After reading the dan dan noodle recipe post, Jay emailed earlier this week asking for assistance with a noodle dish that he was trying to replicate from a Bay Area restaurant named Crouching Tiger (where’s the Hidden Dragon?). He shared his sauce recipe with me and asked me to help him tweak it. I looked up the restaurant’s menu and the characters for the noodles that Jay was interested in -- “Sichuan Cold Noodles.” Then I checked out recipes for it online and in my cookbook collection.
Turns out that Jay was looking for an authentic version of Chinese peanut noodles, a dish that I made and ate with abandon in the late 1980s, early 1990s. My husband (then boyfriend) and I ordered the room temperature noodles coated in a spicy, tangy peanut butter-based sauce at Chin Chin in Brentwood, California.
At that time, the restaurant’s “noodles in peanut sauce” defined Chinese cold noodles for many people in Los Angeles. With vegetables and chicken in the mix, the Chin Chin noodles were a great one-dish meal. We were poor students and after a few rounds of takeout, I came up with my own recipe and wrote it down in a recipe keeper.