Add all the soup ingredients in a pot and simmer over low-medium heat until the sesame seed paste begins to soften and melt.
Prepare the toppings in the meantime. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, and sauté the pork, garlic and ginger.
Once the toppings from Step 2 have been cooked, add in the miso, sugar, sake, doubanjiang and stir-fry some more.
Boil water in a large pot and cook the noodles to your desired firmness. Warm up the bowl in the meantime, and pour in the soup.
Once the noodles have cooked through, place them in the bowl with the soup. Garnish with the toppings from Step 3 and julienned leek.
Story Behind this Recipe
My husband has been getting into making Chinese noodles at home, but the soup he was using wasn't the best, so we experimented. We wanted to develop a recipe for dandan noodles at the home, and after some research, we settled on this recipe. If you add in less water, you can use this recipe to prepare soup-less dandan noodles.
Adjust the seasoning of the soup and the toppings according to taste. This soup is on the spicier side, so be careful when serving it to kids. The miso, sugar, and sake used to season the ground pork can be replaced with 2 teaspoons of tianmianjiang, if available.