Well, I finally went and did it..... I made Sichuan Cold Noodles at home. I'm not quite sure why I never made this at home.....perhaps it's because I love the version at Ba Ren so much, or maybe I could never find noodles that I thought were worthy... or maybe I was just too darned lazy???
I had really never intended to make Sichuan Cold Noodles..... but like all extreme actions, there was a triggering event. In this case it was Santouka's limited time Hiyashi Tan Tan Mian offering back in June. I had read Dennis's wonderful post on it.... the boiled egg looked so lovely that I left my mind open to trying it out. But when I arrived at the Mitsuwa food court and looked at the folks eating the stuff, I changed my mind. I'm not a big fan of Hiyashi Tan Tan Mian, heck, I've rarely found Dan Dan Mian (担担面) that I consider edible. At that instant, I changed my mind and decided to have the Hiyashi Chuka instead.... until I reached the counter and the very perky young lady told me that I should have the Tan Tan Mian...it was only for a few more days...and they "only make 20 bowls a day!" So I relented and ordered it.........
And was severely underwhelmed..... as always, I enjoyed the noodles (this was a pretty small serving), but this was pretty bland and had hardly any spice. The egg looked like one-third of an boiled egg, and I actually placed the yolk back in the white since it was on other side of the bowl. And for some reason, paying over nine bucks for this tiny bowl got to me....... The Missus took a bite and told me, "come on.... really? You paid nine bucks for this? Lettuce and a tablespoon of some kinda meat, with some shredded daikon and carrots? You are a sucker....." I guess the ridicule kinda got me wound up as well...... I guess Japanese Tan Tan Mian is just not my thing.
At that moment I decided that I'd go home and make Sichuan Liang Mian. I had a package of Sun Noodle Cold Udon in the fridge.... I like the noodles... I usually through away the other stuff that comes with it. So long you don't over cook it, the noodles have a nice al dente stretch and pull to them.
Sichuan Cold Noodle Sauce:
1 Tb sesame paste (use a pure sesame paste - like the brand I use for my Purple Cabbage slaw)
1 Tb dark soy sauce
1 Tb light soy sauce
2-3 Tb Chinkiang vinegar
1 Tb white sugar
5-6 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp ground Sichuan Peppercorn
1 Tb sesame oil
Multiple heat sources...... I used what I had around the house:
Some red chilies, ground red chilies, sambal olek, and home made chili oil.
Mix it up, and adjust to your taste.....I ended up adding more vinegar and the Missus thought it could use even more. I dumped the sauce on the noodle, added some sliced cucumber, cilantro, and scallions.......
Actually, if you got some ground pork and preserved vegetable, mixed with some chilies, dumped it into a hot wok with peanut oil, then added a couple of splashes of light soy sauce to this you'd probably have a close approximation of Dan Dan Mian.
Anyway, this stuff is easy to make.... I've made it a couple times since. Once we had a nice meal..... I made the Missus some Karei Karaage and had some smoked duck legs I had in the fridge.....
The Missus told me that sometimes it's "fun getting you all riled up....." Well, I guess this time it was pretty tasty as well.