Today’s recipe is tantan udon. Now udon is made of flour, usually thick, elastic texture. In Japan, especially in west area(not only there, but I’m just proud to be western Japanese haha), it is super popular that even some people eats it everyday. My favorite style is hot udon with raw egg, without soup. When I was working in Osaka, there was a udon restaurant near the office and I went there almost everyday. And I ordered same udon every single day. My colleagues were changing their orders but I didn’t once. After a month, the restaurant remembered me and asked me before I ordered, “Same as usual?”.
Well that’s not what I’ll show you all today. Tantan noodles is originally from China, but it has spread to Japan and it changed styles. My style is to make it spicy, but not too spicy. It is perfect on a cold day! You can use other kinds of noodles if you want, such as ramen noodles or glass noodles. Enjoy!
Spicy Tantan Noodles
200g udon(or other noodles for 2 portions)
200g ground pork
2 bunches of spinach(or more, if you want!)
2-3 dried shiitake(if applicable)
2 pieces of dried chili
2 tsp chicken stock powder(for soup)
1 tbsp + 2 tsp(for soup) chili bean sauce
1 tbsp + 2 tbsp(for soup) soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
- Boil hot water for soup. We will make soup in a noodle bowl directly so you can prepare water with a kettle. If you use frozen udon then defrost, if you use dried udon then cook them. For dried shiitake, it’s better to put them in 100ml water. We’ll use the water later so keep it. For spinach, cut them in to bite size and put it in a plate, sprinkle water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2mins(or boil them for 2mins).
- Cut the onion into rough dice. Grease a pan with sesame oil, add dried chili first, then add onion to it. When it starts getting cooked, add ground pork. Spread it like a patty first and fry, split into pieces when one side is cooked. I like some meat chunks in it, not completely split into pieces. Then add diced dried shiitake. If you wanna use fresh mushroom, then add them when you split the meat into pieces.
- Add cooking sake, soy sauce, chili bean sauce, a pinch of Sichuan pepper and oyster sauce and mix it well. Turn the heat to low and put a lid on. Right before it’s completely cooked, pour the water from dried shiitake and cook till the water is gone.
- Prepare a ramen bowl, add chicken stock powder, soy sauce, chili bean sauce, Sichuan pepper, white pepper into the bowl. Pour some boiled water and mix it well. Then add noodles, pour some more boiled water and mix it again. Taste the soup here, and adjust it with soy sauce, or chili pepper powder if it’s not spicy enough. Remember you will have the meat on the noodles, so don’t make the soup too salty!
- Lastly, put the meat and spinach nicely. Bon Apetit!