Tantanmen Ramen


Randi and Kelly love Sun brand but any packaged ramen noodles will do.

  • 1 cup bonito flakes
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 cup tamari
  • ¼ teaspoon MSG
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger, minced, divided use
  • 6 ounces doubanjian (Chinese broad bean chili sauce)
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped, divided use
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, ground, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Four 3-ounce packages good-quality ramen noodles
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Chili oil, to taste
  • Fried garlic, to taste

For seasoning (tare), soak bonito flakes in mirin and tamari 20 minutes; strain liquid into small saucepan. Add MSG, salt and 1 tablespoon minced ginger; simmer gently until mixture is syrupy, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

In large non-stick skillet, cook pork over medium-high heat. When fully browned, add remaining 3 tablespoons ginger, chili sauce, half of green onions, 2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds and sesame oil; cook, stirring occasionally until flavors are melded, 4 to 5 minutes.

Cook ramen noodles according to package; drain well. Heat chicken stock.

Into each of four large soup bowls, add 1 teaspoon tare and ½ teaspoon ground sesame seeds. Ladle ¾ cup hot chicken stock into each; stir lightly then place a cluster of ramen in center. Top with pork mixture, remaining green onions and sesame seeds. Add chili oil and garlic to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Randi Howry and Kelly Ijichi

Photography by Eva Kolenko

Food styling by Adam Pearson

Prop styling by Stephanie Hanes