If there’s one thing I know about food, it’s soups and broths. As a person who is always cold, I make soup all year round. This Miso Ramen is especially flavor packed, warming and every reason you ever needed to stay in and avoid the cold. It’s also nice to have a vegan version on hand that doesn’t include a meat-based broth. This is a pretty basic recipe with a few fun elements thrown in, but there are a lot of other Japanese ingredients used in ramen I’m sure you could learn and use to play with the flavors. Feel free to play with the toppings as well!
A few notes:
- The specific brand of some of the Japanese ingredients that we use are listed in the notes at the bottom of the recipe for your reference.
- You have the option of only using white miso paste in this recipe, but increase the amount to a cup and note that it won’t have quite as deep of flavors as adding the red miso paste to it. Red miso is our favorite for not only ramen but other Asian dishes as well.
- We think of the ‘tare’ that you will put together below, as being similar to a curry paste. It is a thick paste made mostly of the miso that is added to the ramen broth to really increase the flavor profiles.
Ingredients that may be new to you:
- Kombu – brings the beautiful umami flavor to this broth and is typically used to make ‘dashi’, a Japanese stock used as a soup base. We cheated a bit and put the kombu right into the broth for a few minutes instead of making the dashi to save time. You can find komnu in most grocery stores, but it is much less expensive at the Asian markets.
- Miso Paste – There are so many uses for miso paste (like glazes and on toast)! We use red, yellow and white on a regular basis. You can find miso paste in most local grocery stores.
- Mirin – You can find this at most local grocery stores.
- Japanese Ramen Noodles – you could definitely use the curly dried ramen noodles you are used to seeing in packaged ramen soups. However, finding Japanese ramen noodles is so worth it if you can! The flavor and chewiness of the straight Japanese noodles are is so worth it. You will probably find these at an Asian market.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag us on Instagram at The Urban Veg. We can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Creamy Vegan Miso Ramen with Tofu
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 small white onion or 1/2 large white onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb ginger
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms or 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 2" squares kombu or dried kelp
- 3 green onions/ scallions
- 1/2 cup white miso if you don't have red miso, increase to 3/4 cup
- 1 tbsp red miso
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp tahini or sesame paste
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- Japanese ramen noodles
- 2 blocks extra firm or firm tofu, pressed
- 1 bunch green onions/ scallions
- 2 cups chinese bean sprouts
- bok choy
- white or black sesame seeds
- chili paste, sauce or flakes
- If you haven't pressed your tofu, do that now.
- Heat a large soup pot on medium heat. Slice the onion, garlic, ginger and the white part of the scallions and set aside. You will use the green part of the scallions later for toppings.
- Once the soup pot is hot, add the oil. Then, add the white onions (not the scallions) to the pot and cook until they start to brown, stirring once in a while to avoid sticking. Once the onions are browning, add the ginger, garlic and scallions. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the water and veggie broth. Then add the kombu and mushrooms. Bring the broth to a boil, but right before it boils, remove the kombu (apparently boiling kombu can make it slimey). Once boiling, bring the heat down to a simmer and put the lid on, slighly tilted. Cook for 20-30 minutes to enhance the flavors. This broth will be very light and not salty, to allow for the miso that will go in later.
- While the broth is cooking, make the tare. Mince or finely grate the garlic. Except for the oil, mix all tare ingredients together well. Set aside.
- Cut the tofu into big cubes and slice the bok choy into 4 pieces lengthwise, cutting off the bottom hard root. Heat a large skillet on medium, add the other 1 tsp of oil and fry the tofu until golden on 2 sides. Once the tofu is done, add the last tsp of oil and fry the bok choy on both sides. Remove the tofu and bok choy and set aside.
- Boil a pot of water and cook the ramen noodles for a few minutes, according to package instructions.
- The broth should be done by now. Using a colander and a bowl or pot, strain the broth into the bowl to remove the onions and other ingredients from the broth. Save the shiitake mushrooms to the side for a topping in the ramen.
- In the same skillet you cooked the tofu, add the tare and fry on medium low heat for about a minute. Then, whisk the tare into the broth until it is fully dissolved. Check for taste and add a bit of salt or soy sauce if needed.
- Distribute the noodles into bowls. Add the broth and top with tofu, bok choy, green part of the scallions, the mushrooms, bean sprouts, chili paste or oil and sesame seeds. Enjoy!