Thanks to these 30-minute Dan Dan noodles, dinner night has never been easier! So fast, so easy, and so scrumptious, the Asian-style sauce knocks it out of the park with flavor.
I’m a longtime fan of Asian-inspired noodle dishes. Please see Exhibit A.
While no doubt there are more authentic recipes of Asian noodles out there (and I’m sure they are amazing), these simplified versions are easy, fast and packed with flavor.
In fact, very often, noodle dishes like this are my go-to for saving dinner night when time is short, I’m grumpy, there are no dinner angels to be found, and chaos at home is far reaching.
These Dan Dan noodles are incredible. Taking my favorite flavors from several other dishes, the sauce covering the tender ground beef and noodles is a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little creamy.
For those who haven’t quite converted to savory peanut sauces (one of my favorite flavors in the history of ever), this recipe is a great place to start. The peanut butter flavor is subtle and doesn’t overpower the other tangy, spicy and sweet elements of the sauce.
Dan Dan noodles! It’s not just fun a name to say (you should have heard my kids chanting it all day when I told them what was for dinner); you simply can’t beat a 30-minute meal that tastes this amazing.
Fresh, seasonal fruit
- 12 ounces spaghetti noodles
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (plus more to taste, if you like things spicy)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey or beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (see note)
- 1/2 to 1 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
- Cook the spaghetti noodles in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Return to the pot and set aside.
- For the sauce, in a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, rice vinegar and sesame oil until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, add the ground meat, salt, pepper, garlic and ginger, and cook, breaking the meat into pieces, until no longer pink, 6-7 minutes. Drain any excess grease.
- Return the skillet to medium heat, whisk the sauce to recombine, and pour over the meat mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the cilantro.
- Pour the meat/sauce mixture over the noodles in the pot. Serve immediately.
Sauce: chili garlic sauce is a great ingredient to keep on hand (it lasts forever in the fridge). It is usually quite readily available at most grocery stores in the Asian foods aisle (the Huy Fong brand). If you don’t have it or can’t find it, try subbing in sriracha sauce and upping the garlic by a clove or two.
Low-sodium: using low-sodium broth and soy sauce is pretty important in this recipe, otherwise it will probably be too salty.
Ginger: if fresh ginger intimidates you, never fear! I buy a big knobby handle of it, cut it into 1-inch pieces (no need to peel), stash it in the freezer in a ziploc bag and then pull it out for recipes like this. Straight from the freezer, it grates like a dream on a rasp grater or the small holes of a box grater and the flavor is so yummy.