Tantanmen ramen is a Japanese dish that recipe developer Patterson Watkins compares to Sichuan dan dan noodles, describing it as "a fiery, savory, and well balanced bowl of ramen." One interesting addition to the standard ramen broth is soy milk, which Watkins says helps "soothe the palate" from the two rather incendiary ingredients in this recipe: spicy bean paste and a drizzle of chili oil that goes over the top. In addition to the bean paste, the ramen broth is flavored with rice wine along with garlic, ginger, and green onions (AKA scallions), an aromatic trio of ingredients that Watkins says "all pair harmoniously" with this "slurp-worthy" bowl of noodle soup.
While this recipe does not really lend itself to being made ahead of time — as ramen noodles can become mushy if left to soak in broth too long — Watkins does say that the other individual components, such as the seasoned pork and soup base, can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. That way, if you only want a single serving of this dish, you can simply boil up a ramen noodle packet, heat up the broth and meat, and add the toppings (also prepped in advance) to build yourself a made-to-order noodle bowl.
Assemble The Ingredients For Tantanmen Ramen
This soup starts with the packaged ramen noodle bricks that many of us happily keep in our pantries. Instead of using the seasoning packets, though, you'll be making your own soup base out of chicken broth, soy milk (the unsweetened kind), sesame paste or tahini, and sugar. The protein comes in the form of ground pork, which is seasoned with mirin, garlic, ginger, spicy bean paste, and soy sauce, plus you'll also be topping the noodle bowls with boiled eggs. Other ingredients you'll need include vegetable oil for cooking, as well as bok choy, scallions, and chili oil to garnish the dish.
Marinate The Meat
Season the ground pork with the mirin, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons bean paste, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, making sure to mix everything very well. Cover the container and put it in the refrigerator. Let it sit for 10 minutes so the meat can absorb some of the flavor from the seasonings prior to cooking.
Make The Soup Base
While the pork marinates, mix the broth, milk, sesame paste, and sugar in a pot along with the rest of the bean paste and soy sauce. Simmer the broth for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring every once in a while so it doesn't stick. Since you'll still need to fry the pork before you're ready to make the noodle bowls, turn the stove burner down to the lowest setting to keep the broth warm until everything else is all set to go.
Cook The Pork
Pour the oil into a frying pan and heat it up over a burner set to medium-high. Once it's hot, use it to fry the pork for about 5 minutes, stirring to break up the clumps. Once the pork is no longer pink and is starting to get a bit crispy, remove it from the heat.
Assemble The Noodle Bowls
When it comes time to serve, it's OK if the bok choy, eggs, and noodles have gone a bit cold, as Watkins notes that these ingredients "will instantly warm when added to the bowls and submerged in the hot broth." Simply divide the noodles and broth among bowls and top them with the cooked pork, boy choy, scallions, and eggs. (Watkins notes that the eggs can be cooked anywhere from medium to hard-boiled, so 6-10 minutes.) As a final step, drizzle as much chili oil as you like over your noodles, and dig in.
Tantanmen Ramen Recipe
Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 15mYield: 4 servingsIngredients
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons mirin
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 tablespoons spicy bean paste, divided
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons sesame paste or tahini
1 pinch (approximately ⅛ teaspoon) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 packages ramen noodles, cooked, drained, and rinsed
2 baby bok choy, halved and blanched
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
½ cup chopped scallions
2-4 tablespoons chili oil, or to taste
Mix the pork with the mirin, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons bean paste, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, then cover the meat and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, soy milk, sesame paste, and sugar with the remaining bean paste and soy sauce. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep warm while you complete the other steps.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the pork for about 5 minutes until browned and slightly crisp.
To serve, divide the cooked ramen noodles and broth among bowls. Top each serving with pork, bok choy, eggs, scallions, and chili oil, and enjoy.
Read the original article on Mashed.