Vegans…get ready to slurp. This Lip-Smacking Vegan Ramen Noodles recipe is in the creamy Tonkotsu-style which, traditionally requires at least twelve hours to boil ground up pork bones. This version spares the pig and is ready in under an hour.
Before we continue, I should advise the magical ingredient that makes these vegan ramen noodles so creamy and unctuous is soy milk. No-soy friends might want to take the off-ramp here and I will see you in a few days with another soy-free recipe. 🙂
I get carnivore envy sometimes. Sitting with a plate of greens before me in a restaurant while my tribe devours hearty bowls of intoxicating who-knows-what can be…challenging. Choosing a plant-based lifestyle does get easier the further down the path you get but that’s cold comfort when all that’s on offer is sautéed greens and you’re [insert expletive here] hungry.
One of my survival tricks is to veganise traditional dishes so that I never feel like I miss out. From my vegan rueben sandwich to copycat sloppy joes, creating plant-based versions of dishes has made the journey much less bumpy. I’ve even been known to whip out a bottle of vegan cheese sauce at pizza restaurants, sometimes to raised eyebrows. Vegans are nothing if not an inventive bunch and a little moxie comes in handy.
This lip-smacking vegan ramen noodles is a veganised dish everyone can enjoy. Adding soy milk to create a creamy and full-bodied broth is both weird and genius. It’s not my genius, I have come across the concept a few times in my research and to be honest, it sounds a little gross, but I swear it works. And it’s really good.
Beginning with a mushroom-heavy miso tare, a base that adds both salt and the all-important umami flavour, this vegan ramen finishes with a lip-smacking creamy broth. I used dried ramen noodles in this version but you could use fresh – I simply used what I had. Besides being full-bodied and wonderfully complex, this vegan version is so much simpler and less time-heavy than its meaty cousin. Traditional tonkotsu requires the pork bones be cooked for hours and hours and hours; hours you’ll never get back. I’d rather spare the pig and eat the dang noodles sooner.
Customise your bowl with any toppings you like but I went for simplicity here. Crunchy blanched pak choy, sliced shallots with a kick of pickled ginger and this bowl balances creamy and crunch perfectly.
Vegan or no, it is traditional to eat ramen noodles with a good slurp. These lip-smacking vegan ramen noodles are slurp worthy indeed.
Lip-Smacking Vegan Ramen Noodles
Yield 3 bowls
This Tonkotsu-style Lip Smacking Vegan Ramen Noodles recipe creates a full-bodied, creamy bowl that's ready in under an hour.
- 5 grams dried shitake mushrooms ( around 1 medium-sized mushroom)
- 5 grams dried porcini mushrooms (a small palm-full of mushrooms)
- 1 gram wakame seaweed (a good pinch)
- 5 grams nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tbs (20ml) white miso
- 2 tbs (40ml) cooking sake
- 1 tbs (20ml) tamari soy sauce
- 2 cups (500ml) soy milk
- 1 cup (250ml) stock
- 90 grams ramen noodles per serve (dried) - this broth will make at least three bowls so 270 grams of noodles
- 40 grams baby pak choy per serve
- pickled ginger to serve
- kim chi to serve (optional)
- 1 shallot (spring onion) stalk, finely sliced
- black sesame seeds to serve
- To make the miso tare, grind the mushrooms, wakame and sea salt in to a sugar consistency. Add the nutritional yeast and grind again. (I used a small spice/coffee grinder)
- Put three tablespoons (60 grams) of the ground mixture in to a bowl with the miso paste, soy sauce and sake. Stir to form a paste.
- Spoon the paste in to a large saucepan and heat on low while stirring for two to three minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and stir well to combine. Cook on low for around five minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove the pak choy stalk and wash the leaves well. Drain.
- Stir in the two cups of soy milk to the broth and continue to cook on low heat for fifteen minutes. Taste and add sea salt if required.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the dried ramen noodles for around two minutes. I cooked my noodles for half the time advised on the packet, which was four minutes. The noodles will continue to cook when added to the hot broth. Just before you remove the noodles, add the pak choy to the boiling water to blanch for around twenty seconds.
- Strain the noodles and pak choy.
- To serve, ladle the broth in to a bowl and add the noodles. Place the blanched pak choy on top, followed by some pickled ginger or kimchi and a small handful of chopped green shallots. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds to serve.