Chef Wendy Zeng was born in the city of Chengdu, China, where she spent her formative years training in her grandfather’s kitchen. Immersed in the flavors and techniques of the Sichuan Province, Wendy mastered the intricacies of the region’s diverse cuisine. At the age of 10, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she discovered Southern BBQ and soul food. She realized that, similar to Sichuan cuisine, Southern food is about family, history, and the dishes that bring us together.
Her culinary style weaves together the flavors and techniques of her familial roots with LA’s local influences. As the host of thematic pop-ups and cannabis-infused supper clubs, she brings the values of her childhood to every table, fostering community among cannabis and food lovers alike.
You may recognize her cannabis infused sichuan chili oil we shared during the holiday season, which you can use for her dan dan noodles dish to celebrate Lunar New Year!
Chef’s Note: “Longevity noodles (伊面Yi Mian) is a common dish served during birthdays or new year celebrations as it symbolizes living a long life. Eating the noodles also signifies long term prosperity and good luck. Throughout different regions in China, every family has their own version of longevity noodles. My family is from Sichuan so we love us some spice! I’m sharing my Dan Dan Noodle recipe that uses homemade chili oil that brings some heat to our longevity noodles.” – Wendy Zeng
Infused Dan Dan Noodles Recipe
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ lb ground pork (sub for shiitake mushrooms if veg)
- 2 tbsp yacai (preserved mustard)
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1 tsp sweet bean paste
- 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1-4 tbsp infused chili sauce, depending on your preferred dosage
- ½ tsp ground sichuan peppercorn
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp sesame paste
- 1/2 lb dried wheat-flour noodles
- 1 sprig scallion, finely chopped
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small nonstick pan. Stir-fry ground pork (or mushrooms) until cooked through and all the water has evaporated. Mix in ginger and preserved mustard, stir fry for 30 seconds before adding sweet bean paste and stir-fry another 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Mix together the remaining 2 tbsp oil and the next seven ingredients in a medium-large bowl that you plan to serve the noodles in ( soy sauce, dark vinegar, sugar, chili sauce, Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, sesame paste)
- Cook the noodles to your liking (al-dente according to package). Drain, add to bowl with sauce, and top with preserved mustard sauce. Sprinkle scallions on top of sauce.
- Mix well before eating.