Tantan Mazemen recipe from Sarah Gavigan's "Ramen Otaku: Mastering Ramen at Home"

Enjoy the deep dank flavors of sesame and fermented chili in this Chinese influenced ramen at home

By Sarah Gavigan
Published January 13, 2019 10:30PM (UTC)
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Tantan Mazeman from "Ramen Otaku: Mastering Ramen at Home," by Sarah Gavigan (Emily Dorio)

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.

Serves four

Sarah Gavigan

Sarah Gavigan is executive chef and owner of Otaku Ramen and Bar Otaku in Nashville and the author of "Ramen Otaku: Mastering Ramen at Home"

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