SPOILER – Midnight Diner, Episode One*
Tan-men (タンメン) is a Tokyo style ramen flavored with delicately stir-fried vegetables and thinly sliced pork belly, chicken stock, and miso paste.
The recipe is simple to make and can be altered easily to your particular pallete.
I haven’t found a menu with tan-men in any Winnipeg restaurant since most Japanese-style restaurants serve sushi, ramen, or udon since they are popular/ well-known choices.
On Netflix’s first episode titled “Tan-men” a radio deejay Shimada is diagnosed with “normal weight obesity” by a doctor, but can’t give up his favorite meal. One day he meets a taxi driver Harumi, who eats tan-men without the noodles, and his interest is piqued. Before long, Shimada realizes Harumi is the actress who played the popular ranger character he idolized as a child. While his relationship with food develops, so does his relationship with Harumi. (Rotten Tomatoes)
My Tan-Men Recipe: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
6 Ounces – thinly sliced pork belly/ lean pork (size of hand)
1/3 Cabbage – cut bite sized or julienned
2 Leeks – cut 1inch length
2 Carrots – julienned
1 Tofu block (medium firmness ) – cut into bite sized cubes
3 Cups water
2 Cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp Miso Paste
2 Packages of Soba Noodles
1 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil
Salt + Pepper to taste
1. In a pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat add 1 tbsp of oil and thinly sliced pork. (4-6 minutes)
2. Cook pork until very lightly brown and add cabbage, leeks, carrots and cook until slightly soft. (4-6 minutes)
3. Dissolve miso paste in one cup of water using a spoon and lightly whisking the paste using chopsticks.
4. Add water with the miso paste, additional water, and chicken stock in pot.
5. Allow broth to come to a boil, add tofu, then turn down to medium heat and let simmer for 7 minutes.
6. While broth is simmering, boil salted water in a separate pot and add soba noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes or until desired tenderness.
7. Strain boiled noodles and place noodles in the bottom of four bowls. (Or one big bowl if you’re incredibly hungry.)
8. Dish out tan-men into bowls with noodles and eat right away!
While noodles are a staple in tan-men, they’re not always necessary. Cut the carbs and calories by following in Harumi’s footsteps and enjoy this dish noodle free.
This dish makes for a wonderful brunch/ lunch or late night meal.
Another take/ recipe inspired by Midnight Diner.