Ever since I tasted my first batch of Roasted Ginger and Coconut Soup, I’ve been sipping it plain, throwing whatever vegetables and mushrooms I have into it, and using it to make this version of vegan ramen. Whether you use fresh or dried noodles, this bowl is perfect on chilly evenings when you want something comforting and filling after a long day.
If you are short on time, make the broth beforehand and reheat it quickly before serving. Throw whatever vegetables and mushrooms you have on hand into it. If frying tofu isn’t your thing, then cube it and give it a quick saute instead. Tempeh, seitan, soy curls or baked wheat gluten are also great in ramen, or you can leave them out altogether for a lighter dish.
Check out this graphic for more ways you can customize a vegan ramen bowl, based on your taste preferences and ingredients that are seasonally available. It’s not completely comprehensive, but breaks down the five main parts that typically make up vegan ramen.
I have to admit I’ve been making this once or twice a week for the past month or so, it’s so good! Check out more vegan soup ideas here.
This ramen is vegan and completely customizable based on your taste preference and availability of ingredients.
FOR THE BROTH
- 1 TB toasted sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TB water
- 1 large shallot, sliced into half moon shapes
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised and chopped into 3 or 4 pieces (I just peel of the dirty outer layer, then whack it a few times against the counter to loosen up the fibers)
- 2 TB sake or broth
- 4 cups vegetable broth (I use a recommend Imagine brand N0-Chicken broth here)
- 1 TB mirin
- 1 TB soy sauce
- 1 TB pureed roasted ginger
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (scrape the heavy stuff off the top of the can)
FOR THE TOFU
- 1 block of firm tofu (no need to press it)
- 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G, whisked with 5 TB cold water
- 3/4 cup cornstarch, plus more if needed
- vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
FOR THE REST
- your choice of noodles, prepared according to package instructions
- 2 cups lightly sauteed or raw bok choy
- 1–2 raw or slightly cooked carrots
- 1 cup mushrooms (shiitake, enoki or black oyster work great)
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- sesame seeds, pickled ginger, sambal and fresh basil, to serve
FOR THE BROTH
- In a medium-sized heavy pot, warm the sesame oil over medium heat, then add in the minced garlic and stir to coat. Allow to soften for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. As soon as the garlic turns golden, add in the two tablespoons of water and allow to simmer until most of the water is evaporated and the garlic is really soft.
- Throw in the sliced shallots and lemongrass. Turn the heat up to medium, stir, wait one minute, then deglaze the pot with the sake or broth. Add the broth, mirin and soy sauce to the pot, then throw in the ginger. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes (you want it at a very low simmer, not a boil).
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Remove from the heat.
FOR THE TOFU
- Cut the tofu block in half and then those halves into halves. Then cut the pieces into right-angle triangles. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, heat the oil (enough to submerge the triangles in) over medium-high heat. After about 7 minutes, test the oil’s readiness by inserting a wooden spoon into the pot—if bubbles immediately form around the spoon, the oil is ready.
- Dip the tofu triangles into the Ener-G mixture, and then coat it in some of the cornstarch, making sure all sides are covered and tapping off any excess. Place the triangles, two at a time, into the oil and fry until golden, about 4 minutes. Make sure that they do not touch each other or stick to the bottom of the pan by using heat-resistant tongs to move them as needed. Carefully remove from the pot and place on paper towels to drain.
FOR THE REST
- To assemble, distribute the cooked noodles between two bowls. Ladle the desired amount of broth over the top. Place the tofu, carrots, mushrooms, bok choy and scallions around the edges of the bowl.
- Finish with the sesame seeds, pickled ginger, sambal and herbs. Serve immediately.