Tan Tan Udon, for Japan

spicy udon noodle soup

Tan Tan Udon
udon noodles in a spicy miso soup with soy milk, ground sesame, pork and bok choy

I had been wanting to cook something Japanese – something substantial, warm and comforting. Our hearts break for the people of Japan. The jaw-dropping destruction from the devastating 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami is painful to look at…have you seen this stunning Photography Framework by the Los Angeles Times? I can only imagine the sadness, fear, and sense of loss that they are feeling. I’m grateful that we are able to help. I just wish we could do more…God bless the US Military and all those helping in the relief efforts. God bless Japan.

tan tan udon, udon noodle soup, spicy udon pork soup

To make a vegan version of this soup, simply omit the pork (or substitute ground seitan) and use vegetable stock. With Japanese chili paste, toasted sesame oil, ground sesame seed, white miso and soy milk – it’s the broth that’s really the star!

Tan Tan Udon Recipe


Ground Pork

browned pork

Brown approx. 6 oz. ground pork in a bit of sesame oil.

sliced bok choy

Trim the ends from baby bok choy.

bok choy leaves

Slice the bok choy leaves into ribbons.

bok choy stems

Because the stalks take longer, blanch bok choy stalks in boiling water until almost tender.
Then add the leaves and cook briefly. Shock in cold water to stop the cooking.

drain pork

Drain fat from the browned pork.


Asatsuki – Japanese green onions

asatsuki, japanese green onion

Slice about 2 T. asatsuki and chop about 1 T. garlic.

Heat a small amount of sesame oil in a large clean sauté pan.
Add the browned pork, asatsuki and garlic. Sauté briefly.

Add the following to the pork mixture, sauté and mix until incorporated:
1 T. tobanjan – Japanese chili paste
3 T. white surigoma – ground sesame seed
2 T. white miso

tan tan udon, soy milk

Add 1 c. chicken broth and 1 c. soy milk to the pork mixture.
Bring to a boil then immediately turn down the heat.
Add sea salt to taste.
Let the soup simmer while cooking the udon noodles in boiling water.

udon and bok choy

Place drained udon in a bowl along with the bok choy.

tan tan udon

Ladle the hot soup over the noodles and bok choy.

tan tan udon, spicy udon noodle soup

Tan Tan Udon, for Japan

The American Red Cross International Relief Fund is stationed in the affected areas.
You can text REDCROSS to 90999 from your cell phone to donate $10 to the Red Cross.

13 thoughts on “Tan Tan Udon, for Japan”

  1. Great minds think alike!! mmMmm! Your broth looks good!! What a great shout out to Japan. We panicked here in Hawaii when we were in the Tsunami Warning. Thank goodness it wasn’t too major. Prayers definitely goes out to everyone in Japan!

  2. I so wish we could all cook something for the Japanese people in shelters and bring it over so they would be comforted a bit! I just finished making some squash soup and I wanted it to materialize somewhere there, where it could be of use to some people. You’ve made such a heart- and body-warming soup! As usual, the result is a wonderful meal for the eyes.

  3. that looks absolutely delicious!!! “parisbreakfast” asks if soba can be substituted — I say absolutely! I’m planning on making it with Chinese thin flour noodles.

  4. I love tan tan ramen! There’s a place in Honolulu called Goma Tei that has the most awesome tan tan ramen. I can’t wait to make this on my own. Thanks!

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