Quick History of Super Spicy Dan-dan Noodles in Japan

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 in Hiroko's Blog

dandan noodleDan-dan noodles is an extremely spicy, delicious bowl of noodles without much noodle broth. It is from SzechwanProvince. Dan-dan noodle soup bowl were sold by street vendors. The vendors carried every necessary ingredients to make this quick snack noodle bowl, tied to a long wooden pole, which he carried on his shoulder. Lack of noodle soup in the dan-dan noodle soup bowl made sense. It was un-practical and not possible to carry around the hot noodle broth in large volume on his shoulder. What makes dan-dan noodle soup bowl very spicy is the use of fragrant and spicy Szechwan peppercorn and chili oil.

This style of noodle bowl was introduced to Japan by a chef from SzechwanProvince. In order to alleviate extreme spiciness in the original dan-dan noodle dish for the Japanese audience, the chef added sesame paste in the sauce. The original Chinese version uses noodles without kansui, so it is like udon noodles. The Japanese dan-dan noodle dish is made with ramen noodles. Recently I have been trying to reproduce the perfect flavor of dan-dan noodle dish, which I fell in love in Japan when I was twenties and thirties.