One-Pan Peanut Butter Tantanmen by Tim Anderson

'Tantanmen, the Japanese iteration of Sichuanese dan dan noodles, is one of the best ‘quick’ ramen dishes to make at home, because so much of its flavour and body comes from added seasonings rather than lengthy simmers and infusions. With this recipe, I wanted to keep it as quick and simple as possible, so everything is done in one pan – even the washing up is easy. Traditional tantanmen is made from roasted sesame paste, but peanut butter is not without precedent and a more than adequate substitute, something I discovered when I had a tantanmen craving but no sesame paste was in the house.' 

Sous Chef Top Tip: If you'd like to try this but you're vegetarian, copy our marketing assistant, Sarah, and swap out the mince for tofu puffs. Perfect for absorbing all of the sauce's flavour!


Ingredients


Method 

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the ramen according to the package instructions, but stop just short of al dente – they should be a little undercooked. In the final minute of cooking, add the pak choi and bean sprouts.
  2. Drain and rinse the noodles and vegetables well under cold water to remove excess starch and halt the cooking. Separate the pak choi from the noodles and bean sprouts, then set everything aside while you make the rest of the dish.
  3. Rinse and wipe out the saucepan you used to cook the noodles (no need to wash it properly). Set the pan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the pork mince and ginger and stir-fry for about 6 minutes until cooked through and beginning to brown.
  4. Stir in the miso, Shaoxing wine and peppers and continue to cook until the liquid is totally reduced. Remove from the heat and scrape the mince into a container.
  5. Pour the chicken stock into the pan along with the peanut butter, Korean chilli, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, mirin and vinegar.
  6. Bring to the boil and use a whisk or stick blender to blend the peanut butter into the broth (which method you use will depend on the consistency of your peanut butter). Taste and adjust the seasoning with soy sauce as needed.
  7. To serve, return the noodles and bean sprouts to the broth for a minute or so to re-warm them, then remove from the heat. Divide the noodles and broth into two ramen bowls and top with the pork mince, pak choi, sesame seeds, spring onions and chilli oil – lots and lots of chilli oil. Slurp while it’s piping hot! This can however last for up to three days in the refrigerator if you keep the broth separate from the noodles and toppings.
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