After making a cooked Dan Dan Mian for my fella, I really wanted to try making a raw (or at least, mostly raw) version. This is what I came up with, & it was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.
Traditionally this is a spicy sauce containing preserved vegetables, chili oil, Sichuan peppers, pork, and scallions served over noodles. Apparently, there are as many versions of this as there are Chinese cooks! This one is based on one in 'Authentic Chinese cuisine for the contemporary kitchen' by Bryanna Clark Grogan. The addition of sesame or peanut butter is a modern one.
7-8 brown button mushrooms, finely chopped (you could probably use portabella mushrooms too & get a really rich flavour)
1 Tbs finely chopped shallot
1 ts sesame oil (or roasted sesame oil, but, obviously, not raw)
1 Tbs light miso
1 scant Tbs nama shoyu, or to taste
1 Tbs finely chopped Sichuan or Tianjin pickled vegetable (if you want to keep the salt content lower, rinse this off before using it)
1/2 Tbs finely chopped ginger
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
a little finely chopped fresh red chili, to taste
1 & 1/2 cup water
up to 2 Tbs raw tahini or nut butter (should really be peanut butter, but it's hard to find this raw - I made it with Artisana Organic Raw Macadamia/Cashew Butter, and it was wonderfully creamy)
1 courgette, spiralised or finely shredded (can substitute cucumber, sweet potato, carrot or jicama)
sliced spring onion to garnish
- stir all topping ingredients together. Place in a shallow bowl in dehydrator for 20-30 minutes, or in an oven on it's lowest setting with the door ajar. Alternatively, leave to marinade at room temperature.
- warm the water to hand hot (feels warm to your hand, but is far from painfully hot). Whisk in the tahini or nut butter.
- spoon the courgette noodles into a bowl, pour over the nut butter water and top with the mushroom mix. Sprinkle on the spring onion.