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This fast Whole30-friendly Dan Dan Noodles uses zucchini noodles to make it paleo, cornichons for an acidic tang, and a separate chili oil for heat!
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5 from 1 vote

Dan Dan Noodles

This fast Whole30-friendly Dan Dan Noodles uses zucchini noodles to make it paleo, cornichons for an acidic tang, and a separate chili oil for heat!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Chinese, Zoodles
Keyword: gluten-free, keto, low carb, paleo, Primal, Whole30
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 580kcal
Author: Michelle Tam


  • For the noodles:
  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • For the chili oil:
  • ½  cup light-tasting olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½- inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the pork:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2- inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1½  pounds ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons tahini or almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • ¼  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼  cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • pinch coconut sugar
  • ⅓  cup cornichons
  • garnish: a handful cashews 2–3 scallions


  • Make the noodles. Julienne the zucchini with the spiralizer. Place the noodles in a colander and toss them with the salt until the strands are lightly coated. Set the colander in the sink to drain while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Make the chili oil. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, peppercorns, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Warm the oil over medium-low heat while you cook.
  • Cook the pork. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. While the oil heats, peel and grate the ginger, mince the jalapeño, and peel and crush the garlic. Add the aromatics to the oil and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Crumble the pork into the pan, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it’s browned, 7–10 minutes.
  • Make the sauce. While the pork cooks, place the tahini, sesame oil, Chinese five-spice, and black pepper in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Add the coconut aminos, vinegar, and sugar; stir until combined. Chop the cornichons and set them aside.
  • Put it together. Add the sauce to the meat in the skillet and stir to coat the meat. Add the cornichons to the skillet, toss to combine, and transfer the meat mixture to a large bowl. Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Rinse the zucchini noodles under running water, drain well, and squeeze them dry in a clean dish towel. Add the noodles to the heated pan and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until hot. Return the meat to the pan and toss with two wooden spoons to combine; allow it to heat through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cinnamon stick from the chili oil and discard it. Set the oil aside to cool. Chop the cashews and scallions.
  • To serve, divide the noodles among individual bowls and top with a drizzle of chili oil, then sprinkle with cashews and scallions.


Make-ahead tips: Spiralize the zucchini, make the chili oil, and prep the sauce in advance; store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, cook the pork and put it all together according to the directions.
Tried this recipe?Mention @nomnompaleo or tag #nomnompaleo!


Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 50g | Fiber: 4g