We are self-declared Japanophiles so eating vegan ramen is a common occurrence in our household. This quick and easy vegan ramen is super tasty and takes just a few minutes to put together. You can get the ingredients from any Asian store. We were worried that we might not find certain ingredients here in Dresden, but it turns out it's super easy to source them. We are lucky to have two two large Asian stores which sell everything you can possibly imagine.
Eating vegan ramen always makes us reminisce of the times we spent in Japan. It was so good to live there and eat ramen almost every day. Ramen sure is Japan's soul food. With fresh and healthy ingredients, it's hearty, hot, flavoursome and full of incredible earthy aromas. It's also very affordable in Japan as you can get a nice bowl of ramen for as little as $3. No joke, it's great.
What is vegan ramen
I'm going to be honest and say that vegan ramen is not as popular in Japan as we'd love it to be. Each region has its own type of ramen so expect the flavours to change as you travel through different prefectures.
Our vegan ramen is miso-based, although miso paste can also contain fish derivates. So be careful when you purchase it and read the ingredients carefully. There are several miso pastes (white and red) available on the market which are fully vegan, so you will definitely find at least one option at your local Asian shop.
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Tonkotsu (豚骨, "pork bone"; not to be confused with tonkatsu) soup usually has a cloudy white colored broth. This is definitely not vegan ramen as the broth is made with pork.
Shōyu (醤油, "soy sauce") ramen has a clear brown broth, based on a chicken and vegetable with soy sauce added to it. This is very common in Tokyo. If it's based on vegetable stock, this can be vegan ramen. Just make sure you exclude any meat or seafood from toppings and you are good to go. This type of vegan ramen is quite salty and a little tangy. It's very delicious. You can add spices to it as well, to make it even more flavoursome.
Shio (塩,"salt") ramen is the oldest type of ramen broth. The broth is pale and slightly clear with a yellow tint made with plenty of salt and a combination of fish, vegetable, chicken and seaweed. Pork bones are sometimes used for this ramen broth. Shio ramen is rarely vegan ramen.
Miso (味噌) ramen is the newest type of ramen and can be made vegan ramen as you will find in this recipe. Miso ramen was developed in Hokkaido and has a robust, tangy flavour. Now, miso ramen is sometimes mixed chicken or fish broth, pork bone and even lard, in order to create a thick soup. It can be found as a vegan version, but expect the broth to be thinner, saltier rather than tangier but still delicious.
Karē (カレー,"curry") ramen is a type of unusual Japanese ramen cooked with pork bones and vegetables and seasoned with curry. It's not my favourite type of ramen and I'm yet to find a vegan version of it in Japan (maybe I was not lucky enough).
How to make vegan ramen
To make vegan ramen you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 tbsp miso paste (make sure it's vegan)
- 3 wt. oz (85 g) noodle (make sure they vegan, not egg noodles)
- 3 tbsp chopped spring onion
- 1/3 cup (20g) enoki mushrooms
- 1 cubic inch (18g) silken tofu
- 1 cup (170g), shredded pak choi
- 2 cups (475ml) water
- 1/2 sheet seaweed
- 1 tbsp Thai Chili Paste (optional)
Super important to note: even though we made the Thai chili paste an optional ingredient, we strongly recommend that you use it for your vegan ramen. It's what makes your vegan ramen full of flavours and lovely aromas. While the vegan ramen will taste lovely without it, it will be blander. If you make our Thai chili paste, you can store it in a jar, in the fridge for a month, and use a tbsp every single time you make vegan ramen. It's well worth your time!
Cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Make sure you select noodles which are fully vegan and they don't contain egg. You can find ramen wheat noodles in any Asian store. You can also buy instant noodles if you prefer.
Add the noodles to the ramen bowl. Add the enoki mushrooms, the cubed silken tofu, the thinly sliced spring onions and the chopped pak choi. Decorate the bowl with the seaweed sheet. If using, add a generous tablespoon of chili paste for added flavour and aromas (strongly recommended!)
You can replace the pak choi with a different type of Asian greens if you prefer them.
Add the water to a saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Add the miso paste and stir until it's fully dissolved. Taste (but carefully, as it will be hot). Add a little more miso paste if you want the vegan ramen to be saltier. Pour the miso liquid over the vegan ramen ingredients.
If you want some extra flavour to your vegan ramen, you can drop a couple of fresh shiitake mushrooms to your broth. When we find them fresh in the market, we usually buy them and add them to our broth.
That's it, serve hot and enjoy your vegan ramen.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.