Vegan Ramen Soup! Flavorful miso broth with hoisin tofu and fresh ramen noodles.
You guys, I have a confession to make: I am completely obsessed with Mind of a Chef.
We’ve finally upgraded from our two-channel TV to a Roku for Christmas, and I have been spending more hours than necessary binge watching all the shows I’ve missed over the years. While I’m a little disappointed that I can’t get Food Network through Roku, I’ve been making up for it by plowing through both seasons of Mind of a Chef in record time.
I love the sarcastic insight into the chef world, complete with restaurant reviews and tips for the home cook. One of the first episodes I watched was all about ramen. I’m not kidding when I say I was on the edge of my couch seat the entire time. Never in my life have I craved ramen noodles, and now, I can’t get them off my brain. After that episode, I was hypnotized by giant, steaming bowls of slurpy noodles. And, since it’s been nearly impossible to find good vegetarian ramen (even in Sacramento), I took matters into my own hands.
To start, we make a simple, flavorful broth that’s perfect with these noodles but also great as the base for any asian soup. Since most traditional ramen soups use a pork broth, I chose dried mushrooms for a meaty, umami flavor without the um, meat. While extra regular mushrooms will work in a pinch, dried mushrooms are intensely flavorful and help to create a really rich broth.
After watching (and re-watching) the ramen episode half a dozen times, I knew that traditional ramen soup incorporated other elements besides the noodles. These bowls were an art form and usually garnished with pork, a soft boiled egg or both. To keep a similar profile, I used hoisin-glazed tofu that totally makes this dish. While I really think I would eat anything covered in hoisin sauce, this tofu is deliciously meaty and works perfectly with the noodles.
I really can’t tell you enough how happy this soup makes me. It is so delicious, I can almost guarantee you are going to be making this one again and again.
A few closing thoughts: if you don’t plan on eating the ramen immediately, I would keep the tofu separate until you dish it up. I think this soup tastes best with the juxtaposition of crispy tofu and hot, savory broth. I also used bok choy as it’s one of my favorite asian vegetables, but feel free to substitute with whatever green you have in season. I think spinach or chard would work just as well.
If you do make it, let me know by using the #delishknowledge hashtag on Instagram! I love seeing your re-creations of my recipes. It makes my day!
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch bok choy
- 3 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 pieces of dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. miso paste (I used white)
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 14 oz. package tofu, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 12 ounces (1 package) fresh ramen noodles
- Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan.
- Chop the bok choy and separate the leaves from the stems.
- Add the stems to the pan along with the whites of the scallions and the garlic. Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, dried mushrooms, shiitakes, miso paste, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Whisk until smooth.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook while you prepare the tofu.
- Heat the remaining tbsp. of oil in a non-stick (or cast iron) pan over medium heat. Cube the tofu and add to the pan. Cook on both sides until lightly fried, turning often.
- After the tofu is cooked, remove from heat and add the hoisin sauce, tossing to cover.
- Increase the soup heat back to medium and add the fresh ramen noodles and bok choy leaves. Cook until the noodles are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the tofu and serve! Garnish with remaining green scallions.