Whilst you can never beat an authentic ramen, this at-home version hits the spot and is relatively light and easy to make. Tantanmen is the Japanese version of Sichuan dan dan noodles, with a creamy, spicy broth. Traditionally made with ground meat, here we’ve used tofu, but you could use pork or chicken mince.
1/4 cup tahini, hulled
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce, or tamari
2 tbsp mirin
360g dried ramen noodles, or 4 x 140g packs fresh ramen noodles
2 tbsp neutral oil
2 tsp sesame oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup gochujang
200g bean sprouts
8 cups boiling hot water
2 x 5g sachets dashi powder
300g firm tofu, diced into 2cm pieces
1 large bunch spinach, trimmed
4 jammy egg, peeled and halved, to serve (see Note)
1/4 cup coriander leaves, to garnish
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, lightly ground with a mortar and pestle, to garnish (optional)
Place the tahini, rice wine vinegar, soy or tamari, and mirin in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook your noodles, following packet instructions.
Drain, rinse with cold water, then divide between four serving bowls.
Heat oils in a large pot on medium heat.
Add the onion and gochujang and cook, stirring, until the onion has softened (about 4 minutes).
Stir through the bean sprouts and cook, stirring, until they have softened too (2 minutes).
Add boiling hot water and mix in dashi powder to dissolve.
Add the diced tofu and your tahini mixture and simmer for 2 minutes to heat through.
Remove from the heat, and drop in the spinach to wilt.
Portion the ramen over your noodles in your serving bowls.
Carefully slice your jammy eggs in half over each bowl, if using.
Garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves and ground sesame, if using.
A jammy egg is an egg that has been soft-boiled for 7 minutes, then cooled in cold water to prevent further cooking, resulting in a perfectly soft yolk.