Bosh! Spicy Dan Dan Noodles (Vegan)

For Chinese New Year inspiration I headed to the Bosh! website (image taken from there). Whilst veggies can be many textured and flavoured, for some, especially those who might be newly exploring plant based foods, being able to make the most of the many plant based meat substitutes might make the transition easier and keep the habit in the longer term. The Bosh! recipes shine the spotlight on both the veg-centric and how to utilise the substitutes in equal measure. They say:

Spicy Dan Dan noodles, a classic Chinese recipe with incredible flavour. It may not be much to look at, but this dish wows the taste buds with its ginger, garlic and 5 spice. The noodles, meanwhile, are great at absorbing flavour and super speedy. 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra if needed 125g mushrooms (we used shiitake) 200g plant-based mince
  • 3 spring onions
  • 200g ramen noodles (or whichever noodles you prefer)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • chilli oil, for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Salt

For the sauce

  • 50ml water
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes


Before you start: Large saucepan of salted water on a high heat • Frying pan on a high heat • Microplane or fine grater handy

Start with the mince • Heat the sesame oil in the hot frying pan • Finely chop the mushrooms and add them to the pan with pinch of salt • Add the mince to the pan and fry for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until you are left with a crispy mixture (turn down the heat if you find it sticks to the pan too much) • Slice the spring onions and set aside 

Meanwhile, cook the noodles • Add the noodles to the pan of boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions • Drain and rinse with cold water
 Make the sauce • Mix together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl 
Return to the mince • Peel the garlic and grate it directly into the pan along with the ginger • Add the Chinese 5 spice • Cook for 1 minute, adding a splash more sesame oil if it looks too dry • Pour in a third of the sauce and cook for 2 minutes until the mince is slightly browned • Remove half the mince mixture and set it aside • Reduce the heat to low while the noodles finish cooking • Transfer the cooked noodles to the pan and add most of the spring onion, keeping a handful back for garnish • Increase the heat, pour in the remaining sauce and stir well, adding a splash of water to loosen if necessary
Serve • Divide the noodle mixture between 2 bowls • Top with the reserved crispy mince • Finish each portion with a drizzle of chilli oil, sesame seeds and the remaining spring onion