Soymilk Tan Tan Men


Tingly mala chili sauce, sesame paste, and soymilk lend surprising depth of flavor to this weeknight-friendly noodle soup.



  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tbsp scallions (white part only), finely chopped

  • 1 tsp ginger, minced

  • 1 tsp garlic, minced

  • 8oz ground pork

  • 1 tbsp spicy doubanjiang (chili bean paste)


  • 6 cups torigara (Japanese chicken) stock

  • 2-4 tbsp Laoganma spicy chili crisp, to taste

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 cup unsweetened soymilk

  • 6 tbsp roasted white sesame paste


  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds

  • 4 ramen eggs, halved

  • 8oz chashu pork, thinly sliced

  • Baby spinach

  • Pickled vegetables

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Once it’s nice and hot, add the scallion, ginger, and garlic and stir for about a minute, until aromatic.

  2. Add the ground pork and doubanjiang and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes, breaking up any clumps of pork, until the meat is cooked.

  3. Pour in the chicken broth, Laoganma, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame paste. Bring to a boil, continuing to stir. Once boiling, taste and adjust the seasonings. If it’s not spicy enough, you can add more Laoganma, but if it’s too spicy, don’t panic–the soymilk will take the edge off somewhat!

  4. Reduce the stock to a simmer. In a separate large stockpot, cook the noodles according to the package directions.

  5. Place four bowls at the ready near your stove. If your bowls are cold, fill them with hot water to warm them up (just make sure to dump out the water before you pour in the broth)! 

  6. Once the noodles are al dente, strain immediately and transfer an equal amount to each bowl, followed by the broth. Place toppings around the sides of the bowl, then garnish with the sesame and scallions and serve.

This recipe was featured in the weekly menu of Issue #6 of the Journey East Zine alongside:

Grace Kwan © 2020