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Dan Dan Sliders or Chinese Sloppy Joe

Did you see last month’s Food and Wine issue where they used Pillsbury dough in the tube for a substitute for steamed buns of the Chinese dim sum kind? Well, I did. And I did it. Hard to believe that Pillsbury reduced fat biscuits are a perfect substitute for steamed buns. The recipe paired them with a pork belly type filling that is made with bacon. It was very good but that’s not where we are going today!

Today it’s all about Dan Dan noodles. Really Dan Dan sliders. Because I made noodles and sliders. It was a test.They passed. And in the future if you’ve  had too many noodle dishes (not that one can have too many noodle dishes) well, sometimes it’s good to rock the boat.  These definitely rock. They are easy and quick and they are really fun to make using the poppin’ fresh biscuit dough. Honestly, these are way cool; though some say I’m easily impressed.

Dan Dan noodles are a Szechuan dish. It used to be that peddlers carried a pole over their shoulder with a pot of noodles on one end and a pot of sauce on the other. Dan dan, I think, is what the pole is called. In any case, this is how the name for the noodles is derived. But of course, we aren’t doing noodles today. We are doing sliders, don’t you know?

Our family loves Dan Dan noodles. We usually eat them after we have had a massage at Bamboo Forest over on Federal Boulevard in Denver. This is a fully clothed massage where you sit in giant lazy boy chairs and everyone is in the same room. They charge $25 an hour. And it is one of the best ways to spend $25 that I can think of.

 Except…for the next $25 you spend to eat at at tiny Lao Wang’s Noodle House, where they serve the best pot stickers in the world and of course, they also have Dan Dan noodles. This is comfort food after a comforting massage. It is a good thing they are not located closer to me. A tiny old man and a tiny old woman own this tiny joint. From what I can tell, that is it. They also have soup dumplings that are to die for. When you order they bring out as many orders as they can carry in these huge Chinese steamer baskets. I don’t know how this little man can carry them all. Well, between the orders of Dan Dan noodles, the pot stickers and the soup dumplings, it is enough to send me home for a nap. 

And so it is that the other night I found myself craving Dan Dan noodles. Actually I think I was thinking massage, but since that wasn’t happening my mind drifted to noodles. I decided to do the pork belly bacon sliders from Food and Wine and the noodles. Well we ate all the noodles and had Dan Dan sauce leftover, plus a few buns.  So…. well, just trust me. It works. Plus it’s so fun to pop that can!

Dan Dan Sliders (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit and Serious Eats)
Serves 4
Time to Make: About 30 minutes
Ingredients:

1 can Pillsbury light biscuits (I used these but I think they also make mini biscuits, which would work better.)

1 lb ground pork or turkey
2 T chopped and peeled ginger
3/4 c chicken stock
2 T chili oil or chili garlic sauce(I used sauce)
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
4 t tahini
1 t cracked Szechwan peppercorns (I just smash them with a meat mallet and if you can’t find these this dish will still be good, however they do give a unique taste.)
1-2 T peanut butter to taste
4 sliced green onions
4 T chopped peanuts

12 oz udon noodles (OPTIONAL)
Directions:
Add oil to skillet and heat. Add pork and cook until just pink. then add ginger. Cook until light brown.

Add stock, chili oil or sauce, vinegar, soy, tahini and ground peppercorns. Season with pinch of sugar. Let cook for 7-10 minutes until thickened. (You may or may not want to add more broth or water. If you are serving this over noodles you may want it soupier, but for buns I think this is good the way it is.) Stir in peanut butter to taste.

Spoon between your flakin’ fresh buns. Sprinkle with green onions and peanuts. Place into mouth. Feel the massage. (Well, it’s worth a try!)

Steamed Buns (Grace Parisi/Food and Wine)

1 16.3 oz tube of buttermilk biscuit dough (see what I used above)

Fill a roasting pan with 2 inches of water. Set 1 ramekin upside down in the center of each end of the pan. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. Arrange the biscuits in the pan and set it on top of the ramekins in the roasting pan.

Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil and bring to a boil over high heat. Steam the biscuits until fluffy and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

And don’t forget: Tollhouse Cupcakes for a Cure
A few others you may want to try:

Onion Baked Rice with Boneless Rib Roast
Pad Thai
Marshmallows and Matzoh S’mores
Macaroons
My Mother’s Brisket (but not really)
Ilse’s Passover Mocha Nut Cake
Susie’s Sweet and Hot Mustard
Fool’s Toffee
Chicken Marbella


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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Natalie G
    March 14, 2013 at 12:45 am

    What a flavourful and creative recipe, I have never had something like this before!!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 14, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Try it Natalie! They are scrumpt-dil-e-ishus!

  • Reply
    ChgoJohn
    March 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    This is such an interesting post. Using Pillsbury biscuits to make steamed buns is a revelation! I'd no idea that could be done. And the slider meat sounds very flavorful. These remind me of loose meat sandwiches with an Asian twist. I think these will taste far better.

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Weird, isn't it? Like I said it is really a noodle dish, but it so totally works for sliders! We don't get loose meat here but I know what they are.And these are full of flavor!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    March 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I'm easily impressed, too, so I definitely find this way cool! I had no idea Pillsbury was so versatile. 😉 Although it's not surprising – shop in the frozen section of many ethnic markets and you find all sorts of Pillsbury goods such as Indian naan, etc. Bread is bread, basically speaking, so I can see why it'd be so adaptable. Anyway, I totally love this recipe! Dan Dan Noodles are wonderful, and making them into sliders? Brilliant! A+. Thanks.

  • Reply
    technology capitalists
    March 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    They did taste awesome and now I want more!
    You really wrote this well and I like the new font as it's much more readable.

    FYI, it's Szechuan 🙂

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I'm blushing. You will have fun trying them, I promise!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks Mr. TC! And there were several spellings for Szechuan, if you must know. And I'm glad you like the font now fix my other problems.

  • Reply
    cleaneatingveggiegirl
    March 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Chinese sloppy joe's?? These sound amazing! I would love to try these, but with lentils to make them vegetarian :).

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 14, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks so much! The flavor is great and I think they would be great with lentils or tofu! Let me know!

  • Reply
    Angie's Recipes
    March 15, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Love Szechuan flavours! The slider must be very delicious. I would love to try with tofu too.

  • Reply
    Manu
    March 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I love this! It's such a great twist on a dish! Looks absolutely delicious!!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks Angie and Manu. It is a good twist, easy and quick, with a ton of flavor!

  • Reply
    Biz
    March 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I've actually never heard of Dan Dan noodles – interesting! But I am looking away from the onions! 😀 Happy Friday!

  • Reply
    Amy
    March 17, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Oh…I love Dan Dan noodles. What a great way to turn the sauce into these yummy sliders. I gotta give it a try. Yes, I heard about the Phillsbury dough works well as Chinese steam buns but I personally haven't try that yet. That's so convenience. And boy, I agree that $25 for an hour of massage is definitely money well spent! I wish I get that kind of deals in my area!

  • Reply
    Kim Bee
    April 1, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Wow, these look so good. These would a hit in my house.

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    April 1, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Do it Kim. They are crazy good!

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