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Tatanmen Ramen



Tantanmen is the Japanese equivalent to Dan Dan noodles, however, unlike Dan Dan noodles, Tantanmen is more of a ramen opposed to dry noodles. What makes this ramen bowl so special are a creamy, Intense chicken broth with a creamy rich spicy tare then pairing all of that with a minced salty, aromatic topping to create a bowl where all of the components work in harmony. This is a mighty fine bowl of Tantanmen and this is how I made it…



1. First thing we need to to is to break down the chicken. Take one medium sized whole chicken and remove of the legs first by scoring along the joint then gently dislocate and pull them from the carcass. Next score around the wishbone to expose then remove this also. Slice off the breasts by using the breast bone as a guide then slice as close to the carcass as possible to remove of the breast and wings. 

2. First we want to prepare the legs, we will not use the breast and wings for this recipe so save these for another time. For the legs we want to separate the thighs from the leg then remove the skin from both. Next, remove the thigh bone and also remove the leg bone by slicing towards the bone to expose then scrape away the leg meat. Now that we have our meat slice the legs & thighs into a small dice then store to one side for now.


3. To our minced chicken we now want to take the mince to the next level by incorporating some duck. Remove the skin from 1 duck breast then slice the skin and breast into a small dice the same way as the chicken. Now place the minced chicken, duck and skin onto a chopping board then use a large knife to mince again until evenly combined. Store the mince into the fridge for now and will come back to cook this later to make the most delicious topping.


4. Time to move onto making the broth, using the chicken carcass saved from preparing the chicken we are also going to need around 250g of chicken feet with the toe nails removed. To a large pot add the chicken carcass and 250g of chicken feet then add enough water to submerge. Place the pot onto a a high heat then bring the water up to a boil. When boiling, remove of any unwanted impurities that rise to the top then when clean drain and wash the feet and carcass under cold running water. Add the carcass and feet back into the pot then completely cover again with fresh water. Place back onto a high heat and bring the water up to a boil again. When boiling this time turn the heat down to a medium high then place a lid over the top slightly cracked open boil the for 3-4 hours. To speed up this process a pressure cooker would also work.


5. Whilst the broth is boiling away we can now make up the tare and we will use this to cut and season the broth at the very end. In a mortar & pestle start by adding 2 tbsps of toasted sesame and grind until nice and fine. Add the ground sesame to a mixing bowl along with 4 tbsps of tahini, 2 tbsp of sesame oil, 2 tbsps of light soy and 3 tbsps of chilli oil. Mix this well then the tare is ready. You can also add a pinch of sugar to this if you prefer but i will leave this up to you. Store in the fridge and we will use this when we come to serve.

Broth Aromatics:

6. The best way to tell that the broth is ready to add the aromatics is when the broth has become slightly milky and the bones and feet completely broken down. To the broth we can now add 1 roughly sliced leek, 1 whole garlic bulb sliced in half, 1 roughly chopped white onion, 15g of sliced ginger and 1/2 roughly chopped Napa cabbage. Now the aromatics are added continue to boil away for 1 more hour.

Finish the broth:

7. After 1 hour of further boiling our broth should now be nicely infused and also nice and milky with an intense chicken aroma. Remove the broth from the heat and then pass the broth through a fine sieve into a fresh container making sure to extract as much of the broth from the chicken pieces and aromatics using a ladle. When passed, pulse the broth with a stick blender to lock in the fat to emulsify then when ready we should be left with a an intense chicken flavoured milky white broth. Store to one side and we will re heat just before serving.

Minced Duck & Chicken Topping:

8. Moving onto the minced duck & chicken topping. Place a frying pan onto a medium heat then add 2 tbsp of chilli oil and 3 finely minced garlic cloves. Fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant then add all of the minced chicken and duck. Turn the heat up to high and fry until browned. For some sweetness and to slightly caramelise the mince add 1 tsp of white sugar then mix the sugar into the mince. Now to add some flavour we can go in with 2 tbsp of Doubanjiang, 2 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp white miso and 3 tbsps of light soy. Mix well to evenly coat the pork then to lighten up the mince we can now add 2 finely sliced green onions. Now to loosen up the topping add 1/2 cup of water and 3 tbsps of cornstarch slurry. Bring up to the boil then reduce the liquid until thick and the mince become coated nicely in the sauce. Finally season with a good pinch of black pepper then keep the topping to one side for now. 

Additional Toppings and Noodles:

9. Just before we begin to bring everything together we can prepare the noodles and extra simple toppings. Slice 1/2 bunch of green onions into batons then into a fine julliene. Next, seperate the leaves from one pak choi then cooking these briefly in boiling water for 2 minutes until wilted. As for the noodles i’m always going to use home made for ramen and I will leave a link on how to make those here. One think I would add, however, is if making your own ramen noodles or buying store brought this style of ramen needs a thin cut noodle that is scrunched up to enable the noodles to hold the soup and to carry more flavour from the Tantanmen. Finally you could also prepare some soft boiled eggs if you wish but this is totally optional for this bowl. Now all that’s left is to build up the bowls!

Finish the Bowls...

10. To finish the bowls we firstly need to build up the tare. In a serving bowl add 1 1/2 tbsps of the tare, 1 tsp black rice vinegar, 1-2 tbsp of chilli oil and a pinch of minced spring onion. Next, briefly blanch the pak choi in boiling water for60 seconds then remove and now add the ramen noodles to the same boiling water. Whilst the noodles are cooking we can add 300mls of the hot broth to the tare then mix really well then by this point our ramen noodles should now be just cooked. Drain the noodles really well from the water then lay them into our broth. Pull the noodles to make a small platform on top of the broth then we can add the blanched pak choi, a good spoon full of the minced topping, an optional soy egg, a drizzle of chilli oil then top all of that with some finely sliced green onion and a pinch of toasted sesame. Take a big breath then chase that noodle dream…

Additional notes

Traditionally minced fatty pork is used to make up the topping so feel free to use that instead of the chicken & duck. I know 3-4 hrs of boiling the chicken parts may be some ask, therefore, a pressure cooker would cut the time down to 1 1/2 hrs. I also know that there are lots of “15 minute” Tantanmen’s out there but I feel they simply do not do this type of ramen justice as the depth of flavour isn’t quite there. Have fun making Tantanmen and I will see you guys on the next recipe! 

To serve 4-5
Total Cook Time: 5hrs
Total Prep Time: 1hr



  • 1 whole chicken carcass
  • 250g chicken feet
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 whole leek
  • 1 white onion
  • 15g ginger
  • 1/2 Chinese leaf
Duck Chicken Mince:
  • 2 chicken legs (from carcass)
  • 1 duck breast
  • 2 tbsp doubanjiang
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 3 tbsp light soy
  • 2 tbsp chilli oil
  • 3 minced cloves
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • black pepper
  •  4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame
  • 3 tbsp chilli oil
  • 2 tbsp light soy
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
Additional Ingredients:


  • 2 pak choi
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions
  • ramen noodles for 4-5
  • chilli oil
  • soy marinated eggs
  • ramen noodles for 4-5