My ma la 麻辣 baby

Earlier in the week, Chris had requested that I make dan dan mian. Well, when one asks, ye shall receive. I got all the different components for the noodles ready. Dan dan noodles have quiet a number of parts to it: a complex sauce (all ingredients I actually had on hand – I was so proud of my pantry / fridge in that moment of checking!) that needs to be mixed, a dry stir-fried minced meat mixture (I used ground turkey from Butcherbox for this), stir fried ya cai (Sichuanese pickled vegetable, which some argue *makes* dan dan mian), a leafy green (like spinach, bok choy, pea shoots, or yu choy), crushed toasted peanuts and scallions, and of course, wheat noodles. Once you have all the ingredients ready, you mix it all together, and voila! Your little meal is ready.

We were conservative giving Kaia the dan dan noodles since we’re always unsure if she will be in the mood for something spicy. So we gave her plain noodles and the minced meat mixture and let her pick at that for a bit. But when she saw the bowl of the sauce, she immediately indicated that she wanted to dunk her plain noodles in the sauce, so we let her. And she ate the noodles, slurped air in to indicate it was spicy, and then as I said, “Ma la? Ma la!”, she repeated “ma la (麻辣 hot and numbing in Chinese)” multiple times before demanding water. And after a big gulp, she went back to her spicy noodles. She took breaks with plain noodles, and then kept going back and forth between spicy and plain noodles.

Kaia is my ma la 麻辣 baby, always interested in big, bold flavors and spicy heat. She should really be the Solid Starts poster child.

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