Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Recipe: Tantanmen - Spicy sesame ramen

Recipe: Tantanmen - Spicy sesame pork ramen (Serves 2)

Pork mince

  • 250 g pork mince
  • Sesame oil for frying
  • Mirin to taste
  • 2 tbspn soy sauce
  • 2 tbspn Doubanjiang
  • Optional: 1 tspn Shiro miso


  • 3 tbspn Chimajyan sesame paste
  • 1 tbspn Rayu Japanese chili oil
  • 1 tbspn Black Zhenjiang Vinegar (Optional)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken or pork bone broth

Noodle and toppings

  • 2 serves ramen noodle
  • Wilted greens (bok choy / spinach / mustard greens) 
  • 1 cup corn
  • Soft boiled egg 
  • Diced scallion
  • 1 tspn Beni Shoga red pickled ginger
  • Other toppings of choice: Menma bamboo shoots, cubed tofu, bean sprouts

Method : Pork
  • Heat the sesame oil in a pan and add the minced pork, fry until brown
  • Add the doubanjiang and soy and stir fry. 
  • Add Mirin 1 tbspn at a time until desired sweetness is reached
  • If desired add white (shiro) miso at this point to add even more umami
  • Turn the pork off the heat and set asside

Method : Soup

I cheat and start with a tonkatsu soup base because roasting bones is not my idea of a good time, however if you feel strongly about this please refer to this recipe for tonkotsu broth from Serious Eats and prepare 4 cups of liquid.

  • I am aiming for 1.5 - 2 cups of broth per person you can adjust the liquid levels to your tastes
  • Prepare your tonkotsu broth, if using a base then add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of bone broth per 2 people
  • Heat the broth while you prepare the sesame paste
  • In a small bowl combine the rayu hot sesame oil and roasted sesame paste, then add to the soup
  • Stir until well integrated and the soup has reached serving temperature
  • If desired more rayu or sesame paste can be added to taste or black (Zhenjiang) vinegar used to balance

Method: Noodle and toppings

  • Pre-boil eggs while preparing soup or earlier in the day, if desired season with tea or soy. Eggs can be set aside and served at room temperature as they will warm with the soup
  • Boil the noodles and greens until al dente then drain, spoon per person servings into ramen bowls
  • Cook corn and set asside
  • Cut or cube any other toppings into bite sized pieces that can be collected with a spoon and chopsticks
  • Spoon soup over the noodles until the noodles are almost covered (~1.5 - 2 cups)
  • Top the soup with pork, egg cut in half, vegetables and remaining toppings in a circle
  • Top the pork with scallions and / or beni shoga 
  • Remember ramen is designed to be customisable, add or remove toppings if my defaults are not to your taste
  • Serve with your favourite noodle bowls and anime =^.^=

One variation is to top with fried pork belly or chashu in place of the seasoned minced pork.