With no noodles in sight and needing some Sichuan peppercorns to satisfy me, I decided to make a traditional Chinese dish into an American classic.
My kids and Manservant always loved sloppy Joes, but I never make the same version twice.
That is until now.
I love spicy and sometimes I get tired of Mexican spicy, so I get my fix with Chinese Sichuan food.
Today it’s all about Dan Dan noodles. Really Dan Dan sliders.
They passed the family test and now I make this for noodles and buns.
Because sometimes 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 to make on a busy night.
Brownie points if you eat them stuffed into Chinese steamed buns.
But with or without, these need to go into your slider recipes folder!
Honestly, these are way cool; though some say I’m easily impressed.
No Chinese steamed buns which are found in the freezer section of Asian groceries?
Hawaiian rolls work well, as do any slider bun or dinner rolls.
Want to jazz them up? Brush the top buns with soy sauce and a touch of canola oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Pop them buns in the oven to toast a few minutes at 350, before serving with the Dan Dan slider sloppy joe recipe.
The only other thing you may not have on hand are Sichuan peppercorns.
I now find them at my local grocery store, so take a look before you go on a field trip.
I will warn you though that if you’ve never had numbing Sichuan pepper, go easy on yourself.
How To Make this Dan dan sloppy joe sliders recipe:
In a large skillet brown 1 pound of ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey or even lean ground beef, over medium-high heat.
(I prefer ground pork and that’s what is traditionally used when making Dan dan noodles.)
My pro tip for crumbling ground meat?
Use a pastry blender and chop meat while it is browning, to make nice crumbly sloppy joe meat all the same size.
Don’t press too hard though or you may scratch your skillet.
Rather than using traditional Sloppy joe ingredients like garlic powder, worcestershire sauce, and barbecue sauce, this homemade sauce is made with fresh chopped garlic and ginger.
Don’t have fresh ginger?
Use ginger from a jar or tube, that is easily found in the prodice section of your grocery store.
Cook a few minutes and then stir in chicken stock, garlic chili sauce and red wine vinegar, soy sauce and tahini (not tahini sauce-just tahini) and smashed Sichuan peppercorns.
Use the end of a meat mallet and pound them on a cutting board until roughly broken.
Season with 1 to 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and let mixture simmer for 7 to 10 minutes on low heat.
Thickness of the sauce will depend on how “soupy” you like your sloppy Joe’s.
Add more broth if you prefer it soupier.
Before serving stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter.
Place a few tablespoons or more of the meat mixture on the bottom buns.
I then add some more crushed peanuts, and a sprinkling of minced scallions rather than chopped white onion before adding the top bun.
Should you make cheesy sloppy joe sliders?
Honestly, I don’t really think cheese is necessary in this version of homemade sloppy joe sauce.
However, if you must, use mozzarella for its mild flavor and melting texture.
I made 5 pounds of this Dan dan sloppy joe mixture for my “viewing party”, ( a large crowd of 40 people), and just watched it disappear.
Keep in an airtight container for 3 -4 days and reheat in the microwave or in a crockpot, and serve for game day if you’d like.
Dan dan sliders are perfect with this simple smashed cucumber salad that we ate in China on repeat.
This gochujang cole slaw would also be great, as would the standard sloppy joe accompaniments of potato chips or French fries.
Dan Dan sliders may not be classic sloppy joes, but in my mind they are bettter!
This easy weeknight dinner is one my whole family enjoys and would be perfect for your weeknight dinners rotation.
Surprise everyone with this fun family dinner and be prepared to make this often.
This Dan dan sliders recipe with Sichuan peppercorns may take a bit of getting used to, but once you do, this tangy sauce on these ground pork sliders, might be your next favorite thing.
In fact, it takes these simple little sandwiches to a whole new level.
Just a few simple ingredients and this may become your new main dish!
Our family loves Dan Dan noodles and now we can have Dan Dan sloppy joes.
We usually eat Dan dan noodles 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 Dan dan noodles, which when discovering no noodles in the pantry, became this Chinese sloppy joe sliders recipe!
A great idea? You betcha!
This is an updated post from 2013.
This post contains affiliate links from which I may or may not earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Need Some More?
These Sichuan Dan Dan style Sloppy Joe sliders are amazing. Easy to make, if you love Sichuan pepper, you will love these!
1 package slider buns
1 lb ground pork or turkey
2 T minced garlic
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 to 2 t of brown sugar
1 t cracked Sichuan 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
Add oil to skillet and heat. Add pork and cook until just pink, then add garlic and 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 buns. Sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.
Keywords: sloppy joe sliders, sloppy joe sliders recipe, asian sloppy joes