Tantanmen - spicy ramen in soup in a large bowl. Two egg halves with runny yolks, ground pork, and Menma chutes are mixed in and sesame seeds are sprinkled on top.,


Tantanmen is a Japanese Ramen that was inspired by the Chinese noodle dish – “dan dan mian”.  This spicy ramen is flavored with chili oil in a tasty broth and topped with ground meat, eggs, sesame seeds and menma.  If you like ramen and you like spicy food, then you will love this supercharged chili infused bowl of noodles.

Tantanmen (担々麺), is a hot and spicy ramen, similar to Dan Dan Noodles but served in soup.  Ramen noodle soups are found in a variety of flavors – most notably miso ramen (made with miso paste), shio ramen (made with salty broth), shoyu ramen (made with soy sauce), and tonkatsu ramen (made with pork bones).  But none of these ramens are particularly spicy – and this is why I think Tantanmen is such a popular dish.  The spicy taste of chili oil is so delicious with ramen soup and complements it perfectly.

Tantanmen in a bowl with a spoon and chopsticks to the right and some chili powder to the left.
Tantanmen ready to eat.

Tantanmen can be found in Japan in many noodle shops and is especially popular in Taiwanese or Chinese restaurants.  I use a chicken broth base flavored with both rayu (chili oil) and sesame oil to give the broth a deep red color and an aromatic flavor.

The toppings can vary, but I always like to add in soft egg (known as yude-tomago), which is a six minute hard boiled egg.  The egg yolk remains soft and runny while the white hardens up a bit.  Other toppings include menma (which are picked bamboo chutes), sesame seeds, and a protein such as tofu, ground chicken or pork, or roasted pork belly (chashu).  Other delicious toppings could include scallions, mushrooms, or mung beans.  The important thing is to personalize your Tantanmen with the toppings you like most.

The ramen noodles are the most important ingredient and you want them to not be overcooked and soft.  You can use instant ramen noodles (throw out the sauce pack), freeze dried or fresh.  Make sure to cook them for the minimum recommended time because you are going to pour your hot soup over them which with soften them up a little more.

Chili Oil is flavored with chili, and usually garlic and or onion.  It will add lots of flavor and give the dish its distinctive red color; however, if you want it super spicy, you can also add in some cayenne pepper to suit your own taste.

Tantanmen (担々麺)

Tantanmen are flavorful and aromatic spicy noodles in broth.  The soup is the key.  Although you can use only consommé for the broth, I like to also use some shiitake or dry mushrooms in the soup.  Like many other dishes, build it up in layers.  First cook the noodles and add it to the bowl, then pour the soup over, and finish up with the toppings.  Tantanmen is so easy to make that it might wind up becoming one of your favorite staples dishes to come back to when you are craving noodles.

5 mins 45 mins Serves 2
PREP 5 mins
COOKING 45 mins
YIELD Serves 2
Tantanmen - spicy ramen in soup in a large bowl. Two egg halves with runny yolks, ground pork, and Menma chutes are mixed in and sesame seeds are sprinkled on top.,


  • 3 cups chicken consommé
  •  1 TBSP Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic (about 1/2 clove)
  • 1 tsp dried mushrooms
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs, boiled 6 minutes and peeled
  • 1/4 cup sliced menma
  •  1 TBSP Chili Oil
  • Hot Red Pepper to taste (Optional)
  • 1 single serving package of ramen noodles

Tantanmen Ingredients On a board


  • Sauté the garlic in a pot in the sesame oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the consommé and dried mushrooms.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Consommé with bits of garlic and mushroom in a cooking pot

  • Brown the pork and drain.

Cooking ground pork In a fry pan

  • Cook the ramen per the directions.
  • Put the ramen in the serving bowl.
  • Stir the chili oil into the soup.  Pour the soup over the ramen.

Soup with Chili Oil and Ramen with no other ingredients in a large serving bowl

  • Top with menma, egg, ground beef and sesame seeds.
  • Serve.  Add red pepper to taste.

Ramen with toppings


  • Tantanmen or other noodle dishes don’t keep well in the refrigerator.  Only prepare the amount you want to eat.
  • Top with chopped scallions to add some color and flavor to the soup.


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