Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dan Dan Noodles - Thank you Zao Noodle Bar

Some of you know where Zao Noodle Bar once was in Seattle's University Village.... 

It closed Summer 2011 and Abby, Hannah and I were devastated.  Where were we going to get Dan Dan Noodles?  This was the only thing the 3 of us ever got from here, everything else on the menu always fell second to this luscious number.  

So here it is:  I have tried 3 times to recreate it and here it is, I think It comes pretty close.  Maybe even better. 

Servings: 4
Total Time: 60 mins


2 boneless chicken breasts - Sliced and pounded thin 
2 packages Udon Noodles ( produce/refrigerator section by the mushrooms) 
2 Tbls chopped fresh ginger
2 tbls vegetable 

4 chopped cloves garlic
3/4 Chicken Stock 
2 Tbls rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar 
2 Tbls Chili Oil ( or chili to taste) 
2 Tbls Sesame Oil 
1/2 cup plum sauce 
1/3 cup tahini paste ( Sesame Paste) 
3-4 Tbls Soy Sauce
2 Tbls Dark Brown Sugar 
1 Tbls Sambal Oelek ( ground fresh chili paste)
1/2 juice lime

Add ins: 
1-1 1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1 small cucumber or zucchini whatever you prefer
1 small bunch scallions
1/2 cup chopped peanuts 

1. Place Wok on stove med-high heat with 2 Tbls oil - heat until smokes ( 4-5 mins). Add sliced and pounded thin chicken to wok.  ( to pound chicken  - I use a meat mallet and plastic over chicken)  Cook 10 mins. 

Stir every 2 mins letting chicken brown and cook

After chicken is 90% cooked add in 2 Tbls fresh chopped ginger, fully cook chicken. Should be slightly brown and not dry. 

3.  Remove chicken and ginger form wok.  Keep any drippings in wok and this will be the foundation for your sauce. Turn to medium heat - add in garlic, broth, vinegar, hot and sesame oil, plum sauce, tahini paste,  sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste), soy sauce, brown sugar - should be smooth and spicy and salty with a nutty taste. You want this a sauce consistency, if its too thick add broth, too thin add tahini paste. 
add salt and lime juice to taste 

Taste Test: 

4. Add chicken back into sauce and add in 1 cup or more raw mushrooms and bring back up to simmer. 

 5.  Take noodles out of package - cook as package directs ( I just cover noodles in bowl with water and microwave for 4-5 mins) 

6. Drain and add 2 packages of noodles into wok.  Toss and allow flavors to blend and heat.  

add in julienne cut cucumber and chopped scallions 

7. Plate ! 

Add Peanuts! 

Serve - Enjoy 


  1. I'm actually making this right now! We've been wanting Zao Dan Dan noodles for so long! Thanks for sharing!
    Dolly Dahl

    1. Dolly - I hope it turned out! Id love to hear how you liked it if I was close to the real deal from someone outside my family!