Mild Dan Dan Noodles (Tan Tan Men)

Mixing chicken stock and soy milk with spicy sesame paste gives a rich taste that's not too spicy.

Mild Dan Dan Noodles (Tan Tan Men)
Photographed by Akane Nakamura

Recipe by
Kinya Komoda




Rice & Noodles



Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 1 portion Chinese-style noodles (fresh)

    Wheat flour noodles, originating in China. In Japan, they are mainly used in soups, or fried.

  • 50 g ground pork
  • Spinach, as desired
  • [A]

    • 1/2 tbsp Chinese sweet flour paste

      Sweet bean paste, made with flour fermented using koji. The fragrance is enhanced when heated. Often used in stir-fries or mapo tofu (a spicy Sichuan dish of tofu and minced meat).

    • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • [B]

    • 2 tbsp naga-negi long onions (minced)
    • 1 tsp Chinese pickled vegetables (minced)

      A popular Chinese pickle made by pickling a Chinese mustard tuber in salt, sansho pepper and chili pepper.

    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp sesame paste (white)
    • 2 tbsp chili oil

      Seasoning originally from China. Chili pepper cooked in vegetable oil to extract the spiciness.

    • 2/3 tsp rice vinegar
  • 160 ml chicken stock (dilute granulated Chinese chicken soup stock with water according to the instructions on the label)
  • 160 ml soy milk (non-homogenized)
  • Chili oil, to taste
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt



Warm a small amount of vegetable oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the ground pork over medium heat. When it turns brown and releases some of its oil, add [A] and stir-fry vigorously. Parboil the spinach in lightly salted water, drain and chop into easy to eat lengths.


Put [B] into a serving bowl without mixing.


Bring water to a boil in a pot, add and stir the noodles and boil the noodles according to the instructions on the package. In a separate pot, warm the chicken stock and soy milk over medium-low heat, making sure not to bring to a boil.


Pour the heated soup into the serving bowl. Add the boiled and drained noodles, making sure to pick them up with chopsticks to untangle them before placing them in the soup. Top with the ground pork and spinach and sprinkle chili oil to taste.