bowls. Top with pork mixture. Garnish with bean sprouts, scallions, cucumber, and chopped cashews.
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/
  • aneta lawski
    August 1, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Can use regular Chili oil?

    • Alex
      August 1, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Yes.

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