Welcome back to our review of Blue Apron! If you want to know more about Blue Apron in general, click on over to the Blue Apron Unboxing and Pricing post to get the scoop.
First on the menu was Pork Dan Dan Noodles with Watermelon Radish & Garlic-Lime Peanuts. Besides being visually appealing, this dish includes a lot of ingredients we usually have in our pantry so we could easily make it again without having to invest in a bunch of new ingredients if we liked it.
If you want to make this at home yourself, here’s what you’ll need.
- 8 oz. ground pork (or turkey, chicken or beef)
- 4 oz. Canton Noodles
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 scallions
- 1 lime
- 1 watermelon radish (for garnish, optional)
- 2 tbsp doubanjiang paste
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp peanuts
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground sichuan pepper corn
- 1/2 tsp white ground pepper
Makes 2 servings
If you’re planning on trying Blue Apron, I would recommend reading through the whole recipe card before starting. That way there are no surprises along the way. Now onto the prep and cooking!
Step 1: Prep your vegetables. Mince the garlic, chop your scallions at an angle (separating the whites from the greens), cut your watermelon radish into matchsticks, and zest (~2 tsp) and quarter your lime.
Step 2: Boil a pot of salted water and cook your noodles for 2-3 min or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Step 3: Make your peanut garnish. In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp of oil until nice and hot. Give your peanuts a rough chop and add them to your pan with the half the garlic until they are nice and golden brown. Add in the lime zest and give everything a good toss.
Transfer onto a paper towel and set aside.
Step 4: Make the sauce. Combine your peanut butter, doubanjiang paste, soy sauce, and 1/4 cup of water. Give everything a good whisk to make sure everything is combined.
Step 5: In the same pan you used to make your peanuts, cook your ground pork until browned. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
Step 6: In the same pan, add 2 tsp of oil and add in your brown sugar, ground ginger, ground sichuan pepper corn, white ground pepper, the rest of your garlic and the white bottoms of the scallions. Cook until everything is lightly softened and then add in your sauce mixture.
Step 7: Remove from heat and add in your noodles.
Give everything a light toss to ensure the sauce gets evenly distributed over the noodles.
Step 8: Plate and garnish with the peanuts, scallions and watermelon radish.
The verdict: Overall, we both really enjoyed this dish. The sauce was rich, flavorful, and the perfect accompaniment to the pork and noodles. Best of all, you can easily sub the pork for chicken, beef, turkey, or even fish. While the watermelon radish and peanuts are a nice touch, they aren’t absolutely necessary. Yes, the gorgeous pink color from the watermelon radish really makes the dish pop and adds some crunch but its not a vital component. So if you’re making this dish to impress someone, absolutely add in the radish and other garnish. But if you’re looking for a quick and easy weekday dinner for two, you can certainly leave out the fancy garnish and stick with just the main ingredients.
As with all of these types of subscription services, a portion of the end result depends on the preparation and execution of the dish by non-professional chefs. But after all is said and done, I think we did a pretty good job following the directions outlined in the recipe card. Some of the cooking times may be off by a few minutes but if you stick with the recipe suggestions and use a little common sense, you should be in the clear. Also, some of the ingredient measurements may have been modified so you can follow along at home (i.e. 1 packet = ~1 tbsp).
And with that, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Blue Apron meals to come!
If you also received this dish from Blue Apron, I’d love to know your thoughts on it as well! Simply leave a comment below.