Vegan Tantan Ramen with a Vegan Egg
Make a wish: In our series “Make a wish“ we develop recipes to make your wishes come true - whether it’s about vegan french toasts or doughnuts. If you also have a recipe that we should cook for you, send us a quick mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, find all your previous wished recipes here.
Our category „Make a Wish“ is back with a new recipe! Although this category is all about veganizing your favourite recipes, we almost feel as if this recipe was our own wish. So get ready for our new recipe:
Is your ramen love too big for your wallet, the nearest ramen restaurant too far away, or do you just love to cook? Then you've come to the right place because today, we're showing you our vegan version of the famous Tantan Ramen.
Tantan ramen is not ramen in the classic sense, but rather a Japanese adaptation of Chinese dan dan noodles (source). The base is a spicy paste made from sesame seeds and chili oil. The toppings usually include minced meat, chili, sesame seeds and spring onions. The preparation is super easy and perfect for the lazy chopper, as the recipe requires virtually no knife. However, as the soup consists of a relatively large number of ingredients, it's best to start from the beginning and go through everything once.
The soup base:
The special thing about this soup is that it is not made from broth but from a spice paste that is infused in the bowl with a mixture of broth and plant-based milk just before serving. The spice paste traditionally consists of sesame paste and chili. We prefer to use tahini and chili crisp for this, but any other chili sauce will also do the trick.
For the perfect umami flavor, we make a broth from water and dried shiitake mushrooms. This is infused with plant-based milk shortly before serving and reheated. However, it should not be brought back to the boil once the milk has been added, as the milk and broth may separate again.
The protein (aka vegan minced meat):
We simply replace the traditionally used pork mince with vegan „fresh“ minced meat from the supermarket, but soy granules or crumbled tofu also work well. The whole thing is then fried and seasoned with various spices. Chili sauce is also used here. We prefer to use the sweet and sour „spicy bean sauce“, which you can find in Asian markets or well-stocked supermarkets. But other chili sauces will also do the trick.
You are completely free to choose your own toppings. We prefer to eat the soup with corn, spinach, a vegan egg, sesame seeds and chili crisp (a crunchy chili oil from the Asian market), but pretty much any vegetable will do.
The vegan egg:
The egg is probably the trickiest part of the whole thing. You should start the preparations at least half an hour or even the evening before, as the eggs need to harden in the fridge for at least an hour. But once you have all the ingredients together (you can get most of them at the organic market), the preparation is child's play. So be sure to give it a try! If you prepare a few more eggs straight away, you could treat yourself to another portion of vegan boiled eggs with a creamy mustard sauce the next day, for example.
Vegan Tantan Ramen with a Vegan Egg
For the vegan egg (optional):
- 150 g (5.25 oz) silken tofu
- 3 tbsp plant-based cream
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 1 tsp light miso paste
- 4 tsp agar agar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp melted vegan butter
- kala namak to taste
For the broth:
- 700 ml (3 cups) water
- 25 g (1 oz) shiitake mushrooms (dried)
- 500 ml (2 cups) plant-based milk
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- chili crisp (or another chili sauce)
For the vegan minced meat topping:
- 250 g (8.75 oz) fresh vegan minced meat
- 1 tbsp ginger (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
- 1 tbsp chilli bean sauce (aka spicy bean sauce or ma po sauce)
- 2 tbsp mirin
For the noodles and toppings:
- approx. 150 g (5.25 oz) dry ramen noodles
- 150 g (5.25 oz) baby spinach
- 100 g (3.5 oz) corn (from the can)
- 3–4 spring onions
- sesame seeds
- chili crisp (crunchy chili oil)
Tip: If you opt for the quick version without the vegan egg, you can simply skip step 1.
For the vegan egg (optional): For the vegan eggs, drain the silken tofu and blend together with the plant-based cream, chickpea flour, miso paste, and agar agar until smooth. Season well with salt, pepper and kala namak. Leave the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes. Then remove about 2 tbsp of the mixture and set aside. Pour the remaining mixture into a pan and heat over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes until it thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the molds. First, cool down to room temperature and then leave to rest in the fridge for around 60 minutes. We made enough for four large semicircular molds. Using a small spoon, form a small hollow in each cooled „silken tofu egg“ for the „egg yolk“ and add this scooped silken tofu mix to the set-aside mixture. Add the turmeric and melted vegan butter and blend again until smooth. Season again with salt, pepper, and kala namak, and pour this yellow mixture into the „egg yolk“ wells. Set the eggs aside until ready to serve.
Bring the water to a boil in a pan and add the shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for at least 25 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the tahini, rice vinegar, mirin, sugar, soy sauce and chili crisp evenly until a viscous paste is formed. Pour the paste into two large soup bowls and set aside.
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Wash the spinach and blanch in salted water for 1 minute. Then rinse under cold water. Finely slice the spring onions. Finely chop the ginger and garlic. Heat a pan with vegetable oil and fry the vegan minced meat for about 5 minutes over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the ginger, garlic, chili bean paste and mirin and fry for a further 4–5 minutes. Set the vegan minced meat to one side.
Remove the shiitake mushrooms from the stock and add plant-based milk to the stock. Reheat, but do not boil.
Place the cooked noodles in the soup bowls with the prepared stock paste and pour in the shiitake stock. Serve with vegan minced meat, spinach, spring onions, corn (if using) and a sprinkling of chili crisp.