This Tantanmen Ramen takes just 30 minutes to make and is a healthy spin on ramen. This is not your average ramen! The broth is deliciously creamy and flavour packed and served over spaghetti squash noodles with crumbly chicken. This is perfect for those times when you are craving a warm bowl of soup. It’s Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal too!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS TANTANMEN RAMEN
- It takes less than 30 minutes to make start to finish!
- The broth is ridiculously good! It’s creamy, nutty, spicy and packs a lot of flavour into each spoonful.
- The recipe is easy to adapt depending on what you have, you can use different meat, add in more veggies are swap the spaghetti squash for a different type of noodle.
- You can make each component in advance and then quickly assemble the soup before eating.
WAS IS TANTANMEN RAMEN?
Tantanmen is the soup version of Dan Dan Noodles, a delicious dish from the Sichuan region of China. The dish traditionally consists of ground meat in a rich nutty sauce that is served over noodles.
METHODS FOR COOKING SPAGHETTI SQUASH
I am a big rarely use it in weeknights meal due to how long it takes to cook in the oven. I only recently discovered that spaghetti squash can be cooked in just 10 minutes in the microwave and it’s been a game changer!
- If you have a microwave I would highly recommend cooking spaghetti squash to save time. Simply prick the spaghetti squash all over with a fork and then microwave it for 3 minutes to soften it and make it easier to cut through. After 3 minutes cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and then scoop out all of the seeds. Place the two halves back into the microwave cut side up and cook for a further 7-8 minutes until tender.
- If you prefer to cook spaghetti squash in the oven, preheat it to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place it cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes until tender.
I DON’T HAVE SPAGHETTI SQUASH, CAN I USE SOMETHING ELSE?
I find that spaghetti squash most closely mimics ramen noodles, but alternatively zucchini noodles would also work well. If you aren’t following a grain free diet then rice noodles or udon noodles would work well.
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF MEAT?
Ground pork is traditionally used for Tantanmen but I prefer swapping it for ground chicken which contains less fat but is still very flavourful. Ground turkey is another option that would work well in this soup too.
WHAT TYPE OF CHILI OIL SHOULD I USE?
I like making my own chili oil (you can watch step by step videos here) because it takes just 10 minutes to make and lasts months in the fridge. You can find chili oil in most grocery stores or asian stores. If you are unable to find any, mix 1 tbsp sesame oil with 1/4 tsp of chili powder and drizzle it over each bowl of soup before serving.
I HAVE A NUT ALLERGY
To make this Tantanmen Ramen nut free, you can replace the 1 tablespoon of nut butter with an additional tablespoon of tahini paste. The almond milk can be replaced with any other milk substitute you prefer (oat milk/soy milk/coconut milk etc).
COULD I ADD OTHER VEGETABLES TO THIS TANTANMEN RAMEN?
Absolutely! For this ramen I kept the vegetables simple by using only bok choy and and green onions but there are a variety of other veggies that you could add in. Shiitake or cremini mushrooms would be delicious in this soup, to cook them you can slice them and add them raw into the broth and leave them to simmer for a few minutes until tender, or saute them in a pan with a splash of sesame oil and then add them into the soup right before serving. Other vegetables that could be added to the soup include broccoli, thinly sliced carrots, green beans or zucchini.
DO I HAVE TO ADD AN EGG?
Nope! If you would like to add a soft boiled egg you can definitely do that extra step but to be honest it’s not necessary. Truthfully for this recipe I made the soft boiled egg for the photos but removed it from the soup before eating, I’m personally not a fan of adding egg to my ramen.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SOFT BOILED EGG?
- Bring a pot with 2 inches of water to a boil
- Once boiling, add an egg direct from the fridge to the pot. Cover with a lid and leave the egg to boil for exactly 6 minutes (set a timer!)
- After 6 minutes remove the egg from the pot and run it under cold water until completely cooled.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS
Leftovers will last for up to 2 days in the fridge. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in a pot on the stove on medium high heat until warmed through.
CAN I MAKE THIS TAN TAN RAMEN IN ADVANCE?
You can! Every component of this recipe can be made up to a day in advance, including the broth, spaghetti squash and ground chicken. I would recommend storing everything separately in the fridge and simply warming it all before serving.
Other takeout fakeout recipes that you might enjoy…
- Black Pepper Chicken
- Moo Shu Pork
- Chicken Chow Mein
- Spicy Orange Chicken
- Thai Basil Beef
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
- 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 lbs ground chicken (or ground pork or turkey)
- 2 tbsp chopped ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp cashew or almond butter
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp honey*
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 bundles baby bok choy broken into pieces
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- 2 soft boiled eggs (optional)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp chili oil (store bought or homemade)
- Prick the spaghetti squash all over with a fork and then place it in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes the spaghetti squash will be tender enough to cut in half. Cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and then return both halves to the microwave cut side up to cook for 7-8 more minutes until tender. Once the spaghetti squash is tender, run the fork gently over the inside to break it into strands.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pot on medium high heat. Add in the ground chicken, ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through.
- While the meat is cooking make the sauce. In a bowl whisk together the almond milk, nut butter, tahini, coconut aminos, vinegar and honey.
- Once the meat is done cooking, set it aside on a plate. Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring it a gentle simmer.
- Place the boy choy pieces standing against the side of the pot so the whites are submerged in the stock. Leave them to cook for 2 minutes before submerging them in the stock to cook for another minute. Cooking them this well will ensure the greens don't become overcooked while cooking the thicker white stalk.
- Once the bok choy are tender, remove them from the pot and set aside on a plate. Lower the heat to medium and pour the almond milk/tahini sauce in with the stock. Leave the broth to heat up.
- Divide the spaghetti squash between three bowls. Top with the ground chicken and then using a ladle fill the bowls to the top with the broth. Top with 2 bok choy, sprinkle with chopped green onions and the soft boiled egg if using. Drizzle the chili oil overtop and sprinkle with sesame seeds before eating.