Tan Tan Ramen, also known as Dan Dan Ramen or Tan Tan Noodles, combine delicious ramen noodles & ground pork with a spicy, creamy broth seasoned with chili oil, peanut butter and sesame paste.
This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2022 to add new information. The recipe remains the same. Enjoy!
Rick and I often head to our favorite local ramen spot for a bowl of steaming hot noodles on Sundays. It’s a perfect, hearty meal after a long weekend of perhaps too much wine tasting.
And, while I’ll often reach for a spicy miso based ramen, his favorite is the Tan Tan Ramen.
I’d describe them as having a much more creamy, nutty broth. They tasted a bit like peanut butter to me… and I decided that I needed to do some research into the recipe to find out what really was going on here.
✔️ What is Tan Tan Ramen?
Tantanmen Ramen seems to be one of those dishes that have many different variations and different names. Tantanmen is the Japanese variation of sichuan noodles known as Tan Tan. It’s also known as Dan Dan Ramen, which tends to be served with less broth than Tan Tan noodles.
The noodles can be served dry (with no broth) or in a spicy, chili flavored broth that’s made creamy with the addition of peanut butter and/or sesame paste. Then the bowls are topped with a mixture of ground pork.
I prefer to make my Tan Tan Noodles with broth, but not super brothy like a traditional ramen. I use about half the broth as you would in a ramen noodle soup. Because the broth is so rich and creamy, I find that you don’t need as much as you would with a lighter clear-based broth.
The ingredient making this ramen broth so rich & delicious is the peanut butter. An ingredient that I always have on hand. It’s such a versatile ingredient. I love adding it to savory recipes like these Grilled Lamb Chops with Spicy Peanut Sauce or these 20-Minute Sesame Chicken Noodles.
🛒 Tan Tan Ramen ingredients
- Fresh Ginger + Garlic
- Green Onions
- Black Bean Sauce – This packs a delicious salty, punch. You’ll find it in the asian foods aisle.
- Peanut Butter – We’re going for creamy here.
- Tamari – Or low-sodium soy sauce.
- Tahini – Sesame paste. You’ll often find this sold near the peanut butter.
- Chili Oil – Or chili crunch.
- Chili Paste – Sriracha, gochujang, or sambal oelek work. You can omit for a less spicy soup.
- Broth – I prefer to use my homemade bone broth, but any store bought chicken broth, vegetable broth, or beef broth will work. Just be sure that it is low-sodium since the other ingredients in this recipe pack a salty punch.
- Ground Pork – You can substitute ground beef or ground turkey. For a vegetarian version, add some tofu or simply leave out the meat.
- Toppings – Spinach, green onions, eggs, cilantro, radish sprouts, sesame seeds.
📋 How to make it
- Prepare the soup base. Start by sauteeing the green onions, bean paste, sesame and chili oil. Then add in the broth, peanut butter, tamari, tahini and chili paste. Simmer for 15-minutes.
- Cook the ground pork.
- Cook the ramen noodles.
- Portion the noodles into bowls, top with broth, ground pork, spinach and your favorite toppings.
I love adding one of my Instant Pot hard boiled eggs to the top!
Tip: If you’d like to add some baby bok choy in there, add it to the boiling water when you cook your noodles. It will cook in the same time as the noodles (3 minutes).
I would say that these noodles are medium on the heat scale. It’s easy to dial down the heat by simply using less chili oil & chili paste. Alternatively, if you’d like to make spicier szechuan noodles, you can use more.
I’m keeping things simple with this tantanmen recipe by just using dry ramen noodles that you’ll probably remember from your college days. They come with a spice packet, but for this recipe, you won’t be using it. You can also look for fresh ramen noodles if your market carries them. Udon noodles will also work well in this recipe.
Tan tan noodles can be served dry (with no broth) or in a spicy, chili flavored broth that’s made creamy with the addition of peanut butter and/or sesame paste. Then the bowls are topped with a mixture of ground pork. The flavors are packed with umami and the broth is very rich and delicious.
Did you make this Tan TanRamen?
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🍷 Wine Pairings for Tan Tan Noodles
- Riesling, Gewürztraminer: Look for a white wine with just a hint of sweetness to it – It’s a great way to tame down the heat in this tantanmen.
- Rosé is another great match – It’s acidity, and light body will pair nicely with the creamy broth.
🥣 More Asian-inspired soup recipes
- Tantanmen Ramen (Dan Dan Noodles)
- Instant Pot Chicken Pho
- Slow Cooker Thai Noodle Soup
- Lamb Dumplings in Spicy Ginger Broth
🍜 More yummy noodle recipes
- Sesame Noodles with Chicken
- Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles)
- Kung Pao Noodles
- Vietnamese Noodle Salad (Bun Bo Xao)
- Instant Pot Pho Recipe
- Cumin Lamb Noodles
Plus, be sure to check out these 30+ BEST Asian Side Dishes.
Tan Tan Ramen Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 ½ Tablespoons grated fresh garlic (about 8 cloves)
- 6 green onions (sliced)
- ⅓ cup black bean sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons hot chili oil (optional (omit for less heat))
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
- ¼ cup tahini sauce
- 2 Tablespoons chili paste (optional (omit for less heat))
- 7 cups bone broth (or low sodium chicken stock)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 4 3-ounce packages ramen noodles (cooked (sauce packets discarded))
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 3 green onions (sliced)
- 4 soft boiled eggs (halved)
- Cilantro (chopped)
- Daikon radish sprouts
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil (for the ramen).
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger & garlic and cook until light golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add green onions, black bean sauce, sesame oil and chili oil, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add broth, peanut butter, tamari, tahini and chili paste. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the ground pork over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add ½ cup of the broth mixture to the ground pork to season.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions and drain. Place the noodles in a bowl and top with spinach, broth and ground pork. Garnish with green onions, eggs, cilantro and radish sprouts.
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30 thoughts on “Tan Tan Ramen (Dan Dan Noodles)”
I love noodle soup and ramen! Oh my goodness this looks so delicious I might have to lick my computer screen.
Where is your ramen stop- is it Kayos? I love the combination of the nutty peanut with a little chili heat!
I love Roman and I love any kind of peanut sauce so this looks so good to me. I’ve never had this kind of Roman and it looks like I’ve been missing out because this is such a delicious sounding recipe. I must try it!
I love that this perfectly blends spicy with creamy and theres so much great umami packed in! This is a great Friday night alternative to takeout!
As a kid, I couldn’t handle much spicy food, but tan tan noodles were always one of my favorites. The combo of peanut butter and chili is so addictive!
This dish looks wonderful. I love the addition of peanut butter, it reminds me of the schezuan noodles a friend used to make. It was so yummy! I look forward to making this dish to my family! Thanks for the great recipe!
I hope you enjoy Kristi!
My daughter has a peanut allergy. Will it alter the taste of the recipe too much if the peanut butter is left out?
Hi Jeannie – I think a good swap for the peanut butter would be tahini. I would give that a try. Hope that helps and thanks so much for stopping by!
Thanks for the recipie.
I found that the tan Tan noodles we’re a bit too salty for my liking. It could be the fact that ‘chili paste’ could be anything and the black bean sauce could have different levels of salt, depending on brand.
Overall, this is close to the Japanese style tan Tan noodles I had at ramen restaurants so thanks for the recipie!
This recipe looks so good! I want to try it but I have a few questions on the ingredients. What products did you use for the black bean sauce, chili oil, and chili paste? It seems like there are many options out there with these names so I just want to make sure I’m getting the right ones. Thanks!
Hi Kelly – I’m sorry, I don’t remember exactly. I just used the ones available in our local grocery store. I think I used the brand Lee Kum Kee for the black bean sauce and chili oil. And for the chili paste, I used Huy Fong. Hope that helps!
No worries! Would a black bean sauce with garlic work? And was the chili oil a clear red oil or oil with chili pieces in it? Thanks again!
We made this as soon as we saw the recipe. SO SO GOOD. Can’t wait to try the pho next.
Yay! I’m so glad you liked it Amy!!!
I made a vegetarian version of this amazing recipe for New Year’s Eve Dinner. Rather than the pork I used some shredded, previously-frozen tofu (freezing and then thawing the tofu gives it a more toothy texture; it got nice and crispy by being pan-fried in coconut oil and a little garlic). I dialed down the heat and added about 1.5 Tbs of garlic chili sauce in lieu of both the chili oil and chili paste. I pre-sauteed bok choi and thinly sliced some young daikon radishes as add-ons. Everyone LOVED it, vegetarians and omnivores alike! It was plenty for the only course for four people AND with the sauce left over made for the basis of a second dinner for two the following night. The blend of flavors is vibrant and memorable – a great way to usher in the new year. Thanks for this fantastic recipe, which I’ll be sure to revisit in the near future.
Thanks for providing these swaps Irene! The tofu sounds absolutely wonderful for this recipe!
What would be a decent sub for the tahini and tamari? We do not have those in our pantry.
Hi Taylor – Low sodium soy sauce is a good sub for the tamari. For the tahini, you could leave it out entirely. Hope that helps!
Hi, what is Black Bean Sauce?
Hi Brit – You’ll find it in the asian foods aisle. Or you can purchase it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/38Z77nd
This was great! It is the first recipe of yours that I’ve tried but it certainly won’t be the last! Relatively easy and quite flavorful.
Thank you so much Misty!
I just wanted to let you know I used your recipe today and it was GREAT!!!!! I amped up the spice and used soba noodles. This has been the best Dan Dan recipe I have found so far.
Definitely going in my SAVED FAVORITES!
I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks Kimberlee!
This was great! Very easy to make, but loved the complexity in the flavors. My two toddlers even ate it! I did omit the chili sauce since my children were eating it, but surprisingly I didn’t find it lacking. Just as good without it!
One comment – I think the serving amount might be off – definitely makes more than 4 servings! We will be eating this for a few days (which is definitely not a bad thing!).
Looks amazing! I’m making it. Question. It looks like there is bok choy in the photo but I don’t see it in the ingredients list. Can you explain?
Hi Julie! If you’d like to add some baby bok choy in there, add it to the boiling water when you cook your noodles. It will cook in the same time as the noodles (3 minutes).
Made this recipe tonight! It was absolutely delicious