picture of vegan Japanese tantan soup


There is a vegan restaurant at Tokyo main station called T’s Tantan. They have this amazing Japanese tantan soup that makes me get on a train through half the city, walk forever through the giant station and even buy a ticket for a train I don’t take, to get to the area where the restaurant is.

And every time again I come to the conclusion that this delicious, slightly spicy noodle soup is absolutely worth the effort. 

They were so kind to draw the ingredients on the wall, so I managed to create a recipe for a ramen soup very similar to the one at T’s Tantan. 

I have decided to use veggie broth, because everyone here has that at home and I wanted to make it easier. Feel free to use Japanese Dashi, which is of course what they use in Japan to make soup. 

Ingredients for the Tantan soup not everyone knows

  • Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine mainly used for cooking, teriyaki sauce for example
  • Miso Shiro is a mild soy paste that contains a lot of beneficial bacteria, which would be destroyed when boiling it. That’ s why it only goes into the tantan soup once it’s not boiling anymore
  • Tahini is a ground sesame paste, you can grind it yourself in a mortar, which is what I did when I started making this tantan soup, but it is so much work and so I just buy it now
  • Chili oil is spicy and orange. You can easily make it yourself with this recipe
  • Bok Choy is a bit like spinach or Swiss chard. For the tantan soup I recommend mini bok choy for space reasons. I fry it a little, add it to the soup and drizzle it with chili oil.
picture of vegan Japanese tantan soup

Tantan men, as this soup is called in Japanese, was inspired by the Chinese dish dandan noodles which I once tried in a Szechuan restaurant in Hamburg and was almost unable to finish it because it was so spicy!

The Japanese version is not that spicy, but feel free to add as much chili and chili oil as you like 🙂 

vegan Japanese tantan soup with chopsticks

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vegan Japanese Tantan Soup/ Nina Bolders Food Photography


You can make a yummy vegan Japanese Tantan soup yourself – almost like in Tokyo!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course mains, Recipes
Cuisine Japanisch
Servings 2 servings


For the "meat"

  • 1 scallion
  • 1 smoked tofu, roughly chopped 175 g/ 6 oz.
  • 1 tbsp ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

for the soup:

  • 480 ml vegetable broth 2 cups
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 55 g tahini 1/4 cup
  • 55 g peanut butter 1/4 cup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 100 ml unsweetened plant-based milk 1/2 cup
  • 1 tbsp white miso

for the other toppings:

  • 200 g mie noodles 7 oz.
  • 2 mini bok choy washed, cut in halves, outer leaves removed,
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Chili oil


  • First, prepare all the ingredients in the quantities required for the recipe. This makes cooking much more relaxed and ensures you don't forget anything. This is especially important for this recipe because all three components are prepared simultaneously, so everything needs to be ready.
  • Cut the green part of the scallion into slightly diagonal rings and set them aside in a small bowl; we will need them later.
  • Place the white part of the scallion, smoked tofu, ginger, and tomato paste into a food processor and pulse until chopped. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan and sauté the tofu mixture over high heat for about three minutes.
  • In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the noodles.
  • Add the minced garlic to the tofu mixture, stir well, and reduce the heat.
  • In a separate small saucepan, mix vegetable broth, sugar, tahini, peanut butter, 1 tbsp soy sauce, mirin, and paprika powder. Bring to a boil.
  • Deglaze the tofu mixture with 2 tsp soy sauce and continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook the noodles in boiling water according to the package instructions.
  • Transfer the tofu mixture to a small bowl and set it aside; we will need the pan again.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan and increase the heat again. Place the bok choy halves with the cut side down in the center of the pan and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  • Once the soup has come to a boil, turn off the heat and add the plant-based milk and then the white miso. Stir well.
  • Flip the bok choy over and sauté for a little longer on the other side
  • Drain the noodles and divide them into two bowls. Pour the soup over them, add the tofu mixture to one side, and the bok choy to the other side. Decorate with chili oil, sesame seeds, and the green part of the scallion.


In the original version, I prepared the “meat” with textured soy protein. For that, you’ll need 75 g of textured soy protein and 240 ml (1 cup) of vegetable broth. Simply mix them, let them sit for a few minutes, and then add them to the pan instead of the tofu along with finely chopped ginger, the white part of the spring onion, and tomato paste. You won’t need a food processor for this variation.
Keyword Japanese, soup
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You love Japan or are planning to go there? You can check out my blogpost WHERE I ATE AS A VEGAN IN TOKYO.

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  1. Amazing! I’ve been trying to recreate this soup since visiting Japan and this recipe is perfect! Thank you.

  2. Omg!! I came back from Japan last month and today I was cravinnggggg T’s Golden Tan Tan and I was searching everywhere to try find one that sounded similar and then I came across your blog and you have the exact one I’m looking for ! 😍😍 Bless you I’m so stoked, trying it out today!!

  3. PeterAndLisa

    So similar to ts tan tan in Tokyo station – great job and thanks so much for tweaking as you go we’ve been following along. Roasting/grilling the pak choi is a great idea, worked well.

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