Spicy Sesame Noodles

These spicy sesame noodles are made with a heaping pile of perfectly cooked noodles, minced pork and sauteed greens with garlic, ginger and toasted sesame oil. They’re a spicy, sweet and savory flavor explosion!

Spicy dan dan noodles in a white pan

What do I need to make this recipe?


While there are ton of different ways to make spicy sesame noodles, this version has some pretty straight-forward ingredients you can find at most grocery stores. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Udon, ramen or any thick rice noodle. If you have spaghetti at home, that works too.
  • Soy sauce. I use low sodium because it’s less overpowering and has, well, less sodium.
  • Hoisin sauce. Hoisin is a sweet and spicy sauce made from soybeans, vinegar, garlic and spices and is often used in Chinese cooking.
  • Tahini or peanut butter. If you’re not familiar, tahini is sesame seed paste, which is traditionally used in dan dan noodles, but you can also use creamy peanut butter if that’s what you have on hand. (Spoiler alert: it is absolutely delicious either way.)
  • Toasted sesame oil. You absolutely need the toasted variety. I’ve made the mistake of buying regular sesame oil before and it had very little sesame flavor. Get roasty toasty, folks!
  • Rice vinegar. Of the unseasoned variety. You can also use Chinese vinegar if you have some.
  • Honey. A little sweetness will balance out the salty and acidic flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Garlic and ginger. Because, well, they’re both so delicious and add a ton of flavor to the sauce.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes. This is where the spicy comes in. Most people have crushed red pepper flakes in their pantry, which is why I used them for this recipe, but if you a hot pepper paste like Gochujang or chili paste, go ahead and use a dab or two.
  • Ground pork. I love the pork flavor with these ingredients (plus it’s rich), but you can use ground chicken or beef or try it with shrimp.
  • Greens. Bok choy is my favorite here, but if you have spinach on hand, go ahead and toss some in. Chopped kale or mustard greens would work as well.
  • Green onion. For garnishing!
  • And of course the usual suspects, like a neutral oil, kosher salt, black pepper and stock.
Spicy dan dan noodles in a white dish


Good news, folks! To make these spicy sesame noodles, you need just a few simple pieces of equipment.

  • A large pot for boiling the noodles
  • A cutting board and chef’s knife to chop the greens and green onion
  • Measuring cups and spoons (liquid and dry) to measure out the sauce ingredients
  • A mixing bowl and whisk to make the sauce
  • A wok or large skillet and a wooden spoon to cook the pork and to mix everything together
  • A slotted spoon or colander and tongs for adding the noodles to the sauce, pork and greens
Dan dan sauce in a measuring cup

Step-By-Step Cooking Instructions

  • The first step is to boil the noodles. Each type of noodle has a suggested cooking time, so be sure to read the package and follow the instructions provided for the best results. Have a colander or slotted spoon on standby.
  • The next step is to mix together the sauce ingredients. I like to make this before sauteing my meat and veggies because I feel less rushed and more prepared when it’s time to mix everything together. Simply measure each of the ingredients and whisk them together in a bowl. I often use a liquid measuring cup for this because it has a pour spout and just makes life easier. If it seems super thick, add a little bit of water or stock.
  • Saute the pork and greens. I use a wok for this step, but if you don’t have one, a large skillet will work just fine! Use a wooden spoon to break up bits of the pork. Add the greens and cook until they’re wilted.
  • Add the sauce and noodles to the wok or pan and use tongs to mix everything together. If your noodles are done at the same time, you can use a slotted spoon to transfer them right to the wok or skillet, but if they’re done before that, I’d use a colander to drain them and set them aside for a few minutes. (But don’t wait too long or the noodles will stick together! You can avoid this by tossing with a little bit of the sesame oil.)
  • Use tongs to transfer the noodles to serving bowls. Top with green onion. Throw on some roasted peanuts or sesame seeds, if you’d like!
  • EAT! This is the best part. All of your hard work is done and now you get to enjoy it.
Spicy dan dan noodle ingredients

Recipe Substitutions and Alternatives

  • To make it gluten free: Use thick rice noodles and tamari (gluten free soy sauce). Read the label on the hoisin sauce bottle to be sure it’s gluten free – some brands are, some are not.
  • To make it nut free: Go with tahini (sesame seed paste) instead of peanut butter. Read the label on all packaged products to be sure they are nut free.
  • To make it dairy free: This recipe is naturally dairy free!
  • To make it vegetarian: Skip the pork and use double the greens! You could also add chopped bell pepper, chopped carrot, chopped onion and mushrooms, if you’d like.
  • To make it vegan: Follow the vegetarian steps above and read the label on all packaged products to be sure they are made from vegan ingredients.

Are spicy sesame noodles served hot or cold?

  • Generally I serve these noodles hot and as a main dish. You can serve them right out of the pan or store them in the refrigerator and reheat them in the microwave or on the stove.
  • If you’re in the mood for a cold salad, go ahead and let the noodles cool down, then transfer them to a storage container and store them in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, you may just need to toss them with a little cold chicken stock before serving.
  • Either way, they’re totally scrumptious!
Spicy dan dan noodles in a white dish

Other Asian-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love:


Spicy Sesame Noodles

Spicy dan dan noodles in a white pan

My version of spicy sesame noodles with minced pork, a spicy sesame sauce and greens.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 25-35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired




  • 14-ounce package udon noodles, Chinese noodles or thick rice noodles


  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tahini or creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 56 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken stock


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1-pound ground pork
  • 34 cups chopped bok choy or fresh baby spinach
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 medium green onions, thinly sliced


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, tahini or peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil to medium. Add the ground pork and bok choy or spinach and cook 6-8 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked, breaking the pieces up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with a pinch of salt and the cracked black pepper.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the noodles from the boiling water to the pork mixture. Pour in the sauce mixture and bring to a low simmer, stirring the mixture together with tongs until hot.
  5. Serve noodles topped with sliced green onions.


Substitution Tips:

  • Use any Asian-style noodle or spaghetti.
  • Try with ground chicken or beef.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 472
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 716mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: dinner, noodles, pasta, comfort food, Asian-inspired

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