Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 黒胡麻担々麺

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  • Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles (黒胡麻担々麺) 2 ways: Cold & Hot. Kurogoma Tan Tan Men is a Japanese take on Dan Dan Noodles, the classic Sichuan noodle dish. Here’s the popular black sesame flavor served with chili oil and garlic chips.

    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles served with chili oil and garlic chips.

    There is a popular Chinese-style restaurant called Double Happiness (ダウブルハピネス) in my neighborhood in Yokohama, Japan. This restaurant specializes in Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles or Black Sesame Tan Tan Men (黒胡麻担々麺) which we look forward to eating their noodles every year. We’ve tried dan dan noodles at many other restaurants, but we believe theirs is by far the best. The noodles are brilliantly redefined and oh-so-good!

    Inspired, I decided to tinker with the recipe and today I’m sharing my version of Black Sesame Tan Tan Men with you. Make this if you want a comforting, yet a truly outstanding bowl of noodles!

    Watch How to Make Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles

    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 2 ways: Cold & Hot. Kurogoma Tan Tan Men is a Japanese take on Dan Dan Noodles, the classic Sichuan noodle dish.

    Inspiration for Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles

    At Double Happiness, Mr. JOC always orders hot black sesame tan tan men (left picture below) while I always order the cold one (right picture). The broth for the hot version is made of black sesame paste, chicken broth, and soy milk, but the cold broth only includes chicken broth and ground black sesame so it’s less creamy. Both are just as mouthwatering as they look.

    Black Sesame Tan Tan Men at Double Happiness in Yokohama | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    To make an amazing bowl of dan dan noodles, I believe every element plays a role in accomplishing a layered, complex flavor. The perfectly cooked noodles, the savory broth, the meat mixtures, the toppings – each component can make a difference.  However, that doesn’t mean you cannot have your own interpretation of the noodle dish.

    What distinguishes the Japanese take on this Sichuanese noodle is the addition of soymilk and black sesame paste. The broth is creamier, nuttier, and ultra umami without the numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorn, hence black sesame dan dan noodles are appealing to anyone who can handle milder heat.

    Today I’ve made both hot and cold broths based on Double Happiness’ hot version.

    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles served with chili oil and garlic chips.

    6 Key Ingredients for Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles

    1. Black Sesame Paste

    Black sesame paste or Kuro (black) Nerigoma (sesame paste) is 100% unhulled black sesame seeds in a paste form. Some brands may additionally include sesame oil and it is more liquidy. The paste is not sweeten, so we often add honey to sweeten it for black sesame desserts.

    Negi Goma (Black Sesame Paste)
    Kadoya brand found in Japanese grocery store (Nijiya)

    The paste in the jar can be found in any Japanese grocery stores, but you may have a difficult time finding it at other Asian grocery stores. There are a few brands (Marumoto brand or Jun Kuki brand) available on Amazon, but based on the reviews it looks like the products are shipped from Japan so they may take a month to get to you.

    Alternatively, you can use black tahini (Amazon sells this brand).  The difference between Japanese sesame paste and tahini is that Japanese sesame paste is made with unhulled sesame seeds and tahini is made with hulled sesame seeds. Japanese sesame paste has a nuttier flavor than tahini because tahini is not roasted as much as Japanese sesame paste.

    2. Soy Milk

    For my savory dishes that use soy milk, I use unsweetened (original) flavor of soy milk. For the best nutty flavor, I highly recommend using soy milk and not other milk like cow milk or almond milk.

    Silk Soymilk

    In the US, unsweetened organic soy milk by Silk is widely available at your local grocery stores.

    3. Chicken Stock/Broth

    Depending on the brand of chicken stock/broth, the saltiness varies. Please always taste your soup before seasoning with salt. I use kosher salt for all my recipes. If you use table salt, please use half of the portion I specify in the recipes.

    Chicken Stock | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    If you like to make homemade chicken broth, here’s the recipe.

    4. Tianmianjiang (Sweet Bean Paste)

    This is a sweet paste of fermented beans. A spoonful of this sweet bean paste adds an incredible depth to the flavor.

    Tianmianjiang

    I use this jar that’s only written in Chinese. It is locally packed in the Bay Area, but I think it’s a Taiwanese brand. The Chinese characters read 甜麵醬 if you need to check the label.

    5. Doubanjiang (Spicy or non-Spicy Broad Bean Paste)

    LEE KUM KEE is a popular brand that is widely available in Asian grocery store. However, there is only the chili/spicy version (La Doubanjiang). If you can find this Taiwanese brand (see the bottles on the right), you can choose spicy or non-spicy doubanjiang.

    Doubanjiang

    For this recipe, I used LEE KUM KEE brand, but I like to mix spicy and non-spicy doubanjiang with my own ratio (based on kids’ level of tolerance).

    6. La-yu (Japanese Chili Oil)

    La-yu (ラー油・辣油) is a Japanese chili oil and you may see this small bottle at the table in Japanese restaurants. Although Japanese food is not spicy in general, we sometimes like to drizzle a bit of La-Yu in our dipping sauce (like for Gyoza), noodle soups, and soups.

    La-yu (Japanese Chili Oil)

    You can get La-Yu at Japanese grocery stores, Asian grocery stores, or Amazon.

    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles served with chili oil and garlic chips.

    How to Make Fried Garlic Chips

    Fried garlic chips may seem like an extra work, but they add such an amazing textural crunch and flavor to the black sesame dan dan noodles that I feel something would be missing if you decide to skip it.

    To make these garlic chips, you just need to add neutral flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc) in a large frying pan and slowly fry the thinly sliced garlic pieces until golden brown. The caveat here is to make sure you don’t heat the oil too fast to prevent burnt garlic slices. Once they are beautifully brown, transfer to a dish lined with paper towel and keep the garlic infused oil for other cooking. Feel free to make more and have these garlic chips on hand for your other noodle dishes or rice dishes such as Garlic Fried Rice and Oxtail Udon.

    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles served with chili oil and garlic chips.

    Immersed in an unforgettable broth and adorned with a various mixture of toppings, I promise this Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles will satisfy your taste buds, leaving you craving for more.

    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles served with chili oil and garlic chips.

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    4.5 from 6 votes
    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles served with chili oil and garlic chips.
    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    30 mins
    Total Time
    45 mins
     

    Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 2 ways: Cold & Hot. Kurogoma Tan Tan Men is a Japanese take on Dan Dan Noodles, the classic Sichuan noodle dish. Here’s the popular black sesame flavor served with chili oil and garlic chips.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: black sesame, dan dan noodles, noodle soup
    Servings: 2
    Ingredients
    Soup
    • ½ cup soy milk (120 ml)
    • 1 ½ Tbsp black sesame paste (See Notes for substitute)
    • 2 cups chicken broth (480 ml)
    • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • ½ tsp kosher salt (Taste and adjust the amount of salt based on your chicken stock’s saltiness)
    Meat Sauce
    Other Ingredients
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles Ingredients
    To make soup
    1. Combine ½ cup soy milk and 1 ½ Tbsp black sesame paste. Using your silicone spatula, press the black sesame paste against the liquid measuring cup (or bowl) to dissolve the paste.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 1
    2. Once the paste is dissolved, transfer to the pot and heat up the soup. Add 2 cups chicken stock. NOTE: We like a creamier soup, but if you prefer a thinner soup, add more chicken stock.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 2
    3. Add 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp granulated sugar. Increase the amount if you add more chicken stock.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 3
    4. Mix well and taste the soup. Adjust the amount of kosher salt based on your chicken stock. I added ½ tsp kosher salt.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 4
    5. If you want to have COLD black sesame dan dan noodles, remove the soup from the heat and chill the soup in iced water. Then refrigerate until the rest of preparation is ready. You can keep in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Here I took half of the soup to chill (for me) and keep the hot soup for Mr. JOC.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 5
    To Make Meat Sauce
    1. Grate the garlic and ginger. You don’t have to grate the entire ginger. I use about 1 tsp grated ginger.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 6
    2. Heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium heat and cook the grated garlic and ginger until fragrant. Careful not to burn them.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 7
    3. Add the ground pork and continue to stir with a spatula and separate the meat.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 8
    4. Add 1 tsp sake and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 9
    5. Add 2 tsp Tianmianjiang and 1 tsp Doubanjiang.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 10
    6. Add 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 11
    7. Stir and coat the meat with the sauce.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 12
    To Prepare Toppings
    1. Grind 1 Tbsp peanuts with mortar and pestle (or put peanuts in a plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin).
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 13
    2. Grind 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 14
    3. Cut the bok choy into quarters lengthwise.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 15
    4. Cut the green onion in half separating green part and white parts. Cut the white parts in half lengthwise and keep the green parts for later.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 16
    5. Cut the white parts into julienned strips. Then soak in iced water to remove the bitterness and to make it crisp.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 17
    6. Chop the green parts of green onion into fine rounds.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 18
    7. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, blanch the bok choy first for 2-3 minutes (depending on its size). Then add the bean sprouts. Cook for 10 seconds and remove both bok choy and bean sprout from the water to drain completely.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 19
    To Assemble
    1. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. I recommend cooking 15-20 seconds less than what package says, as remaining heat will continue to cook the noodles.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 20
    2. For COLD dan dan noodles, soak the noodles in iced water until chilled and drain completely. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and pour in the chilled black sesame soup.
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 21
    3. Place the bok choy, bean sprouts, and meat sauce on top of the noodles. 

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 22
    4. Garnish with peanuts, black sesame seeds, and garlic chips, and drizzle 2 tsp la-yu (Japanese chili oil). The COLD dan dan noodle is ready to be served.

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 23
    5. For HOT dan dan noodles, serve the hot noodles in a large bowl and pour in the hot black sesame soup. Place the bok choy, bean sprouts, and meat sauce on top of the noodles. 
      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 24
    6. Garnish with peanuts, black sesame seeds, and garlic chips, and drizzle 2 tsp la-yu (Japanese chili oil). Enjoy!

      Black Sesame Dan Dan Noodles 25
    Recipe Notes

    Black Sesame Paste: You can purchase black sesame paste at any Japanese grocery store or on Amazon (Marumoto brand or Jun Kuki brand). It's less flavorful, but you can use tahini (this brand) on Amazon. 

     

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

     

     

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