anna chen dan dan noodles

How to make chef Anna Chen’s dan dan noodles

Chef Anna Chen of Bloor West’s Alma offers her take on the Chinese Sichuan classic, with shrimp and a spicy sauce to finish.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 160 g ground pork or turkey
  • 20 g dried shrimp
  • 10 g ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 40 g green onion, minced
  • 1 chili, minced
  • 1⁄2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
  • 4 tbsp rice wine or white wine
  • 2 tsp sesame paste or tahini
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp black rice vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup salted mustard greens
  • 24 pc shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pack dry egg noodles
  • 1⁄2 bunch cilantro
  • chili and sesame oil, to garnish
  • soy sauce, to taste


1. In a heavy bottomed pan, start by browning your ground meat with the vegetable oil and peppercorns. You don’t want to brown everything all the way through or the meat will taste dry.

2. Add the dried shrimp, Sichuan peppercorn, minced ginger, garlic and chili next. Sauté everything together for a couple of minutes to marry all the flavours together. Deglaze with the wine.

3. Add the stock, vinegar and sesame paste. Simmer the sauce for 15 mins. Season to taste with the soy sauce.

4. Finely chop the mustard greens and set aside.

5. Boil your noodles as per the instructions on the packet.

6. When the noodles are ready, place your shrimp in the sauce. Strain the noodles and add to the sauce. Simmer them together for a minute or two. Serve in a bowl. Top with the mustard greens and finish with the chili and sesame oil as desired. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

If you’d rather leave the cooking up to the professionals, Alma is still open for takeout and delivery while indoor dining is restricted in Toronto’s modified Stage 2. The website is accepting preorders for takeout meals here. Takeout and delivery is available from Wednesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the menu is full of warm comfort food perfect for the chilly weather.

Article exclusive to TRNTO