Hot Sesame Noodles with Pork
We took cues from a Sichuan favorite for our new take on a weeknight noodle dinner.
Why This Recipe Works
For a truly excellent version of sesame noodles, we took inspiration from Sichuan dan dan noodles. They're rich with chili oil but have a tempered spiciness that's enhanced and balanced with scallion, notes of toasted sesame, meaty soy sauce, bright vinegar, and pleasantly numbing Sichuan peppercorns. Dotted with supersavory bits of pork, they're irresistibly tasty. For a home cook—friendly version, we used spaghetti as our noodle base, which is a similarly shaped noodle but much more commonly available than that of the original dish. For the savory pork, we enhanced the flavor of ground pork with hoisin and soy sauces and a splash of dry sherry (a good sub for Chinese rice wine). A combination of toasted sesame oil and tahini worked great as the heart of our rich sesame sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, and Asian chili-garlic sauce brought the signature heat and pleasant lip-tingling effect.