Tanmen vs Ramen – The Difference between the 2 Japanese Noodles
When it comes to Japanese noodle dishes, I think that the 3 Japanese noodles, ramen, udon and (buckwheat) soba, are widely enjoyed not only in Japan but also in the world.Those who have had these 3 noodle dishes before probably kind of know the difference between them.
Among these 3 Japanese noodles, ramen is the most popular and comes in various different flavors.Because of that, it seems that some people think of “Tanmen (タンメン)” that looks like Shio (salt) ramen as a kind of ramen.
The Difference between Tanmen and Ramen noodles
However, tanmen is generally considered another type of noodle dish that is different from ramen, so today I want to explain the difference.
Tanmen is a Japanese noodle dish enjoyed mainly in the Kanto region around Tokyo.Although it is similar in appearance to Shio ramen with plenty of vegetables, or “Yasai Ramen (野菜ラーメン)”, tanmen is different from the salt ramen in the making process.The ingredients of tanmen, such as pork and vegetables (cabbage, carrot, onion, bean sprouts, Chinese chive, Jew’s ear mushroom and so on), are first stir-fried, then simmered with salt-based chicken broth in a wok.After that, the hot broth with the simmered ingredients is poured onto the boiled noodles placed in a bowl.
Shio Ramen (塩ラーメン : Salt Ramen)
On the other hand, raman is the Japanese comfort food enjoyed throughout Japan.It is said that Japanese Ramen has its origin in “Nankin Soba (南京そば)” the noodle dish eaten in the chinatowns that were founded in Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki, Hakodate and so on, in the early Meiji period (Meiji era : 1868 to 1912).Ramen comes in various different flavors and the typical ones include Shoyu (醤油 : soy sauce), Shio (塩 : salt), and Miso (味噌 : soybean paste).
However, the making method of these flavors of ramen are basically the same and different from tanmen noodles.The broth for ramen is made, separately from the ingredients (toppings), by seasoning the soup stock taken from pork bone, chicken bone, dried seafood, and vegetables with “Kaeshi (かえし)” sauce, such as “Shoyu-dare (醤油ダレ)”, “Miso-dare (味噌ダレ), and “Shio-dare (塩ダレ)”.The broth is set in a bowl first, then boiled noodles and toppings are added.
The ingredient of Tanmen basically consists of stir-fried pork and vegetables, while a wide variety of foods, including seaweed, roast pork, grilled seafood, and even fruits and ice cream, are used as toppings for ramen noodles.
Where to Eat Tanmen noodles
|Nissin Mouko Tanmen Nakamoto instant cup noodles|
You can enjoy tanmen noodles at many ramen shops and Chinese restaurants in the Kanto region.The most popular ramen shop providing tanmen in Tokyo is “Mouko Tanmen Takamoto (蒙古タンメン中本)” whose tanmen features its spicy soup containing a large amount of “Ichimi Togarashi (一味唐辛子)” spice (Amazon.com) that consists solely of red chili pepper.