Dandan noodles or Dan Dan Mian (traditional Chinese: 擔擔麵, simplified Chinese: 担担面) is a classic dish originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine.
It consists of a spicy sauce containing preserved vegetables (often including zha cai, 榨菜, lower enlarged mustard stem, or ya cai, 芽菜, upper mustard stems), chili oil, Sichuan pepper, minced pork, and scallions served over noodles.
Sesame paste is sometimes added, and sometimes replaces the spicy sauce, as in the Taiwanese and American Chinese-style of this dish.  In this case, Dan Dan Mian is considered as a variation of Ma Jiang Mian (麻醬麵), sesame sauce noodles. In American Chinese cuisine, Dan Dan Mian is often sweeter, less spicy, and less soupy, and peanut butter is sometimes added.
The same sauce is frequently served over poached chicken (called Bon Bon or Bang Bang Chicken (棒棒鸡)), and on steamed, meat-filled dumplings in another Sichuan dish called suanla chaoshou. The corresponding Japanese dish is Tantan-men, a form of ramen (formally 担担麺, as in Chinese, but often written with 々, or with 坦 instead of 担 (radical is properly 手 but may be written 土), as in 担々麺、坦坦麺、 or 坦々麺).
Origin and Name
The name refers to a type of carrying pole (a dan dan) that was used by walking vendors who sold the dish on the streets. The pole was carried over the shoulder with two baskets attached on either side. The baskets contained noodles and sauce. The vendors would sell the noodles to passers-by and residents who lived on the streets. The noodles cost almost nothing, and gradually local people called them Dan Dan Noodles. Literally, the name translates as Peddler's noodles.
A variety of English spellings are used. The first word may be either Dan Dan, Dun Dun, or Tan Tan. The last word may also be spelled Mein or Mian.