Easy black sesame tantanmen with scorched garlic oil is the perfect weeknight meal for the colder season. Rich with bold flavours, this vegan ramen is incredibly delicious and satisfying.
Aside from curry, I’ve been craving nothing but noodle soups and ramen. Specifically, tantanmen. I ran out of white sesame paste and decided to swap it out for black sesame since I’ve seen it done at my favourite vegan ramen spot in Japan: T’s tantan!
What is tantanmen?
Tantanmen is the Japanese version of Dan Dan noodles. The main difference is that Dan dan noodles have no broth or soup but tantanmen does, much like ramen.
How to Make Vegan Tantanmen
The Ingredients Explained (+ Substitutions)
Theres a lot that goes into this but thats what makes a really delicious vegan ramen- it’s all about layering flavours. However, there are a couple of key ingredients that I wanted to highlight:
- Vegan grounds: I used meatless grounds for the mince but you can also use tofu like I did for my white sesame tantanmen.
- Doubanjiang (chili bean paste): You can find non-spicy ones at asian grocery stores if you prefer it more mild.
- Miso paste: or Tianmianjiang which is a sweet bean paste to contrast the doubanjiang.
- Sesame oil: For flavour.
- Rayu (Japanese chili oil): both in the broth and drizzled as a final touch
- Mayu (Scorched garlic oil): deepens and gives the broth another layer of flavour
- Black sesame paste: You can find black sesame paste on amazon or next to asian white sesame paste in grocery stores.
- Soy milk: be sure to use non-sweetened and fresh if you can get your hands on some!
- Ramen noodles: I used dry ramen noodles for this recipe but you can also use fresh like I did for my white sesame ramen.
The Directions (Step-by-Step)
Despite the extensive list of ingredients, making the actual tantanmen is super easy! Let’s break it down:
- Garnishes: Prepare the garnishes and toppings first so your noodles don’t get soggy later on. Parboil the bokchoy and mung bean sprouts (I do this while the soup is heating to save time but you can do it in advance). Slice the scallions, grind the sesame seeds and peanuts and set aside.
- Soup: Dissolve the black sesame paste into the soy milk with a whisk. Then add in the water and bouillon and whisk until dissolved. Once the broth starts to heat up, add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, ra-yu, sugar, salt and pepper. Leave the broth on very low heat to keep it warm.
- Spicy Vegan Mince: Cook the garlic and ginger with the vegan grounds. Add in all the flavourings and cook until you get a bit of browning on the grounds. Then set aside.
- Noodles: Boil a pot of water and cook following instructions on the back.
- Assemble: Add the noodles to a bowl and pour broth over. Then add the mince, 1-2 segments of bokchoy, mung bean sprouts and scallions. Garnish with sesame seeds, peanuts, ra-yu and ma-yu.
My top 2 tips for making really good ramen:
- Perfect ramen noodles: I like to ever so slightly under-cook my ramen (about 20 seconds under) because it continues to cook in the broth and it prevents it from getting soggy too quickly.
- Timing: related to the above, the last thing you should cook is the ramen noodles. Have everything prepped and once you get the hang of having two things cooking at once, you can easily make tantanmen in under 15 minutes!
If you recreate this Black Sesame Tantanmen recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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