Easy Vegan Ramen

//Easy Vegan Ramen

Easy Vegan Ramen

I was never a consumer of those highly-processed ramen noodle packets you can buy in the store. They remain an inexpensive splurge for many college students, costing less than a dollar a piece. And talk about convenience, all you have to do is add water! The problem is, these are loaded with sodium and saturated fat, and lacking in flavor and fresh ingredients.

Authentic ramen is one of those quintessential comfort foods that’s hard to resist.  Velvety noodles swimming in a warm flavorful broth accompanied by an assortment of veggies. While most traditional ramen dishes have pork, chicken, beef, and even eggs, a vegan version is easy to create by substituting tofu or tempeh and using a vegetable broth.

When a friend of mine went to get a ramen bowl at a local restaurant earlier this week, I couldn’t get it off my mind. I immediately searched for a vegan ramen recipe and rushed from work to the grocery store.

Unlike the prepackaged ramen noodles, the homemade version is not only much more flavorful, but it is also packed with fiber, plant-protein, and phytonutrients from mushrooms, spinach, green onions, garlic, and ginger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (I used 1/2 tblsp sesame and 1/2 hot chili)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

    Gojuchang paste and sauce

  • 6 cups vegetable broth, plus more for cooking toppings (low sodium)
  • 1-2 tablespoons gojuchang paste (this can be found in Asian markets. gojuchang sauce is a bit sweeter and less spicy and can often be found in regular grocery stores. It is often served as a condiment with the Korean dish bibimbap).
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (tamari for gluten free), 1/4 cup extra to marinate tempeh if using in place of tofu
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 4 medium shiitaki mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ (I used a 6 ounce package of sliced portabella mushrooms and a 4 ounce package of mixed wild mushrooms)
  • 6-8 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (14 oz.) block extra firm organic tofu, drained and cubed (I used a block of tempeh, thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoons organic cornstarch if using tofu
  • Ramen noodles (can buy dried packages and discard the spice packs. Read the ingredients and look for noodles with fewer ingredients. I chose to use Hokkien stir-fry noodles instead (pictured on right)).
  • 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • sriracha chili sauce for serving
  • 3 servings fresh or dried ramen noodles (discard any seasoning packets) (I used Hokkien noodles found in Asian section of grocery store)

Instructions:

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil (or you can use a bit of vegetable broth if you’re avoiding processed oil) in a large pot over medium heat.

Add garlic and ginger and white part of one sliced scallion. Saute for a minute, being careful not to burn. You can add a few tablespoons of vegetable broth to keep from burning/sticking.

Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, juice of 1 lime, miso paste, and gochjang and whisk to combine. I initially only added 1 cup of broth until everything was well combined, then added the rest. If using broth that is not low sodium, use 4 cups broth to 2 cups water.

Gently simmer over low heat for a few minutes, then cover and let sit. That’s it for the broth!

Make the toppings.

If using tofu, prepare by using my crispy baked tofu recipe. For tempeh, soak thin slices in soy sauce for 10 minutes, then saute over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until brown, flipping pieces in between.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of vegetable broth. Add the sliced mushrooms, cover to allow them to sweat for a minute, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

Add the spinach and another tablespoon of broth if the pan is dry. Saute the spinach just until wilted.

Meanwhile, cook the ramen noodles according to package directions but do not use the seasoning packet. Drain noodles. For Hokkien noodles, these can be heated in the microwave or sautee pan).

To serve, divide the noodles among serving bowls. Arrange toppings on top of and around the noodles. Pour the warm broth over the noodles and garnish with green onions.

Adapted from original recipe on Yummy Mummy Kitchen.

2018-06-23T13:00:20+00:00