Life

Instant Tan Tan Shin Ramyun: James Park uses chili crisp and creamy ingredients to 'level up' a fave

Try this recipe from his cookbook, Chili Crisp, using any brand of ramyun you love.

Try this recipe from his cookbook, Chili Crisp, using any brand of ramyun you love

Overhead shot of a bowl of ramen with an egg and bok choy. It's in a shallow yellow bowl next to a bright blue serving tray. The table it's on is covered with a red and white checked cloth.
(Photography by Heami Lee)

With tahini and soy milk — and a nice big scoop of chili crisp — James Park transforms Shin Ramyun instant noodles into the Japanese dish tantanmen. Make a batch of his Everyday Savoury Chili Crisp to use in this recipe (and everywhere), though he told us your favourite store-bought variety will work too. Look for one with “different savoury components, like garlic, shallot, anchovies” and “a good ratio of crisp and oil,” he said. And since the crisps help to season the pork, he added: “Scoop out as much crisp as possible.”

And yes, absolutely try this with your favourite ramyun brands. Park's used Jin Ramen and thinks spicy Buldak noodles would suit the recipe. "Even though it’s not brothy, its liquid-seasoning packet might work well to season the ground pork," he said. "And the nuttiness of tahini and creamy soy milk might balance the crazy spice of buldak sauce in a surprising way. I haven’t tried this combo, but now I need to experiment!"

Read on for how to make this spicy, flavour-packed soup from Park’s cookbook, devoted to his favourite condiment, Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings

Instant Tan Tan Shin Ramyun

By James Park

Tantanmen is a Japanese take on dan dan noodles, or dan dan mian, a popular noodle dish in Chinese Sichuan cuisine. There are four important components in dan dan noodles: spicy chili oil, a savoury meat mixture, a nutty sauce, and wheat noodles with leafy vegetables. Unlike dan dan noodles, which don’t have any broth, Japanese tantanmen typically comes with a flavourful broth. Every time I sip this nutty, spicy broth, I can’t help but smile and forget all my worries. It sounds cheesy, but that’s the power of good broth, especially tantanmen.

This recipe is an instant way to create the spicy, nutty flavours of tantanmen. It starts with my absolute favourite brand of instant noodles, Shin Ramyun, which has addictively spicy flavours that complement chili crisp well. When assembling tantanmen, the savoury meat mixture and broth are prepared separately. But in this dish, everything happens in one pot so that the broth can develop even deeper flavours. The tahini and soy milk combination adds nutty, savoury flavours and creates a rich, creamy broth in minutes.

I love to dollop chili crisp on Korean instant ramyun to bring different types of heat to the broth, and this is just another delicious way to use chili crisp to level up instant ramyun. If you love things that are both spicy and creamy, this easy recipe is for you.

Notes: 

The noodles will absorb the broth during cooking. If you want a brothier ramyun, cook the noodles separately. Then, assemble the dish by adding the cooked noodles to the bowls first, then pouring the broth on top and garnishing. 

There are so many creative uses for Shin Ramyun seasoning powder. You can make this recipe again with your choice of noodles or use the seasoning packet to season your meat and veggies. You can even use it as an ingredient to make your chili crisp blend. The seasoning already has spices and flavours, which will be a great addition to chili crisp!

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola
  • 1 lb (455 g) ground pork
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Two 4.2 oz (120 g) packages Shin Ramyun or any spicy ramyun, including seasoning packets (powdered seasoning and dehydrated vegetables)
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp chili crisp, plus more for serving
  • 2 cups (480 ml) chicken broth (or any type of broth)
  • 2 cups (480 ml) soy milk
  • 3 heads baby bok choy

Preparation

Add enough water to a large pot to submerge the eggs and bring to a boil; prepare a bowl with ice-cold water. Add the eggs to the boiling water and cook for 6½ minutes. Transfer the eggs to the prepared ice bath to shock and stop the cooking. Peel the soft-boiled eggs and set them aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and cook the pork for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it’s no longer pink. Set aside 1 tbsp of the green part of the chopped green onions, add the rest to the pot with the pork, along with the garlic, and sauté for a few minutes, or until fragrant. Season the meat with the mirin, soy sauce, one entire powdered seasoning packet, and gochujang and continue to cook until most of the moisture has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Once the ground pork mixture is seasoned and slightly crisped, add the onion, followed by the tahini and chili crisp. Stir to combine.

Add the chicken broth and soy milk to the pot. Add only half of another powdered seasoning packet and both of the dried vegetable seasoning packets. Bring to a boil, then add the noodles and constantly lift them up and down in the boiling broth until fully cooked, about 4 minutes or the cooking time for the noodles listed on the package. After the first 2 minutes of cooking the noodles, add the bok choy.

Divide the noodles between two bowls and garnish with the reserved green onions, the soft-boiled eggs, and an extra drizzle of chili crisp on top. Serve immediately.

Serves 2


Excerpted from Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings by James Park © 2023. Published by Chronicle Books. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

From life's little projects to its big questions; the latest in food, style, relationships, work and money, home, wellness, pets and travel delivered directly to your inbox each week.

...

The next issue of CBC Life Newsletter will soon be in your inbox.

Discover all CBC newsletters in the Subscription Centre.opens new window

now