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Chicken Tantanmen Ramen

“Tantanmen is one of the more recent additions to the world of ramen. It is an interpretation/adaptation of a Sichuan Chinese Dan Dan noodle which is typically spicy and packed with flavor. Currently we are the only ramen restaurant in London to serve this dish and it is a delicious but quite heavy ramen.”

Makes 4 portions

for the stock (1.25 liters):

Make a strong chicken stock adding fresh ginger, kombu seaweed, dried shitakes and leeks. Or, buy a good quality stock and flavor with the vegetables above.

for the sesame tare:

200g roasted white sesame seeds

150g soy sauce

100g sugar

100g chili oil

35g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

20g spring onion, cut into thin slivers

250g sesame paste

for the ground chicken:

200g minced chicken

20g tobanjan (Chinese hot bean sauce)

160g soy sauce

5g chili oil

5g vegetable oil

5g garlic, peeled and finely chopped

5g ginger, peeled and finely chopped

10g spring onion, finely chopped

for the eggs:

100ml soy sauce

100ml water

10g sugar

4 soft-boiled eggs, peeled

for the bamboo:

200g canned and drained bamboo (or vacuum-packed cooked bamboo)

5g sesame oil

100g soy sauce

10g sugar

a pinch or two of chili flakes, to taste

to finish:

1.25 liters strained hot stock

110g fresh ramen noodles

200g bean sprouts, blanched

4 large leaves bok choy, blanched and chilled

20g chives, cut really small

chili oil (make your own or buy a decent one)

1. First make the sesame tare (a seasoning base for your stock.) Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Stir-fry the minced chicken in the hot oil until brown, add the other ingredients and carry on cooking until good and dry. Set aside.

3. For the eggs: mix together the soy, water and sugar, then marinate the eggs in this overnight if possible, but for at least three to four hours.

4. For the bamboo: stir-fry the bamboo in the sesame oil until dry, then add the remaining ingredients and cook until dry.

5. Before you begin to assemble, have everything ready and laid out, so you can work quickly. Have one pot ready with hot stock and another with boiling water, for cooking the noodles.

6. Divide the tare between the four bowls and divide the stock equally too, then whisk until the tare has made the stock creamy.

7. Cook the noodles, drain and divide between the four bowls. (We use fresh noodles and cook them for 20 seconds. If using packaged noodles, follow package directions.) Top with bean sprouts, bamboo, egg, ground chicken, bok choy and chives. Finish with as much chili as you dare, and serve.

Courtesy of Ross Shonhan of Bone Daddies.