Vegan Sesame Tantanmen (Homemade Ramen)

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This Vegan Sesame Tantanmen features the perfect ramen noodles swimming in a creamy sesame broth, served with spicy tofu crumbles and fresh vegetables. The perfect easy to make comfort meal!

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Coming at you HOT with this delicious, ultra rich and creamy Vegan Sesame Tantanmen! Super excited about this one because well.. I think the title says it all. Vegan Ramen, who doesn’t get excited about ramen?! Soft chewy noodles drenched in a nutty, spicy broth with little chewy bits of meat-y mince and crunch from the vegetables. You really don’t need butter or meat to make a dang hearty and delicious ramen.

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Tantanmen is a Japanese take on Sichuan Dan Dan noodles. It’s typically served spicy with traditional asian vegetables, minced pork and garnished with green onions. The creamy nutty sauce is usually made from sesame paste or peanut butter. One of the best Tantanmen’s I’ve ever had was actually from a vegan ramen restaurant in Japan, in Tokyo Station. The noodles were perfectly cooked, the ratio of noodles to broth was perfect, and the broth was creamy, flavourful but not too salty. The vegetables and soy crumbles just made it extra special with the additional textures. On my flight back to Canada, I was totally inspired to make this slurp worthy bowl of tantanmen at home.

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I think the soup base is the most important component when it comes to a good bowl of Tantanmen. When making the soup base, I tried a couple different ingredients, variations and ratios but ultimately settled on this combination of flavours (very similar to the one I tried if I remember correctly).

  • Tahini - for it’s subtle nuttiness and makes it super creamy

  • Soy sauce - for it’s saltiness

  • Rice Vinegar - for a slight tang to balance out the richness

  • Sesame oil - for its aromatic flavours (this stuff never needs an explanation why you should add it… it’s just essential)

  • Rayu (Japanese chili oil) - for the spice

  • Soy milk - to make it extra creamy

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This Vegan Sesame Tantanmen has been my go-to comfort meal during this winter. I love how simple and easy it is to make!

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Ramen come in all sorts of flavours, shapes of noodles, vegetable combinations… I’d love to know your favourite or if you’d like to see more veganized ramen recipes!

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Why you’ll LOVE this Vegan Sesame Tantanmen, it’s:

  • creamy

  • rich

  • chewy

  • crunchy

  • warming

  • so full of flavour

  • homemade and easy to make

  • and makes the most satisfying comforting meal!

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Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Sesame Tantanmen (Homemade Ramen)

  • I highly recommend using the fresh ramen noodles sold in the fridge section vs. dried or frozen ones. They all are very different in texture.

  • I chose bean sprouts, cabbage, corn as my vegetable toppings but you can use any you like! I also like to add in bamboo shoots and all sorts of mushrooms like shiitake, enoki, shimeji or oyster.

  • Serve the ramen as soon as the noodles are cooked. Leaving ramen noodles in hot broth for too long over cooks them and you end up with soggy too-soft noodles.

  • The ramen paste can be made in patches ahead of time, I would use around 3-4 tbsp per bowl if you triple the recipe. It can be stored in a air tight glass jar for a week.

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If you recreate this Vegan Sesame Tantanmen please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Ingredients

Soup Base:

  • 3 tbsp tahini

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp rayu (Japanese red chili oil)

  • 1 cup soy milk (250ml)

  • 1.5 cup veg broth (300ml)

Spicy Fried Soy/Tofu Crumbles:

  • 100 g soy meat or tofu

  • 1 tsp garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp ginger, minced

  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sake (optional)

  • 1/2 tbsp miso paste

  • 1 tsp red chili oil

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 portions of ramen noodles  

  • 1/2 head of small cabbage, shredded

  • 1 cup bean sprout

  • 1/2 cup corn

  • Additional garnishes: crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, sliced green onions, sliced garlic tops, soy sauce and rayu/red chili oil.

Method

For the Spicy Fried Soy/Tofu Crumbles:

  1. If using soy meat, soak in hot water for 5 minutes. If using tofu, crumble tofu until they resemble minced meat.

  2. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat with some sesame oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic and ginger. Add in the soy/tofu crumbles and then add in the sake, soy sauce, miso paste and red chili oil. Fry until the crumbles get slightly crispy (around 3-5 minutes)

For the toppings:

  1. Prep the vegetables by slicing them and steaming them for around 3 minutes.

  2. Bring a medium pot to a boil and then cook the ramen according to instructions (around 5 minutes)

For the Soup Base:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the soy milk and broth into a bowl until a paste forms.

  2. Heat the soy milk and vegetable stock over medium low heat, then reduce to low as soon as you start to see bubbles. Whisk in the paste made earlier until dissolved.

To assemble:

  1. Place cooked noodles into a bowl. Pour over half the broth. Add on the fried minced soy meat, vegetables, additional garnishes and chili oil.

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 2

  • PREP TIME: 10 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 15-20 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 14

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY