This pescatarian riff on dan dan noodles — which typically uses ground pork — makes perfect use of halibut or salmon burger. We’ve simplified some of the steps and ingredients without sacrificing flavor, but can’t claim true authenticity. Some of the more esoteric ingredients can be found in Asian markets or online, but in most cases have supermarket alternatives.
4 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, divided
3 tablespoons Chinese chili crisp, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons tahini paste
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ pound halibut burger or salmon burger Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box
4 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
8 ounces Chinese wheat noodles or spaghetti
1 cup coarsely chopped bok choy
1 Persian cucumber, cut into fine matchsticks
¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts or 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Prep the Sauce and Fish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the chili crisp, tahini, 3 teaspoons sesame oil, the sugar, and ¼ cup of water. Set aside. Using paper towels, press out any excess liquid from the halibut or salmon burger.
Cook the Fish
In a large skillet, preferably nonstick, heat the peanut oil and remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the halibut or salmon burger and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until opaque, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, half of the scallions, and the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Cook the Noodles and Bok Choy
Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook until tender, 4 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles. Add the bok choy to the pot with the noodles and cook just until wilted. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the noodles and bok choy and rinse briefly under cold running water. Shake out the excess liquid then add the noodles and bok choy to the skillet.
Finish and Serve
Add the reserved sauce and cook, tossing to combine. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if needed to loosen the sauce. Transfer the noodles to a bowl, garnish with the cucumber, peanuts, and remaining scallions and serve with additional chili crisp if desired..
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Pair it Up
Dry white wines with natural acidity, like riesling, grüner veltliner, or prosecco, or crisp light beers like lager or pilsner will soothe the burn of Sichuan spices. Just make sure it’s very cold!
Level It Up
Spaghetti is a fine alternative to Chinese wheat noodles, but don’t be tempted to cook them Italian-style. They need to be tender (not mushy) rather than al dente.
These are especially satisfying to eat while standing in front of the refrigerator at midnight.