Vegan Ramen

Dec.08.11 § 11 Comments

Who doesn’t love noodles? A better question, who didn’t live off instant ramen in college? I certainly did. But the unfortunate result of that was the freshman 15… or 50. Anyway, ramen noodle packets are completely devoid of any useful nutrition. But I still want to slurp noodles! So, here’s the answer.

Shirataki noodles are a diet craze. Don’t eat them with spaghetti sauce like weirdos online who think it’s the best dieting trick ever. Ew. That’s just disgusting. Eat them in noodle soup, like real traditional shirataki noodles are eaten. In Japan. Where they also eat ramen. I’m merging the two dishes. The reason shirataki noodles are a diet craze is because they’re low calorie and low carb. The House Foods brand adds tofu to the mix, so they’ve got a little protein. They’re also vegan, like this entire recipe.

The process is a little bit complicated. I think it might be better for master vegans, and a little challenging for beginners. I’ve been cooking vegan food since 2007. My kitchen is stocked with what your run of the mill cooks might consider “weird shit,” including but not limited to the nutritional yeast, vegan margarine, organic brown barley miso, and no-salt-added vegetable bouillon this recipe calls for. Thing is, they’re really important to achieving the flavor. So go out and get yourself some! You can find all of this at a Whole Foods, including the cabbage (probably).

I want to add that just because this recipe is vegan, doesn’t mean it’s all that healthy. I shoved a lot of veggies in that bowl, but it’s still pretty high in saturated fat and sodium, and made with processed foods. Earth Balance and Rapunzel bouillon are both made of palm oil, which we all know is high in saturated fat. Don’t tell Dr. Fuhrman about this recipe. And don’t go eating it every night. Or, do whatever you want, just don’t blame me for the state of your health! I consider this an indulgence and a healthier alternative to satisfy my ramen cravings.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as me and my guest who said she couldn’t tell the difference between the shirataki noodles and regular ramen noodles, and I consider her to be a noodle expert.

Ingredients

  • 1 T Earth Balance vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, like baby bellas
  • 2 T Mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2 T Tamari or any soy sauce
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Rapunzel vegetable bouillon
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 T brown barley miso
  • 2 packages Shirataki “spaghetti” noodles

Garnishes

  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • Two scallions, sliced
  • Bean sprouts
  • 1 head savoy cabbage, shredded, steamed, and tossed with sesame oil and red pepper flakes

Directions

Prepare and set aside all the garnishes ahead of time.

Drain and rinse the Shirataki noodles and set aside. They will smell fishy when you take them out of the package. Just rinse it away.

In a large heavy bottom pot, like a Dutch oven, cook the mushrooms in the Earth Balance in batches. Cook them in batches so you don’t crowd the pan and so they brown evenly. Once they are browned, set them aside as another garnish. Now you need to deglaze the pot, which is the hardest part. It needs to be done quickly without burning. Add the Mirin, Tamari, red pepper flakes, yeast flakes and bouillon to the hot pan. Stir continuously until the bouillon is dissolved and no longer smells raw. It should smell cooked and fragrant. If the mixture begins to get too thick, which can happen because the Mirin is so high in sugar, just add a bit of water. Once the bouillon is mostly dissolved, add the 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

When the water is boiling, remove about 1 cup to mix with the miso. Add the noodles to the pot and cook for at least 4 minutes. The package said to parboil them for 4 minutes. I find that they are still a little al dente, if you can even apply that term to these things. If you like your ramen squishy like I do, cook them a few minutes longer.  While the noodles are boiling, mix the miso paste with the 1 cup broth a little at a time to form a thin paste. When the noodles are done, turn off the heat and incorporate the miso into the soup.

Serve divided into two bowls with garnishes to taste. Slurp!

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§ 11 Responses to Vegan Ramen

  • This looks so good! I haven’t been out of college for too long, but it’s been ages since I’ve had ramen noodles. Your recipe looks soooooooo much better than the pre packaged kind though.

  • Carrie says:

    I’ve always wanted to try ramen, but I didn’t like how unhealthy the noodles are. Shirataki is a great idea and I think I’ll be using it. :)

    What a great blog, I also adore soup!

  • RONI says:

    I was JUST TALKING ABOUT THIS. so weird. so good. love this idea, I would just fill my ramen with mushrooms. lots of mushrooms.

  • oriana says:

    I just made this! It was really really great. I couldn’t find all the exact things (different brands of noodles & bouillon, different veggies), but it came out terrific. My boyfriend said it was even better than the ones he gets at restaurants. : )

    Thx!!

    • Laura says:

      That is great, Oriana! I’m so flattered to be on par with restaurant ramen. Thanks so much for trying my recipe and leaving feedback. You made my day!

  • Michelle W says:

    I can’t do the soy-based noodles. (I already use the soy-free EB Butter and also use coconut amino not-soy sauce). What other kinda noodles can I use, then? And I’ll just leave out the miso.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I’m not sure what your other dietary restrictions might be (gluten free?) but I would suggest using 100% buckwheat soba, Explore Asian’s black or mung bean noodles (you can find them on Amazon) or cellophane noodles. Those are all pretty healthy, wheat-free, soy-free noodles that I enjoy. If you are not avoiding gluten, you can just use regular ramen noodles. They are made of wheat with no egg. I do think you’re really going to miss depth in the broth without the miso though, so I would suggest using mushroom stock (Pacific brand or just a homemade shiitake dashi) instead of water in the recipe. Let me know how it turns out and I hope you enjoy it!
      Best,
      Laura

    • Laura says:

      Oh, I’m sorry. I completely forgot. You can get Shirataki noodles without soy. They are traditionally made that way. Just look for the translucent “Miracle Noodles.” I find them at Whole Foods.

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