Mala Dan Dan Mixian Recipe

The perfect vessel for getting the tingly taste of Sichuan pepper all up in your mouth.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


for the pickled celery:
2 ribs celery, diced
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
½ cup|125 ml rice wine vinegar

for the pickled mustard seeds:
½ cup|90 grams yellow mustard seeds
⅓ cup|65 ml champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt


for the spicy peanuts:
1 cup|128 grams toasted peanuts
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt

for the dan dan noodles:
¼ cup|60 ml canola oil
1 pound|450 grams ground pork butt
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 ½ tablespoons pixian doubanjiang (fermented fava beans)
⅓ cup|60 grams lao gan ma chili crisps
1 ½ teaspoons ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 ½ teaspoons Shaoxing cooking wine
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
⅓ cup|50 grams yacai
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 (10.6-ounce|300-gram) package rice noodles

to serve:
chili oil, to finish
Sichuan peppercorn oil, to finish
pea tendrils, to garnish


  1. Pickle the celery: Toss the celery with the salt and sugar in a small bowl and let sit for 30 minutes, then cover with the rice wine vinegar.
  2. Pickle the mustard seeds: In a small saucepan, mix the mustard seeds, vinegar, sugar, and salt with ⅔ cup|158 ml water. Cook over medium until the mixture is thick and the mustard seeds are plump and hydrated, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Make the spicy peanuts: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Make the dan dan noodles: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Add the pork and cook, stirring and breaking it up into smaller pieces, until the fat has rendered and the pork is cooked, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pixian doubanjang and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chile crisp, ground Sichaun peppercorns, chile powder, white pepper, and sugar and stir to combine. Cook 1 minute more, then stir in the oyster sauce, Shaoxing, dark soy sauce. Stir to combine, then stir in the yacai and scallions. Stir to combine, then keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain, then divide between two serving bowls. Top half of each bowl with the sauce, then scoop on some mustard seeds and celery to the other half (about a tablespoon of each). Sprinkle that half with the peanuts and garnish with the pea tendrils.

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