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…
While I’ll often reach for a spicy miso based ramen, his favorite is the TanTan noodles.
I’d describe Tan Tan Noodles 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 are Tan Tan Noodles?
Tan Tan Noodles seem to be one of those dishes that have many different variations and different names. Tantanmen is the Japanese variation of sichuan noodles known as Dan Dan. 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. Plus, peanut butter is a nutritional powerhouse. It provides eight grams of protein, two grams of fiber and 12-grams of unsaturated fat in each two tablespoon serving.
How to Make Tan Tan Noodles
- Prepare the broth.
- Cook the ground pork.
- Cook the ramen noodles.
- Add the noodles to a bowl, top with broth, ground pork, spinach and your favorite toppings.
Tantanmen Ramen Ingredients:
- Green Onions
- Black Bean Sauce
- Peanut Butter
- Chili Oil
- Chili Paste
- Ground Pork
Are Dan Dan Noodles Spicy?
What Ramen Noodles Should I Use?
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 in this recipe.
Tan Tan Noodles
Tan Tan Noodles (Tantanmen Ramen or Dan Dan Noodles) combines delicious ramen noodles and ground pork with a spicy, creamy broth that's seasoned with chili oil, peanut butter and sesame paste.
- 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
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup tamari
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 Tablespoons chili paste
- 7 cups bone broth or 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
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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