Dandan Inspired Ground Pork and Rice Noodles with Cabbage


I am always looking to make new, flavorful dishes to spice up what I am serving for dinner. While searching for what to cook with ground pork, I discovered many Dandan Noodle recipes. Dandan is a traditional Chinese noodle dish based on the Sichuan style of cooking. It started as street food in China, and Dandan literally means; "Carrying Poles." The street food vendors would set up their outdoor kitchens in tents and would carry the tent poles to their site daily to set up the outdoor kitchen. They would serve this spicy pork dish with noodles, pickled mustard greens, and topped with scallions.

My version included the cabbage I had on hand from our garden, harvested four months ago. It was harvested at the peak of ripeness and still has roots growing on it. We simply store it in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator, wrapped in a lightweight plastic bag. Cabbage is in the same brassica family as the mustard greens and worked beautifully in this dish. When creating this dish, you can make it your own, too. Try it with nappa cabbage, bok choi, broccoli, and even kale. If you like the layered depth of flavor and freshness Asian food has, you will love this easy-to-prepare dish. 

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Dandan Ground Pork Noodle Recipe Asian Creme de la Crop

  • 3 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger powder
  • 1/2 Cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 Cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 3/4 Cup chicken stock or 3/4 cup water and 3/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste
  • 7 oz Rice noodles of your choice
  • 2 Cups sliced cabbage or brassica of your choice (mustard greens, kale, bok choi, napa cabbage...)
  • 3 Scallions diced
  • 1 Small bunch cilantro roughly chopped

Preparation - 5 minutes Cook Time - 15 minutes Serving 4-6

  1. Start by heating the olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. In a medium pot, fill with water halfway. Heat the water over a medium flame. You will want the water to get a solid simmer to cook the noodles and blanch the cabbage.
  3. Place your ground pork in a mixing bowl and add the five-spice powder and the ginger. Mix the dried spices into the meat by hand.
  4. Add your seasoned pork to the skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. You will want the meat to brown thoroughly to create texture for the end result of the dish.
  5. Once the meat is browned, add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and chicken stock to the skillet. Add the garlic to the meat. The liquid should be lightly simmering.
  6. In the other pot, your water should be at a strong simmer. Add the rice noodles to the pot and cook until they are aldente approximately four minutes. Then, add them directly to the meat mixture with tongs. Reserve the simmering liquid.
  7. Place the sliced cabbage (brassica) in the simmering liquid for one minute to blanch. Immediately take the blanched cabbage from the boiling water and place it in the skillet with the noodles and browned seasoned pork.
  8. Stir everything together while coating noodles and cabbage evenly. Serve immediately and top with your chopped cilantro and diced scallions. - Enjoy


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