Once you make homemade vegan ramen, you will never go back to a life without it. It's packed with flavour, super nourishing and extremely shooting (both to eat and make). Don't be daunted if you don't recognise a couple of the ingredients or names - they're really easy to source and will introduce you to a whole new world of flavour you didn't know existed.
Dashi (ramen broth):
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 4cm piece ginger, finally sliced
2 tbsp neutral oil (vegetable or refined coconut)
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
10g dried shiitake mushrooms
1 sheet kombu (optional but recommended)
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
400g firm tofu
4 bok choy, halved
200g mushrooms, sliced (we used portobello, but any work)
2 tbsp neutral oil
2 tbsp tamari
250g ramen noodles
100g radishes, carrots or any other crisp veg, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Spring onion tops
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 sheet nori
Start by making the dashi. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the whites and pale green parts of the spring onions, along with the ginger. Cook, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue cooking until the spring onions are golden brown. Add the dried shiitake mushrooms, sheet of kombu, 1.1 litres of water, and ½ tsp of salt. Simmer for 30-35 minutes over low-medium heat. Remove the sheet of kombu (don’t throw it away! I like to slice and freeze mine to eat with rice).
At this point you can decide whether to blend your dashi or not. I like to blend mine as it creates a thicker, more intense broth, but you can leave it brothier, or only blend half - up to you! If blending, do so on high speed until completely smooth. Transfer it back into the pot after blending and stir in 1 tbsp tamari. Taste for salt, and add more tamari to taste.
While the dashi simmers, prepare the vegetables and noodles. Chop your tofu into 3x6cm rectangles that are around 1cm thick. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Place your tofu in the pan, and let it cook without touching it until the heat-facing side is golden brown. Sprinkle with salt, then flip them. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the second side is golden brown. Transfer them to a dish and reserve until plating.
Add 1 tbsp of tamari and 1 tbsp of water to the same pan. Add the bok choy, faced down and let cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Flip them and let cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes, until tender. Transfer them to the dish with the tofu.
Add a tbsp of oil and tamari to the same pan. Add sliced mushrooms and let look, untouched for 7-8 minutes, over medium heat until golden brown. Flip them around, and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat. Last, cook your noodles according to the package instructions.
Assemble: Divide the noodles, tofu, bok choy, mushrooms amongst the bowls. Pour the dashi over them. Top with thinly sliced crisp veg, sesame seeds, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and crumbled nori.
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.