Dan Dan Noodles feature a complex and spicy, but balanced flavor profile, and my version is low carb without sacrificing taste. And this meal comes together in just 20 minutes!
Dan Dan Noodles is a classic Sichuan street food dish, but I first had it at an Asian restaurant in Orlando. One bite and I was completely hooked on the flavor profile.
It starts out subtly sweet, and then umami, and finally a fiery, spicy heat hits the back of your palate. After every single bite you'll want to go back for another to repeat the tasting experience!
Low Carb Dan Dan Noodles aka Dan Dan Mian
After trying Dan Dan Noodles at a restaurant, I immediately knew I wanted to make a homemade version. Like chicken breasts, ground beef is one of those things that's always tucked away in my freezer because it's good for so many different meals.
And now I have another favorite way to use it! This meal is a crowd-pleaser and sure to become part of your regular dinner rotation.
Pro Tip: Make a double batch of the meat mixture and freeze half of it for a super easy weeknight meal!
What Are Dan Dan Noodles?
Dan Dan Noodles, also called Dan Dan Mian is a noodle dish from Chinese Sichuan cuisine. According to Wikipedia, it usually contains a spicy sauce, preserved vegetables, minced pork, chili oil, Sichuan pepper, and scallions served on top of noodles. I don't eat pork, so I went with ground beef instead and I love the flavor.
The name is derived from the pole that street vendors use to carry the noodles, which is called dan dan. The pole is carried over the shoulders and has two baskets of noodles, one attached at each end.
This noodle dish can be served "dry", which just means without added liquid, or as a soup.
Dan Dan Noodle Soup
To make this Dan Dan Noodle recipe into soup, I simply add beef stock or beef bone broth until it reaches the right consistency. I usually add about 4 cups of beef stock for this amount of meat.
Keep all other ingredients the same. Add the al dente noodles or zoodles to the hot soup right before serving. Once you add the noodles, serve immediately.
What Noodles Can I Eat on Keto?
I'll be honest; usually I just omit the noodles and eat the sauce with a spoon! For example, I'll cook a batch of tomato meat sauce that would be served over spaghetti noodles and serve it in a bowl with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Or my Quick Mushroom Beef Stroganoff Skillet Supper without the egg noodles, yum.
The same thing goes for dishes that are usually served with rice. I'll whip up Indian Butter Chicken and instead of eating it over rice, just grab a spoon. (And check out my Easy Low Carb Butter Chicken too!)
I'm telling you, the spoon is the way to go!
But if you want a noodle substitute, there are lots of "impossible", "miracle", and "wonder" low carb noodles on the market
Other Low Carb Noodle Options for Dan Dan Mian:
If you're not quite as enthusiastic as I am about completely forgoing the noodles, here are a few good low carb noodle options:
- Spiralized zucchini, yellow summer squash, or cucumber "noodles"
- Cabbage that's very thinly sliced into ribbons
- Steamed bite-sized cauliflower
- Sliced and roasted eggplant (like in my Lower Carb Beef Eggplant Moussaka)
What Makes This Recipe Low Carb?
When you're making saucy noodle dishes, there are three major sources of carbs to lookout for:
- The noodles - This is an easy one, just omit them or swap them out for one of the low carb noodle alternatives listed above!
- Sweetener in the sauce - Instead of using sugar here, I went with a bit of liquid stevia.
- Thickener in the sauce - Here a little tahini and tomato paste act as thickeners.
Pro Tip: If you want your sauce thicker without having to add thickener, simply cook it longer! Be sure to stir regularly because as the liquid evaporates off you don't want the bottom to scorch.
More Healthy Asian Inspired Recipes:
- Gluten Free Pad Thai Cauliflower
- Paleo Low Carb Keto Beef and Broccoli
- Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- Low Carb Spiralized Cucumber Salad with Peanuts, Basil, and Ginger Miso Dressing
- Keto Sweet and Sour Chicken
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
Dan Dan Noodles aka Dan Dan Mian (Paleo, Dairy Free, Keto)
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 lb 85% lean grass-fed ground beef
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 large cloves garlic crushed
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh-grated ginger or 1 ½ teaspoons dried ginger
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon sriracha
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 drops liquid stevia
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon light miso paste omit for paleo
- ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 scallions green and white parts, thinly sliced
- Crushed red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)
- 2 medium-sized zucchini sprialized into noodles
- Add the coconut oil to a large, deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef and onion, and cook until the meat is browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the coconut aminos, vinegar, tahini, tomato paste, sriracha, salt, stevia, and water.
- Bring up to a boil, and then cover the skillet, turn the heat down to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the miso paste (if using).
- To serve, top the raw zucchini noodles with the hot meat mixture and sprinkle the sesame seeds and scallion on top. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for heat if desired.
- Net Carbs: 8g per serving
- Make a double batch of the meat mixture and freeze half of it for a super easy weeknight meal!
- If you want your sauce thicker without having to add thickener, simply cook it longer! Be sure to stir regularly because as the liquid evaporates off you don’t want the bottom to scorch.
- To make Dan Dan Noodle Soup, add about 4 cups of beef stock or beef broth to the meat mixture and bring up to a simmer. Keep all other ingredients the same. Add the al dente noodles or zoodles to the hot soup right before serving. Once you add the noodles, serve immediately.
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