THE BEST VEGAN RAMEN

Updated: Feb 7



Ramen is really BIG these days. Everyone wants a piece of that umami taste that is so mouth-wateringly addictive. However, it is anything but vegan. Typically, dashi (ramen broth) is made with 2-3 carcasses and simmered for a minimum of 12-24 hrs to get that creamy umami taste. So, how do we get that awesome comfort food in its vegan version? Finding a good bowl of gluten-free and/or vegan ramen can be near to impossible in restaurants and those that do seemed to make it a dumbed-down, simplified version of the authentic one. That intricacy of flavors takes time to develop, and in my experience, the restaurants that I have been to just didn't get it. There had to be a better dashi. In my search for a better version, I compared it authentic ramen recipes, and I have managed to make the best vegan ramen dashi recipe keeping true to a lot of the authentic flavorings. It's a rich and layered broth, totally umami and quite addictive.


It is also quite easy to make. For the most part, you throw in all your ingredients in the pot and let the simmering work it's magic. However, it can get a little pricey. Between the shiitake, kombu, and miso, a pot of that liquid gold can cost you a pretty penny, but I can tell you that it is well worth it if you are into comfort food or really, really good soup.


If you are gluten-free, it might be a little hard to find a good noodle to go with your awesome ramen. I have tried a few different types, and I think that the best one that I have tasted up-to-date was one made by Lotus Foods that you can either find in the health food stores or on amazon. Here's how to make it:


BROTH INGREDIENTS (DASHI)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

5 cloves garlic, grated

1-inch piece ginger, grated

6 cups vegetable broth

2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari

100g Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbsp miso paste

1 piece of kombu, found in health food markets


Marinated Tofu

1 10 ounces Block extra-firm tofu, cut in 2-inch squares by ½ inch thick

2 Tbsp of Gluten-Free Tamari

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp maple syrup

8 ounces ramen noodles


TOPPINGS (Optional)

1/2 cup green onion, chopped

Carrots, Julienned

Baby Bok Choy, Halved

Nori Sheets, cut into 3x3 squares

Enoki Mushrooms

Sriracha to taste


METHOD:


1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil, garlic, shitake mushrooms and ginger. Sauté 2-3 minutes or until it starts to brown.

2. Add 1 cup of the vegetable broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan.

3. Add remaining 5 cups vegetable broth, kombu, miso, and tamari and reduce to low and let simmer with a cover for 1-hour stirring occasionally.

4. Start marinating your tofu in a bowl by adding all the tofu ingredients. Let sit for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally and flipping sides.

5. Heat a frying pan on medium-high then add coconut oil. Once the frying pan is hot, put in your tofu slices with the rest of the marinade. Fry until tofu is nicely browned approximately 5 minutes on each side.


NOODLES:

6. Put the raw ramen noodles in a bowl and cover with water. Put in microwave for 3 minutes, then stir and flip over, then put back in the microwave for another 2 minutes. Check to see if done if not add for another minute or 2. Drain and set aside.

7. To serve fill bowl with noodles and topping ingredients and ladle in the broth, ensuring to add in shitake mushrooms.





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