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Dan Dan- Style Zucchini Noodles
with pork / mustard greens

Active: 40 min Total: 40 min
This noodle bowl (using zucchini noodles for a paleo version) is inspired by a popular street food from the Szechuan region of China. It is traditionally extremely spicy, but our version is savory with a medium kick of spice. Use more or less chili garlic sauce to fit your spice preferences.
Smarts: The versatile sauce on this dish has a slight nutty flavor that comes from Tahini (a sesame paste usually used in Mediterranean cooking) or from any number of other substitutes listed below - Chinese sesame paste or nut butter. Feel free to skip it if you don't have any of these on hand.


Spicy (or not) Dan Dan Noodle Sauce:
  • Garlic - 4 cloves , chopped
  • Stock, any low-sodium variety - 1/2 cup (sub water)
  • Bragg's / coconut aminos - 1/4 cup
  • Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
  • Oil, toasted sesame - 2 Tbsp
  • Tahini - 2 tsp (make sure it's paleo-friendly or sub cashew / almond butter)
  • Honey - 1 Tbsp
  • Chili garlic sauce - 2 tsp , more or less to taste (sub any hot sauce)
Dan Dan-Style Zucchini Noodles:
  • Cashews - 2 oz , chopped
  • Mustard greens - 8 oz , chopped into 1” / 2.5cm pieces (sub chard, baby bok choy, or broccoli florets)
  • Green onions - 3 , chopped, green and white parts combined
  • Zucchini - 12 oz , spiralized, sliced into noodles with a peeler or diced
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Pork, ground - 1 lb


  1. Garlic / Cashews / Mustard greens - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make sauce - Combine garlic, stock, aminos, vinegar, toasted sesame oil, tahini and honey. Add chili garlic sauce (the amount listed will make a fairly spicy sauce, so reduce if you prefer less heat or add more if you want it super spicy). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Green onions - Chop green and white parts of onions and combine. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  4. Zucchini - Turn zucchini into 'noodles' with a spiralizer or peel off strips with a peeler. (Note: If you prefer, you can also just slice your zucchini to make a zucchini saute.)

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  1. Heat a wok or skillet with first part of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard greens and saute until bright green and tender. (If using broccoli florets or baby bok choy, add a splash of water and cover with a lid or plate. Steam vegetables until tender, ~4 minutes.) Season with a pinch of salt. Set greens aside and return wok to heat.
  2. To heated wok add second part of cooking oil and then pork. Saute, breaking pork apart, until cooked through, ~5 minutes more. Drain as much fat out of the pan as possible. Return pan to heat.
  3. Give sauce a stir and pour over pork. Simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, ~3 minutes.
  4. Divide pork / sauce between serving bowls and return wok to heat.
  5. Add third part of cooking oil to heated wok and then zucchini. Saute until zucchini is tender, 2 minutes for zucchini noodles and 3 to 4 minutes for chopped zucchini.
  6. Top pork / sauce with zucchini, greens, green onions and cashews.
  7. Let everyone use chopsticks to toss everything in their bowl together at the table. Add some extra red pepper flakes or some hot sauce if you’d like more heat. Enjoy!



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