Check out this noodle with Japanese somen × Chinese tan-tan sauce! I call it a fusion of Japanese and Chinese noodle culture, and I assure you will become a repeater of this recipe. As a beginner cook, it was manageable since the recipe steps are simple enough to comprehend. With the ingredients highly accessible in any supermarket, this somen noodle arrangement is recommended for anyone who is getting tired of the standard Mentsuyu somen recipe. Try it for a change!

What is a tan-tan noodle?

Tan-tan noodles (or Dan-dan noodles) are Chinese Sichuan Cuisine meal. This noodle is my favorite dish in the whole wide world! The soup has a special peanuty sesame fragrant & taste, with spicy chili oil. The toppings for this noodle is usually minced pork, which absorbs the spicy sauce well, and becomes so juicy to eat. The pork also generates the oil just enough to make the noodle more satisfying than ever! Usually, regular chinese noodles (Chuka-Men) is used for Tan-tan noodles in Japan, which is the same yellow noodles used in ramen.

How does this become a fusion with Japanese food?

Today, I’m going to arrange the tan-tan noodles by using Japanese somen noodles, which are thin white thread-like noodles. Because of the smooth texture and the absolute thinness, this noodle is good at absorbing the soup, and mixing well with it. As introduced in the previous articles, the most standard way to eat the somen noodles is by dipping it into cold regular mentsuyu sauce. (Check out the previous article by clicking here.) But today, by introducing the noodle to this stimulating tan-tan flavor, it will create a Japanese×Chinese fusion, and anyone would agree that this pair will surely become a perfect match!

What are the unique ingredients to this recipe?

<Soup>

Let’s focus into making the base soup. To create the distinct peanut/sesame taste like the original tan-tan noodle, I crushed the sesame seeds with a grinder to trigger the fragrance. I put around 4 tbsp worth of sesame to grind, because the more sesame, the more it tastes like the original tan-tan soup. Also with the sesame, I crushed the “Kasho” pepper. Kasho is another Chinese spice that looks like black pepper, but when grinded, they give a pungent taste to the dish by stimulating the tongue. It’s almost like they give you a numb! You will know once you try them, but it will give the special spicy taste that no other spice could provide. Then, add Miso, which is the key component here, along with sugar and soy sauce. By adding about 100cc of boiling water, let the miso & sugar dissolve to mix well. Check the taste here and see if the soup has a strong taste. Later you will mix this with the noodle, so it’s OK if the sauce seems a little salty at this timing. In fact, that’s what you want to aim for. By the way, if you have peanut butter at your house, I recommend putting it in instead of the sugar. It will extract the nutty flavor that is so true to the original tan-tan taste!

<Niku-Miso (Minced Pork sauteed in Miso)>

Next, another key component, the “Niku-miso”, which literally means meat & miso. This is another fusion with Japanese, because we make the meat “miso” flavored, which doesn’t in the original Chinese tan-tan noodles. The steps are simple. Sautee the minced pork with a teaspoon of (sesame) oil, with garlic, ginger, and dried red chili. When the color turns brown, add the miso + sake, and mix well so the taste is set! It looks sooo good that you would probably have a spoonful to taste here.

<Extra Toppings>

Highly recommended are the coriander, crushed peanuts, chopped spring onions, and the Taberu Ra-yu (Hot chili oil with dried seasonings). Check out the somen recipe for the instructions of the Taberu Ra-yu. You don’t know how much dish could be enhanced just by having one jar at home!

Category

Tan Tan somen

Yields2 Servings

 200 g Somen Noodles (4 bunches = 200g)
Niku Miso (Meat Topping)
 200 g Minced Pork
 ½ tsp Minced Garlic (or tube garlic paste)
 1 tsp Minced Ginger (or tube ginger paste)
 ½ tsp Red Dried Chili Pepper (Chopped)
 ½ tbsp Oil (Sesame Oil preferred)
 1 tbsp Sake
 1 tbsp Sugar
 2 tbsp Miso
Soup
 2 tbsp Miso
 3 tbsp Grind Sesame
 1 tbsp Grind Kasho Pepper
 ½ tsp Chicken Broth Soup Paste
 2 tsp Soy sauce
 100 ml Boiling water (utilize noodle boiling water)
Extra Toppings
 Coriander
 Chili Oil (Taberu Ra-yu is recommended)
 Crushed Peanuts

Niku Miso (Meat Topping)
1

Place sesame oil into a pan, and first, place the garlic, ginger, and red pepper. Let it simmer in low heat until fragrant. Add minced pork and cook in medium heat. Once color has changed, add the sake, sugar, and miso, and stir well.

Soup
2

Add the ingredients to the soup and mix in a bowl. Don't forget to add the boiling water when you cook the noodle. This will dissolve the miso and sugar well.

Cook the noodle
3

Boil water in a pan, and add noodles to cook for 90 seconds and drain. Wash the noodles under cold water to take off the slimy texture and drain.

4

Once noodle is drained, add into the soup bowl and mix well. Taste to see if the taste is good enough with the noodles added. If you need to add taste, add soy sauce or mentsuyu sauce and mix well again. Don't forget that the Niku miso topping will be added, so don't make it too salty!

Serve
5

Decorate the noodle first with the meat topping, and the extra toppings.

Ingredients

 200 g Somen Noodles (4 bunches = 200g)
Niku Miso (Meat Topping)
 200 g Minced Pork
 ½ tsp Minced Garlic (or tube garlic paste)
 1 tsp Minced Ginger (or tube ginger paste)
 ½ tsp Red Dried Chili Pepper (Chopped)
 ½ tbsp Oil (Sesame Oil preferred)
 1 tbsp Sake
 1 tbsp Sugar
 2 tbsp Miso
Soup
 2 tbsp Miso
 3 tbsp Grind Sesame
 1 tbsp Grind Kasho Pepper
 ½ tsp Chicken Broth Soup Paste
 2 tsp Soy sauce
 100 ml Boiling water (utilize noodle boiling water)
Extra Toppings
 Coriander
 Chili Oil (Taberu Ra-yu is recommended)
 Crushed Peanuts

Directions

Niku Miso (Meat Topping)
1

Place sesame oil into a pan, and first, place the garlic, ginger, and red pepper. Let it simmer in low heat until fragrant. Add minced pork and cook in medium heat. Once color has changed, add the sake, sugar, and miso, and stir well.

Soup
2

Add the ingredients to the soup and mix in a bowl. Don't forget to add the boiling water when you cook the noodle. This will dissolve the miso and sugar well.

Cook the noodle
3

Boil water in a pan, and add noodles to cook for 90 seconds and drain. Wash the noodles under cold water to take off the slimy texture and drain.

4

Once noodle is drained, add into the soup bowl and mix well. Taste to see if the taste is good enough with the noodles added. If you need to add taste, add soy sauce or mentsuyu sauce and mix well again. Don't forget that the Niku miso topping will be added, so don't make it too salty!

Serve
5

Decorate the noodle first with the meat topping, and the extra toppings.

Tan-tan Somen Noodles
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