Say it with me, now- Dan San.
“Dan.” (like “dahn”).
“San.” (like “sawhn”).
Well, look at you! You just learned a new Cantonese word! Many people haven’t heard of this delicious Chinese treat. But it’s as fun to eat as it is to say. Dan San means “deep fried egg goodness” and is normally served during Chinese New Year as a dessert or treat. And a lot of Chinese dishes signify something important, so in the case of Dan San signifies having more prosperity each year. As you fry the Dan San it expands and puffs up, which symbolizes your wealth expanding. I was surprised that not too many people have tried or even heard of this Chinese New Year staple, so obviously I have to give it a good come back!
I decided to make them with one of my favourite Ontario grown fruits- apples! I really love how versatile and easy Ontario Apples are to cook with. And when looking for Ontario Apples, make sure you look for the Foodland logo to make sure you are buying produce from Ontario. The traditional Dan San recipe is a fried fresh dough topped with syrup, but I’ve incorporated some Western flavours with this Eastern dessert and am happy to share my Apple Dan San recipe with all of you!
I chose the Cortland apple for this recipe because it has more of a delicate sweetness, and the flavours are not too overpowering. It also has a nice crispness to it that really elevates the traditional Dan San and adds so much character to an otherwise traditional dessert. Insider secret: the Cortland apples resists browning (not 100%, it still browns a little) which is perfect since these Dan San take a little extra time to put together and it’s nice not to have fully browned apple slices at the end of it all.
I hope you enjoy making these Apple Dan San not only for Chinese New Year, but for any time of the year! Make it your next dessert for your next holiday bash. Because who doesn’t love fried apple goodness?
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup cake flour (and some extra to flour the counter when rolling out the dough)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 Cortland apple (washed and thinly sliced into small pieces)
- Canola oil for frying
- 1/4 cup white sugar (for coating)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon (for coating)
- Honey (or brown rice syrup for coating)
- Preheat 1 inch of oil in a pot on medium-low heat
- In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon and mix. You’ll use this to coat your Dan San after they are done frying
- In a separate large bowl, combine the oil, cake flour, egg, water and sugar (the first 5 ingredients) until a soft dough is formed
- Flour the counter and roll out the dough to 1mm thick
- Trim the edge of the dough to form a large rectangle
- Cut dough into smaller rectangles (approximately 1inch x 4 inches)
- Add a slice of apple on each end of the rectangle and fold dough over
- Cut a slit in the middle of the rectangle and flip both ends inside out (to form a bow tie shape)
- Fry for 1 minute or until golden brown
- Dust with cinnamon sugar and drizzle with honey
If you can resist not eating all of the Dan San in one seating, they taste great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. As always the recipe and opinions are my own.
I learned so much just reading this post, Joyce! Thanks for sharing and happy holidays.
Hi Aimee! Thanks so much for checking out my recipe! You are an inspiration!
I am so happy when I learn about new dishes, and also new foreign words! This Dan San looks like something I would totally love! It is crispy, with beautiful and delicious apples!
Those little fried twirls with apples are showstopping-ly yummy looking!
I grew up in an apple valley in Nova Scotia so apples have always been a big part of my life but I like how you took a twist on this and shared comfort food from a different culture instead of a boring apple pie!
I love learning new words! Thanks 🙂 These look so great, I love how you used the apples in a different way – so refreshing to see.
Love this East-meets-West take on a Chinese classic Joyce! I’ve not made Dan San myself (or any of the Chinese desserts for that matter), but this easily rises above the pack. The apples sound like a fantastic addition. Oh, and on an entirely unrelated note, I totally misread the title of your post as “Dan Dan” at first and thought you’d somehow made apple noodles. Haha.
haha! Thanks Sean for checking out my recipe! Give it a try!!
I love learning about desserts from other countries and this one is so unique and it looks easy too. Thanks for sharing. Pinning.
Thank you! Would love to see your pictures if you try making it!
I learn Chinese, but Mandarin, and this name is not familiar to me, as well. But I really like the recipe!
These look delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them but at least now I can pronounce them properly!
Thanks Sarah for checking out my blog! Give the recipe a try!
That’s so cool! I didn’t know any of that (other than that Cortland apples are amazing!). I’ll have to get over my fear of frying and try it out
Thank you! Give it a try and tag me on Instagram @joyceofcooking!
I love experimenting for foods from other cultures. This looks like a fun weekend experiment for a cold winter day. The results will be a truly delicious treat too.
This sounds like a great treat! I love your step-by-step pictures too!
I am learning new things everyday! It’s funny but I haven’ Thought about these tasty little treats in a long time. My grandma used to make them for us when we were young. Thanks for reminding me how great these were!
Hi Yvonne! Thanks so much for checking out the recipe! I was surprised that not many people remember these delicious treats! Hope you have a chance to make it!
OMG, your intro had me rolling and your photos are fantastic! This looks so good… 😉
Hi Catherine! Thanks for the sweet comment! Would love to see a pic if you try making them 🙂
Oh, I bet these are very tasty little apple morsels. I bet they’re delicious with the caramel. These would be fun to make with family. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Thank you for checking out my blog! Would love to see a picture if you make it with your family!
Ohh, these look like a treat! Fried dough is everything!
Thanks Rezel! Cannot go wrong with fried dough 🙂
You sold me at deep fried!! I love all things fried, and love Asian cuisine. I’m not sure if I’m bold enough to try to make these myself, but will have to find them at a restaurant
Its not hard to make! You have to try it!! 😀 Thanks for checking out my recipe!
I’ve never heard of dan san. I’m drooling! This sounds like something I would love to try!
Give it a try and let me know how you like it!
We have so many apples in our backyard begging to be made into these treats, thanks so much for the recipe – I’m still stuck drooling over the texture!
Ohhh!! You are so lucky to have an apple tree! Enjoy the recipe!
These look amazing. I’d love to dunk these in a salted caramel sauce! Thanks for sharing the recipe!1
omg! yum!! with salted caramel sounds delicious!
I’m one of those people who had never heard of Dan San. But now, I MUST try. They look so perfect!
Thanks Jordan! Give it a try!
Wow this looks so yummy! My boyfriend would absolutely love these. I’ll have to make them soon.
Thanks Nicole! Hope you and your boyfriend enjoy them! 🙂