Tantanmen: The Japanese Version Of A Famous Chinese Dish

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It is a type of noodles that originates from China. It is made from wheat flour and water, and it is usually served with a spicy chili sauce.

Tantanmen is typically a breakfast dish in China, but it can also be eaten for lunch or dinner. The noodles are usually cooked in a wok, and they are often served with vegetables, meat, or seafood.

Dandanmian consists of a spicy sauce containing preserved vegetables (often including zha cai (榨菜), lower enlarged mustard stems, or ya cai (芽菜), upper mustard stems), chili oil, sesame paste, Sichuan pepper, minced pork, and scallions served over noodles.

The tantanmen is more like ramen with a broth, but kept the spicy powder and sesame paste.

What is tantanmen

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What does “tantanmen” mean?

Tantanmen comes from the Chinese Dandanmian, a spicy sesame noodle dish from China. Chinese vendors would use a carrying pole called a dan dan to serve the dish to customers. The word has developed in Japanese culture as tantanmen.

What does tantanmen taste like?

The taste of tantanmen varies depending on the ingredients and how it is prepared. The noodles are typically chewy and have a slight wheat flavor.

The chili sauce gives the dish its spice, and the sesame paste adds a nutty flavor. Tantanmen can be mild or spicy, depending on the amount of chili sauce used.

What’s the origin of tantanmen?

Tantanmen is believed to have originated in the city of Dalian, China. The dish was created by Chinese immigrants who had moved to Japan.

They adapted the dish to use Japanese ingredients, such as sesame paste and soy sauce. The dish became popular in Japan in the early 1900s, and it has since spread to other countries.

How do you eat tantanmen?

Tantanmen is typically eaten with chopsticks. The noodles and sauce can be slurped directly from the bowl, or they can be wrapped around a piece of meat or vegetables.

Tantanmen can also be served with rice, depending on the eater’s preference.

What’s the difference between tantanmen and ramen?

The main difference between tantanmen and ramen is the spices.

Tantanmen is considered a type of ramen and uses the same ramen noodles, but it is spicy while other Japanese ramen is not, and uses sesame paste for a strong flavor.

What’s the difference between tantanmen and dan dan noodles?

Both tantanmen and its originator dan dan noodles have a spicy sesame paste broth, but tantanmen has developed with a soup broth, more like ramen soup while dan dan noodles are dryer with a more sauce-like texture.

Where to eat tantanmen?

There are many places to enjoy tantanmen, from local ramen shops to Michelin-starred restaurants.

For a classic tantanmen experience, try Ryusen in Tokyo or Ramen Jiro in Osaka. Or for something more modern, try Afuri in Tokyo or Ippudo in New York City.

Tantanmen etiquette

When eating tantanmen, it is considered proper etiquette to slurp the noodles loudly. This is because the noodles are best eaten when they are hot, and slurping helps to cool them down.

Is tantanmen healthy?

Tantanmen can be a healthy dish, depending on the ingredients used. The noodles are made from wheat flour and water, and they can be served with vegetables.

The chili sauce adds spice but is low in calories. However, tantanmen can also be high in fat and sodium.


Tantanmen is a delicious dish, and although spicier than most Japanese dishes, it’s not as spicy as it’s Chinese counterpart.

Also read: this is the most delicious tantanmen recipe you’ll ever taste

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.