TantanMian is the Japanese adaptation of the Chinese DanDanMian, a dish of noodles seasoned by a spicy sauce made from sesame paste and hot chili oil. In old times, street hawkers used a carrying pole called Dandan and sold the noodles to passerbys; hence the name dandan.
Unlike its Chinese counterpart that only smears sauce on the noodles, Tantanmen comes with a spicy chili flavored soup that consists of zasai, sesame paste, vinegar, soy sauce, scallions, ground pork, and green onion.
Its hot spiciness is gotten from the Japanese chili oil and while the mellow nutty sweetness comes from soy milk and sesame paste. Tantan-mein is served with slivers of chashu (braised pork) and runny aji tamago (Japanese soft-boiled egg). It’s especially delicious when served with chicken with sliced roast pork belly.
Although it is high in calories, Tantan mein’s value exceeds the culinary and includes health benefits too. The sesame seeds in the soup have an antioxidant effect which allows them to slow the oxidation process, activate cells, vitalize the body and enhance blood circulation. So, when you find yourself sweating profusely, remember that there is some detoxification going on.
Let me share my Tantan Mein experiences in Tokyo and where you can find some of the delicious, slurpy, gooey and flavored Tantan mein in the heart of the Tokyo.
#1 Tantan mein at “Chinese noodles Ladder Akasaka”
Tantan mein at this place such a beauty that we often frequent this place when we visit Docomo offices. We have found love in their version of Tantan mein – A hearty bowl of delicious thick soup and slurpy noodles with noodles, pork and aji tamago.
This place is near Temeike Sanno station. However, it’s better to follow the map; link to the map is right below.
#2 TANTAN MIEN: SOYMILK BASE
I was introduced to this place by a friend, we had a lunch at Shibuya Squid Center. There’s a notion that if you are in a squid center order for squid centered dishes but, in our case, we had this tantanmein dish. The dish was listed on the menu as “Tounyu tantanmen” – bean milk with ramen, or soymilk with ramen.
Shibuya is a tourist spot and it is quite easy to locate this store, in case you are lost you can follow the map linked below to reach here.