Who doesn’t love ramen? It’s a soupy noodle dish famous in Asian restaurants as well as college dorms, where kids who don’t cook, can boil water and have a high sodium, MSG filled meal that only costs about 25 cents. This is not a recipe for that ramen! On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is the traditional ramen where a master chef takes hours simmering the perfect broth. Some recipes even call for the broth to sit for twenty-four hours for the flavors to intensify. Who has time for that? My Ramen is nothing like the ones that are found in the college dorms but it doesn’t require the patience or culinary skills that some ramens require. This recipe is quick, in that it only takes about an hour or so, and it’s super tasty.
Ramen is a very popular noodle dish that translates to ‘pulled noodles.’ The noodles themselves are believed to have originated in China, but somehow made their way to Japan. Unlike Vietnamese Pho, Ramen uses wheat noodles instead of rice noodles. The broth is also a little more intense than the very light and clear broth found in Pho. Traditional Ramen broth is made with either pork or chicken and often times with an egg included in the presentation. This is a wholesome vegan version that uses Miso, ginger, garlic and onion for most of the broth flavor and is then simmered with shitake mushrooms to complete it.
You can’t forget the final touch that makes a bowl like this one complete, and that’s the toppings. I used tofu, baby bok choy, grated carrots, red cabbage, cilantro, green onions, torn up nori and sesame seeds. You’ll notice that I didn’t give exact measurements for the garnishes. It’s whatever you want. Do you want a little or a lot of cabbage? Do you hate cilantro? Make it your own and garnish appropriately. I like loading up my bowl with veggies so I may have overdone it a little. Have fun and bon appetit!
- 6 Cups vegetable broth
- 12 Ounce packet of extra firm tofu
- 8 Ounces of ramen noodles
- 5 Ounces of sliced shitake mushrooms
- 4 Heads of baby bok choy sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 Cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 Cloves of garlic roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 Heaping tablespoon of fresh ginger peeled and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon yellow miso
- Green onions for garnish
- Red cabbage for garnish
- Cilantro for garnish
- Grated carrots for garnish
- Nori seaweed torn into small pieces for garnish
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Toasted sesame oil for sauteing
- Take your extra firm block of tofu and drain. Slice the tofu into thin slices, about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Heat about one to two tablespoons of sesame oil in a large sauce pan. Once it’s hot, add onion, garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant and the onions begin to turn a little translucent.
- Add two cups of the vegetable broth into a blender with the onion, garlic and ginger mixture and blend until smooth. Add back into the sauce pan along with the rest of the broth.
- Add the shitake mushrooms to the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for about twenty minutes.
- In a separate saute pan heat about two tablespoons of sesame oil until hot and place the tofu flat. After about two minute the tofu should be crisp and turning brown, flip them and remove from the pan when they are browned on both sides.
- In the same saute pan, cook the baby bok choy the same way.
- Set the tofu and baby bok choy to the side and heat enough water in a sauce pan to cook the noodles. Follow the noodle instruction on the box.
- While the noodles are cooking, add the soy sauce and the miso to the broth.
- Evenly distribute the noddles into four bowls and do the same with the broth, pouring the broth over the noodles.
- Top with the tofu, baby bok choy and the remainder of the topping.
And there you go! You have a perfect ramen bowl to please the palate!