Vegan Dan Dan Noodles
This post may contain affiliate links.
The first time we ever tried Dan Dan Noodles was in a strip mall restaurant in Alhambra, CA. We had no idea what any of the dishes tasted like, but the name rolled off the tongue easily enough, so we went with it. At the time, it felt like we were taking a chance and rolling the dice. Little did we know the dice were loaded and we could do no wrong: everything on the menu was delicious.
Still, Dan Dan Noodles was our first foray into Taiwanese fare, which is now our go-to Chinese Comfort Food, and holds a special place in our hearts. It’s a fairly simple noodle dish that is served with a spicy peanut butter sesame sauce and usually comes with ground pork on top. The word Dan Dan actually refers to a type of stick Chinese street vendors used to carry. On one end of the stick was a basket containing the noodles, on the other end was a basket containing the sauce. Therefore the name Dan Dan Noodles can be roughly translated to “noodles carried by stick.”
Perhaps it was the imagery of a hobo bindle filled with noodles, or perhaps it was the dishes fiery yet comforting warmth, but we both felt that Dan Dan noodles would be an excellent camp food. And best of all, it’s super easy to make. As with many of our camping adaptions, we tweaked the classic recipe slightly to make it more portable while still delivering substantial protein. We, therefore, dropped the ground pork, upped the peanut butter sauce, and opted for high protein buckwheat soba noodles instead of the usual flour noodles.
When the weather turns against us or we’re feeling beat at the end of the day, this hot and spicy bowl of noodles is all we need to pick ourselves back up again.
Vegan Dan Dan Noodles
- 7 oz buckwheat soba noodles, or other high protein noodle – egg or bean curd noodles are great
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 teaspoons sriracha, (or more depending on your spice tolerance)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Bring enough water to just cover the soba noodles to a boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions – ours took 3 minutes. Once the noodles are done, drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of the cooking water.
- Mix in the peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha. Thin out the sauce if needed with a little water. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
Nutrition (Per Serving)
For directions on how to prep and cook this as a high protein, packable backpacking meal, check out the instructions in our Vegetarian Weekend Backpacking Menu guide!
For two hungry thru hikers would you recommend this serving size? or should we double it? Thanks!!!
So based off my rough calculations, each serving of this is 500-800 calories and 20-30g protein, so the recipe as written is 1000-1600 calories and 40-60 grams protein. The variation in calories & protein is dependent on which noodles you use – different brands have differing calories & protein.
I’d say that if you were eating this at home or on a short weekend hike, the recipe as written would be sufficient for two. BUT, I have done a month long thru hike before with 16+ mile days, and my appetite was MUCH different on that hike than on any other backpacking trip I’ve been on before or since! I probably could have inhaled this just on my own!!
So so good and quick! I added some fresh ginger and scallions, as well as a handful of spinach. Topped with some reserved scallions and sesame seeds.
So so good and simple! I also added some fresh ginger and scallions, as well as some extra spinach I had. Topped with sesame seeds and some reserved scallions.
This tasted good, but was a a bit of a hard sell to my family due to the appearance of the brown noodles and brown sauce. I will try adding bell peppers and spinach or basil next time.