Jul 11, 2020

dan dan noodles


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: medium pot with lid, large skillet, measuring cup

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Full disclosure: bump this meatless, vegetarian, and vegan recipe to a "moderate" if you add the stir-fry vegetables (from frozen is perfectly fine). I made this as a copy-cat recipe from PF Chang's, who make this without the vegetables, but I find adding them makes this dish even better; besides - vegetables are always great by me.

The sauce is sweet and just a bit spicy (unless you cannot have spice - as always, make the dish to suite your taste). This is best with tofu, but use seitan or Gardein with equal success. Mince the protein pretty well (check out the picture) because texture influences flavor.

Use a lid to heat the water for the pasta to get this meal on the table quickly - even with the added work of the vegetables, 30 minutes is all the time you'll be spending in the kitchen - unless you eat there, as well. 


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Put the water on for the pasta before grabbing the ingredients.
  • Use a lid while heating the water.
  • Grab the vegetables and thaw in water (unless already thawed). 
  • Squeeze the excess water from the vegetables before cooking.
  • Chop the green onions while the protein cooks and the water heats.
  • Prepare the sauce while the pasta cooks (unless you had time already).
  • Chop the protein while the green onions cook.

Dan Dan Noodles

Makes 4 servings 


1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain and use the pot for the Sauce:

12 ounces thin spaghetti

2. Protein: Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, with a lid:

1 teaspoon olive oil

16 ounces tofu, sliced or 4 Gardein scallopini

3. Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool. Once cool, mince.

4. Cooking Sauce: mix all the ingredients in a large measuring cup until sugar dissolves. Set aside. 

1 1/3 cups vegetable broth

1/3 cup tamari

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons garlic-chili sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

5. Dan Dan Sauce: using the medium pot from the pasta, heat over medium-heat and add: 

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

5 green onions, minced

6. When golden (do not burn), add the Cooking Sauce (stir the sauce first) and the minced Protein. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.

7. Stir Fry Vegetables (optional): Heat the large skillet from the Protein step over medium-high heat and cook until tender:

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 cups stir-fry vegetables (if frozen, thaw first)

8. Serve: Add cooked Pasta to a bowl, top with Stir Fry Vegetables (if using) and Dan Dan Sauce

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


  1. I went to PF Chang's once on a tript to the US when I was in Indianapolis but I got very confused about what I could and couldn't order.
    Question for this recipe - could I mince the tofu before frying it? Or would that make it too dry?

  2. Yeah, they *try* to be helpful, but wind up being more confusing!

    You could mince before hand but might need more oil to cook it because of the more surface area of the tofu. If you cook in a slab, then less oil. Also, you could skip the frying step for the tofu if you want and go straight to the sauce. The frying step is not optional if using seitan or Gardein, but I think the tofu is more flexible that way. Good call on watching the dryness, but the sauce should balance the moisture by the end.


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu