Two bowls of Dan Dan Noodle Soup with a small bowl of chilli oil on the side

The Noodle Cookbook: Dan Dan Noodle Soup with Lamb Recipe

A ‘dan dan’ is the pole that noodle sellers use to carry the baskets of fresh noodles and sauce, with one at either end. The star of this recipe is Sichuan chilli bean paste, but you can use other chilli pastes if you can’t get your hands on it. Combined with the Sichuan peppercorns, you get a lip-tingling intensity. You can also try it as a stir-fry dish by omitting the stock water, and using fresh noodles.

Dan Dan Noodle Soup with Lamb

Bring on the Tingle

Serves 2 - Showing Off / Vegan Option - Wok to wonderful in 20 minutes - Hero ingredients: garlic and ginger


  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 230g minced lamb (or frozen vegan mince and 1/4 tsp yeast extract for a vegan alternative)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste, or 3–4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste or 5cm piece of fresh root ginger, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 120g dried wheat noodles
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced, to garnish

For the soup 

  • 600ml boiling water, or ready-made fresh vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon crushed yellow bean sauce, or brown or red miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon chilli bean paste, or 1 teaspoon any hot chilli paste
  • 2 teaspoons crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil


1. Prepare the soup mixture by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl or jug, then set aside until needed.

2. Heat the oil in a large wok over a high heat.Throw in the minced lamb (or vegan mince) and brown for a few seconds. Then add the garlic, ginger, carrot and onion and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

3. Your kitchen should smell amazing at this stage, so take a second, stop and breathe it in. But don’t take all day, we’re on a schedule! Next pour the soup mixture into the pan and mix well, simmering for another 3 minutes.

4. Now it’s noodle time. Put the noodles in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes, then drain. Divide your hot noodles between 2 serving bowls and pour over the soupy mixture. Sprinkle over the chopped spring onion (scallion). Strap in your taste buds: you’ll never forget your first Dan Dan Noodle Soup.


The Noodle Cookbook includes 101 healthy and delicious noodles recipes and is available on our website or with your preferred bookstores; WaterstonesAmazon and WHSmith.

Mr Lees Team