After taking on this challenge, I did some research on the history of ramen and the various components that lend to a delicious bowl of this treasure…
It is apparent that what is perhaps most important about this dish is not just the springy noodles, but the labor-of-love-broth, called tonkotsu.
The key to the broth is all about the extraction of the gelatin from bones to gain that rich and deep flavor. This process can take up to 60 hours of slow simmering!
However, here I will not be using bones, as this is a vegan version of ramen.
Instead, I will roast vegetables to deepen the flavor.
What’s even better is the fact that I recently came across a wonderful ready-made, store-bought version of vegan/vegetarian ramen broth by Imagine brand.
This means all I need to do is add my favorite toppings and it’s Ramen Time! Yay!
Now making a lovely homemade ramen without that super-high-in-sodium flavor packet is easier than ever!
Next time you need a quick meal and something to shake up your dinner menu, try this ramen recipe. It’s sure to please and makes a fun dish for entertaining!
Easy Vegan Ramen
servings: 2 to 3 (entrée portions)
- 10-ounce package sliced shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- ½ medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil, divided
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
- 1 cup grated sweet potato
- 3 packs instant ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
- One 32-ounce carton Imagine brand ramen broth
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 medium avocado
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped green onion, for a garnish
- 2 to 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
- Sriracha sauce (optional)
- Liquid aminos or soy sauce (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large pot, add salted water over high heat; cover it with a lid and bring it to a boil.
- To a prepared baking sheet, add the mushrooms and yellow onion. Drizzle the vegetables with the sesame oil and up to ¼ cup of the grapeseed oil and toss to coat, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt.
- On another small sheet tray, toss the grated sweet potato with the remaining grapeseed oil, then sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt.
- Place both trays in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and stir the vegetables. Remove the sweet potatoes if they are done (they cook quickly when grated); they should be lightly browned and crispy. Return the mushrooms and onions to the oven and cook until tender—another 5 to 7 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the ramen noodles in the now boiling water according to the package directions—about 3 minutes. Then drain the noodles and set them aside (don’t worry if the noodles dry out a little while they sit; when you are ready to use them, you can just lightly dampen them with some water to loosen them up again).
- Return the pan you used to cook the noodles to the stovetop over medium heat and add the broth. Allow the broth to simmer until the mushrooms and onions are done; taste the broth to adjust any seasoning, adding salt and/or pepper to taste. In the meantime, peel, pit, and slice the avocado; also slice the green onions and the cilantro.
- To serve, add the noodles to a large serving bowl and pour the broth over them. Top with the mushrooms, sweet potato, yellow onion, avocado, green onions, and cilantro. Provide sriracha and/or liquid aminos on the side for an additional boost of flavor. Get your noodle on!