Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dan Dan Mein

This was one of my photos for this month's twelve of twelve.

I know it doesn't look like much, but let me tell you, this is one dang yummy bowl of soup! I got the recipe from a blog called Tranquility's Kitchen, which sadly, no longer exists. There were some seriously good recipes on there! The author's father was a chef in China, if I recall correctly, so these were recipes that she got from him. Real authentic stuff.

This soup is called dan dan mein, which according to that blog, meant bland bland noodles. That's pretty funny because these are anything but bland! If you like egg drop soup, you'll probably like this. It's fast and easy for when you want warm food in your belly right away. I took a few liberties with the original recipe (mostly because I don't like runny eggs, and the original recipe called for a poached egg, yuck), but mostly I stayed true.

Combine three cups water, one tablespoon chicken bouillon powder (we buy this brand), 1/4 teaspoon dashi granules and two green onions chopped into 1-inch lengths in a saucepan. My onions are sliced smaller because I forgot to tell my husband to leave them bigger and he was chopping that day.

You can find dashi granules at pretty much any Asian market. It seems to be a staple in broths and soups. Buy the smallest package you can find, because this stuff will last you forever!

While you're waiting for that to come to a boil, roughly chop up three little bunches of baby bok choy. I got mine at the Asian market, but I've seen it at the regular grocery store too.

Toss them in the pot when it comes to a boil and cook for one minute. While that's going on, scramble two eggs in a small bowl.

Using a fork with a long handle, or a chopstick, or something like that, begin to briskly stir your soup in a clockwise motion. Once it's all moving pretty quickly in the pan, slowly begin to drizzle in your scrambled eggs. The finer your drizzle, the nicer your egg flowers are going to look. If you dump it in big globs then you will have big blobby bits of egg in your soup which is fine if you're into that sort of thing I suppose.

Take a bean thread bundle and put it into the pot. Push it under the liquid and loosen it up a bit with your fork/chopstick as it cooks. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.

Yes, you see two pots on my stove! There are two pots going because the thought of trying to serve this and untangle two batches of noodles while dealing with boiling hot liquid makes me nervous. I just make a pot for me and a pot for my husband at the same time so it's easy to dump each individual serving into a bowl all at once.

The bean threads come in packages that look like this. Our market never seems to have the same brand twice, but they almost always look like this regardless of the name on the package. There are eight little bunches of noodles in there. Sometimes they're individually wrapped, and sometimes they are all in one big bag like this.

After the noodles are done cooking, transfer the soup to a serving bowl. This makes a HUGE restaurant style serving.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of fried red onions on top and stir in. Allow them to soften and flavor your soup while it cools off enough for you to eat.

They sell them - you guessed it! - at the Asian market. They're not the same as the French's we know from green bean casserole, so I wouldn't try substituting those if you're thinking about that. This jar is another one of those things that just lasts forever.

I love this soup, and I'm so thankful that I got to make it and write down the recipe before Wendy pulled her blog! I hope someone else with a craving tries it. It would be a great thing for a Meatless Monday this winter!

Dan Dan Mein


3 cups water
1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
¼ tsp dashi granules
2 green onions, chopped into 1 inch lengths
1 cup (two bunches) baby bok choy, roughly chopped
2 eggs, beaten well
1 serving packaged bean threads
1 tbsp fried red onions


Place water, bouillon powder, dashi, and green onions in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add baby bok choy and boil for one minute. While stirring, drizzle in beaten eggs. Cook one minute. Add bean threads and cook 2-3 minutes or until noodles are clear and tender. Loosen with a fork as they cook. Pour soup into a serving dish and add fried onions. Allow to sit for a few minutes so onions can soften.

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