Tasty Vegan Ramen

Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian-inspired
Keyword: Ramen
Difficulty:: Medium
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 349kcal
Author: Traffic Light Cook
Inspired by the Ramen Hood (restaurant) Vegan Ramen recipe, this vegan and gluten-free recipe offers comforting and tasty ramen experience in a creamy, tonkotsu-style Japanese ramen broth. 
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Ingredients

To prepare the noodles

  • 5 oz ramen noodles (preferably Japanese style, about 4 servings)

To make the Ramen Broth

  • 1 tsp avocado oil* (for a more robust flavor use sesame oil)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw)
  • 1 medium white onion (or any other type)
  • 1.5 tsp ginger (finely minced or crushed)
  • 1 clove garlic (enough to make 1 tsp minced)
  • 1.5 tsp low-sodium tamari*** (gluten-free version or sub with low-sodium sou sauce)
  • 1 pinch salt (or to taste)
  • 5.5 cups Asian Vegetable Broth**
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 6 oz cremini mushrooms (about 6-8 medium-size mushrooms, can sub with Shitake mushrooms as well)

To prepare the browned tofu

  • 9 oz Tofu (with tempeh)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp avocado oil (or sub with any other kind)
  • 1.5 tsp low-sodium tamari (gluten-free, or sub with low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

To prepare the steamed vegetables****

  • 1/2 lb broccoli (~ 3 cups, broken into smaller florets)
  • Water (amount based on the method of steaming used)

To garnish

  • 3 stems green onion (washed and finely chopeed)
  • 3 sheets nori (seaweed, optional)
  • 3 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste, optional, can sub with a squeeze of sriracha sauce)

Instructions

To make the ramen broth

  • Start by boiling the water to boil  the ramen noodles. Keep following other steps when the water is boiling. Just pay complete attention after adding noodles to the boiling water. Be sure not to overcook the ramen noodles. Drain the noodles in a colander and then rinse under cold water to avoid overcooking. Set aside. 
  • While the water boils, assemble all the ingredients out of pantry and refrigerator on to the prep counter. Start by chopping all the vegetables. Heat a skillet over medium heat and dry roast the sunflower seeds (for about 3-4 minutes) stirring often. Put them aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the avocado oil over medium heat and add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, salt, and tamari. Keep a small bowl of water close by to add to the mixture should it start sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, till the onion is cooked through. Add this mixture to a blender with Asian vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, and roasted sunflower seeds. Blend on high speed till well mixed. 
  • In a heavy-bottom, wide-mouth soup pot, heat 1/2 tsp of avocado oil and then add chopped mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms till soft. Add the blended broth to the mushrooms and keep it hot over medium-low heat. 

To brown the tofu

  • Squeeze the tofu between both palms to remove excess water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the tofu into even-sized squares and add to a bowl. Stir in the tamari, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and mix well with fingers to coat the tofu with the flavoring agents. 
  • Heat oil on a flat skillet and add the tofu. Turn over, once once side is browned. Keep aside on a paper towel-lined plate. 

Steam the broccoli

  • Either microwave or use a steamer to steam the broccoli. When steamed, it should still have some bite to it. 

Put the tasty vegan ramen together

  • Divide the mushroom-infused ramen broth into four parts, and add to four big and somewhat deep soup bowls. Add the noodles, tofu, and the steamed broccoli florets. Garnish with green onion, crushed red pepper, and a sheet of nori folded into a triangle. Enjoy!

Notes

*can sub with broth make with 50% store-bought brought and 50% filtered water. Or sub with any low-sodium vegetable broth. 
**for the purpose of managing fewer ingredients in the kitchen, I only stock avocado oil in my pantry. If you have sesame oil in your kitchen, you can use that instead for a more robust flavor. 
***Tamari is more Japanese-style soy sauce made with no- or very little wheat; regular soy sauce contains wheat. 
****can sub broccoli with 1 cup of spinach/serving, 1/2 lb savoy cabbage, or 1/2 lb tender sugar snap peas. 
Please note in the nutritional panel the high amount of sodium the recipe has despite using the low-sodium tamari (soy sauce) in moderate amounts. Imagine the amount of sodium in Asian foods we eat in restaurants where soy sauce is more likely to be not low-sodium. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.75cups | Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1500mg | Potassium: 505mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 46% | Vitamin C: 18% | Calcium: 17% | Iron: 24%