Unlike the overseas Chinatown version, there is no peanut and/or sesame seed paste and sugar added to authentic dan dan noodles served in Chengdu.

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The true dan dan noodle dish is made with a blistering chili black bean paste, ground pork, a dollop of raw minced garlic and crunchy ground peanuts topped off with scallions and cilantro. The sauce is placed at the bottom of an empty bowl, unseasoned al dente noodles are put over the sauce and the diner is charged with the task of mixing it all up.

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The noodles are sold by weight in liang — one liang is 50 grams, a filling meal would be about three liang. Dan dan noodles are like Lays potato chips: you can’t eat just one (liang).

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Retrieved from: CNN