There are three basic components to ramen. The broth, the noodles and the toppings. The most important component, of any ramen, is the broth though because this is where the flavor is.
The most popular styles of ramen, to name a few are Shio ramen with its clear, light-bodied salty chicken broth, Shoyu Ramen, a soy sauce flavored chicken broth, Tonkotsu ramen, a rich pork-based broth, which is fatty and milky white in color, and lastly Miso ramen, which is miso-based.
For another of the toppings, I made smoked mushrooms. This is surprisingly easy and fun to do at home and this technique can be used to smoke other ingredients as well.
Line a medium-sized pot or wok with foil. Place 2 T finely shredded DRY wood chips in a pile in the middle. I used applewood. Place a strainer basket over top.
Another topping I chose was leftover butternut squash. Dice it into small 1/2 in cubes, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven until tender, about 20 minutes.
Toppings are fully customizable. Typical toppings include pork, beef, chicken seafood, tofu, bamboo shoots, a soft-boiled egg, seaweed (nori), fish cakes, corn, cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, spinach, scallions, pickled vegetables, or anything else that appeals to you.
Enoki mushrooms (also referred to as the velvet shank) are the delicate and tasteful mushrooms that grow on tree trunks, roots and branches mostly found in Japan. They grow in a cluster and have stems that are up to 4 inches tall. Their aroma is slightly fruity and they are mild in flavor. Generally, I use them raw as a garnish.
There are two main types of noodles used for ramen, yellow egg noodles, and white flour noodles. In the past, yellow egg noodles were the most common – these are the type found in most dried ramen packages.
Recently, the flour noodles have been gaining in popularity. The two types differ in size and texture. Egg noodles are fairly thin, firm to the palate, and slightly curly. Flour noodles are soft and wide.
Many Japanese express that the ramen noodles found in the United States lack depth of flavor because the absence of kansui, a highly alkaline mineral water found in Asia. Some chefs use baking soda in their noodles to approximate the flavor.
These are freshly made, vegan, all flour noodles, available in the refrigerated section at the Asian market. To cook, follow the directions on the package. You could also use gluten-free rice noodles.
Begin filling your veggie ramen bowls with noodles and toppings.
When ready, ladle the hot flavorful broth over top, season with sesame oil, and sriracha sauce if you like.
Traditionally, ramen is served with chopsticks and Chinese style porcelain spoons.
Vegan Ramen with Shiitake Broth
Vegan Raman with Shiitake Broth – a simple delicious recipe for making the most flavorful bowl of vegan ramen soup!
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Vegan, soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Japanese
Flavorful Shittake Broth:
- 1 onion-diced
- 2 smashed garlic cloves
- 1–2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups veggie stock
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup (1/2 and ounce) dried Shiitake Mushrooms ( see notes)
- 1 sheet Kombu seaweed (available at Asian markets) –optional, but good!
- 1/8 cup mirin ( Japanese cooking wine)
- 1–2 tablespoons miso paste
- pepper to taste
- for spicy, add sriracha to taste
- 6– 8 ounces Ramen Noodles
- 8 ounces Cubed Crispy Tofu
- Optional veggies: Steamed or sauteed bok choy, fresh spinach, roasted winter squash, roasted cauliflower, roasted carrots, roasted sweet potato, sauteed mushrooms, smoked mushrooms, baby corn, Bamboo shoots, Cilantro, Enoki mushrooms, Kimchi, Soft boiled eggs (obviously not vegan)
- Garnishes: scallions, sriracha and sesame oil
SMOKED Mushrooms- ON YOUR STOVE TOP ( optional)
- 4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced.
- shredded wood chips
- Make the BROTH: Over medium high heat, saute the onion in 1 tablespoon oil until tender about 3 minutes. Turn heat to medium, and continue cook onions until they are deeply golden brown. Add the garlic, saute 2 mintues. Add the veggie stock, water , dried shiitakes, sheet of kombu ( rinsed) and mirin. Bring to a Simmer. Simmer for 25-40 minutes uncovered on med heat, then remove Kombu.
- Add miso, and pepper to taste. Keep warm. If this reduces too much it may become salty…. simply add a little water to taste.
- While this is simmering, prep other veggies and cook the ramen noodles.
OPTIONAL: Smoked Mushrooms- ON YOUR STOVE ( optional)
- Place sliced mushrooms in a small bowl and toss with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Line the bottom of a med size pot or wok with foil.
- Place 2 T finely shredded smoking wood, DRY, not wet, ( I use apple wood, but you could use hickory, cedar, alder or even tea leaves) in a pile in the middle.
- Place a strainer basket over and cover with mushrooms. Place the pot on a burner, on high heat, uncovered, until you begin to see smoke ( on my gas burner this usually takes about 4 minutes.) One you see a good amount of smoke, cover with foil and a lid, turn heat down to medium low, and smoke for 10 minutes. Obviously the longer, the smokier. Turn off heat and leave covered until ready to use, this way mushrooms will continue to cook.
Assemble Ramen Bowls:
- Fill bowls with cooked noodles, crispy tofu and any other veggies you want. Pour the falvorful Shiitake broth over top. Garnish with a little drizzle of sesame oil and sriracha. Top with scallions and cilantro.
- Serve immediately.
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