Reprinted from "Ramen Otaku: Mastering Ramen at Home" by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2018, Sarah Gavigan with Ann Volkwein.
This is our most requested mazemen on the menu at the shop. I serve it cold on the summer menu, but it can be served warm as well. The pork topping is optional; if you prefer a vegetarian option, simply omit the ground pork. The tantan flavor profile of chili and sesame came from China and is mostly seen in ramen as a tantanmen and served as a brothed hot ramen. I took that concept and made it into a cold sauce.
I have always loved the deep dank flavors of the Chinese exports that line the shelves at the Asian market. To me, that musty aroma of dried and fermented chiles in a dish is strangely satisfying. This sauce was the simplest version of that notion. You can serve it cold (as outlined in this recipe) or warm, and it will become a staple in your fridge. We have been known to serve it with roast chicken at my house — it works on anything.
Large bowl for sauce
Large stockpot with strainer or double boiler with holes
Large bowl for ice bath Large skillet for cooking pork
1 cup white miso
½ cup gochujang (Korean chili paste)
1 cup dashi broth
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup Rayu
¼ cup sambal
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup diced shallot
¼ cup peeled and diced ginger 2 cups ground pork
18 ounces fresh ramen noodles or 12 ounces dried (thicker is better for this dish)
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
4 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (green parts only)
- Prepare the sauce: In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Set aside.
- Fill your biggest pot three-quarters full with water over high heat to bring the water to a boil, ideally with a strainer (or double boiler with holes) that fits into it.
- Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
- Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, then quickly plunge them into the ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Sauté the ginger and shallot for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the pork and sauté until cooked through, about 10 minutes
- Add the noodles to the bowl with the tantan sauce and mix. Portion the noodles evenly among 4 bowls, and top each bowl with ¾ cup of the ground pork mixture, 1 teaspoon of the sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon of the scallions. Serve immediately.