There are few meals more comforting than a huge bowl of piping hot ramen. The savory, umami broth is so satisfying (if you have a cold, just sip on the broth!) and a few toppings make it a complete meal.
I’ve been sick all week (one of those pesky, lingering colds) and it’s been obnoxiously cold and snowy for March, so I pretty much only want to eat comforting, warm food right now. Honestly, if you tasked me to eat this ramen for every meal this week, I’d happily do it.
Homemade broth is actually quite simple and doesn’t involve much hands-on time. Basically, throw a bunch of aromatics into a pot, let them cook down, add vegetable broth and a few other ingredients to enhance flavor, let simmer for an hour or two and voilà! For those that prefer to prep meals ahead of time, you can definitely make a huge batch of the broth and freeze any leftovers. When you’re ready to use it, simply heat it up in a large pot, add ramen noodles + toppings and enjoy a flavorful, homemade dinner within 15 minutes!
It’s absolutely worth the effort to make homemade broth – most store-bought versions just don’t cut it in terms of flavor, and if you’re gluten free (like us), it can be difficult to find broth that doesn’t contain traditional soy sauce. Since there are no animal products in our broth, we added a few other ingredients that really enhance the umami flavor you’re looking for in broth: dried shiitake mushrooms, tamari and kombu seaweed are three important components that pack a huge punch in terms of flavor.
When it comes to toppings, we like a mix of fresh and cooked – seared tofu and shiitake mushrooms are my personal favorite addition, but it wouldn’t be the same without the crunch of fresh carrot, radish (we used watermelon radish) and baby bok choy. Cilantro, green onion and sesame seeds are a finishing touch – I also added some chili oil to mine after taking these photos and it was a great decision.
Of course, we can’t forget the actual ramen. We recently discovered a great gluten-free ramen made with millet and brown rice. If you’re not gluten free, any wheat-based ramen will do!Print
Homemade ramen broth is relatively easy and hands off and it makes all the difference in this vegan version of our favorite comforting soup.
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3/4–1 tsp salt (more to taste at end if needed)
- 2 tbsp tamari, divided + more to taste
- 6 cups vegetable broth (if using low sodium, you may need to add 1/2-3/4 tsp salt)
- 1 4-inch piece kombu seaweed (optional)
- 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 tbsp white miso
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 4 oz firm tofu, cubed
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 medium watermelon or daikon radish, julienned
- 2 heads baby bok choy
- 2 packs gluten free ramen noodles
- For garnish: green onion, cilantro, sesame seeds, chili oil (optional)
- In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and shallot and sauté about 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, ginger and green onion and continue cooking about 5 minutes.
- Add one tbsp tamari, stir well to coat and let cook for a minute, then a little bit of vegetable broth to deglaze pan. Add remaining vegetable broth, salt, kombu, dried mushrooms and other tbsp of tamari.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for at least one hour – preferably 2-3.
- Strain broth into another pot and discard vegetables. Add miso to broth. Add ramen and cook until softened – it only takes a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, sear tofu and mushrooms in a pan over medium heat with a bit of oil (we use sesame). Prepare vegetables for garnish.
- Ladle broth and ramen into a large bowl and top with tofu, mushrooms, carrot, radish, baby bok choy (which will steam quickly in the hot broth), cilantro, green onion and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
You can substitute dried porcini mushrooms with shiitake or another similar mushroom. If you cant find any dried mushrooms at your store, sub with fresh mushrooms.