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Dan dan noodles with tofu

Erchen Chang, the creative director and co-founder of Bao restaurants in London, offers up recipes inspired by Taiwanese noodle shops, including this vegan twist on dan dan noodles
Issy Croker

This is a vegan dish, but uses the same cooking method for the tofu as you would use for meat. It is important that you serve the tofu with white wheat noodles, the type most commonly eaten in Taiwan, to ensure the right texture and taste.


Ingredients for the dan dan tofu

250ml rapeseed oil
200g firm tofu
2cm piece ginger, peeled and finely diced
2tsp chilli powder
1 1⁄2tsp white pepper
1 1⁄2tsp caster sugar
2 1⁄2tbsp soy sauce

for the dan dan dressing

2 cloves garlic, minced
3tbsp soy sauce
4tsp Chinkiang black vinegar
4tbsp chilli oil with bits (Sichuan, if possible)

to serve

400g white wheat noodles
Generous handful coriander, finely chopped
  1. Methods

    Step 1

    In a frying pan, heat the rapeseed oil over a medium heat. Crumble the tofu (The’artyvegan is great) by hand into roughly 1cm cubes. Add to the pan with the ginger and fry for 2 minutes. Add the remaining tofu ingredients and some salt to taste, and let it cook gently for 10 minutes. The tofu should soak up all the flavours and the texture will be very tender and fluffy. Set aside.

    Step 2

    Make the dressing for each serving individually, as the balance of flavours is really important. In one serving bowl, add 1⁄2 minced clove garlic, 2tsp of the soy sauce, 1tsp of the Chinkiang vinegar and 3tsp of the chilli oil, and mix. Repeat with the other bowls.

    Step 3

    Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the white wheat noodles for 2-3 minutes, according to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, drain loosely and toss into the dressing in the bowls. Top each with a generous ladle of the dan dan tofu; be sure to include some of the oil as it will provide extra flavour. Finish each bowl with a small scattering of chopped coriander.

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