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  • Writer's pictureEmily Yeo

Creamy & Spicy Ramen

A rich, creamy and spicy vegan ramen recipe that won’t let you down. The broth is loaded with flavour, and thanks to a few handy tricks, an epic bowl of noodles is totally within reach!

Let me start by saying Asian cuisine is the crowned jewel of delicious easy vegan food. I’ve absolutely said this before, and I’ll probably say it ten thousand more times before my green leafy filled heart lays to rest. My family and I eat Asian inspired dishes easily four to five nights a week, and trust me zero complaints here!

Before making the transition to go plant-based, I really enjoyed going to this local ramen shop in town. Imagine my face when I realised the restaurant had absolutely zero veggie options outside of a “pine-wood-float”. Yeah yeah I know worlds tiniest violin right? But seriously as an active noodle lover, soup enthusiast, and chef this was some pretty damn devastating news

For years ramen has topped my food list since ditching meat. Finding a good ramen joint can feel like tracking down a needle in a haystack. But finding one that serves plant-based broth? Ha. Cue the waterworks. So as I’m sure you already suspect, I’m here to tell you that homemade is the way to go. And better yet, you’re less than an hour from the vegan ramen of your dreams!

I set out pretty quickly to find a “traditional styled” creamy ramen. Please note anything vegan is rarely easy to make “creamy”. It is doable, but not in the traditional sense most of the time. So imagine my surprise when this ramen totally tasted like the stuff I was used to! I couldn’t believe I was able to get all of my ramen goodness without all the animal products! It is now a recipe we cook often in our home and I am about it!

When it comes to ramen, the broth is really the most important part, no matter what anyone tells you. After much tinkering, I can’t help but feel like a kitchen ninja making this broth, and I hope you do too. While using store-bought vegetable broth might seem like a good idea, I promise you it won’t result in the flavour that ramen shops have on tap. Your best bet is to make your own; and this version is a lot easier than you might think.

This ramen recipe is something I've been working towards ever since I first ventured into the vegetable-based foothills of mount ramen two years ago. It is a rich, spicy, creamy, complex broth that coats the noodles as they're slurped from the bowl and the little pools of glistening oil twinkle on the surface like gems.

Set aside at least half a day for this project because you won't be making it on a weeknight. That said, it's not very difficult, technique-wise, lots of simmering and straining and just a bit of roasting. Come with me. I can lead the way and put the anchors in for you, but you're going to have to pull yourself up to the top. The climb may be riddled with stumbling blocks, razor-thin cracks, and tricky mantling spots, but I promise to guide you safely to the very top. What a view we'll have!

Umami is one of the 5 basic tastes in the Japanese culture, along with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness. It’s usually described as ‘meatiness’ – because it’s a flavour usually found in fish and meat. While it’s the crux of a good Ramen broth, the same umami flavour can be introduced into a vegan broth, thanks to certain unique plant ingredients. Seaweed, mushroom and miso paste here does the job of bringing intense umami-ness to a meatless-fishless broth!

I chose to make the broth thick, creamy, and spicy. I just love a creamy and spicy broth, sooo comfort food material. The spiciness also adds so much flavours to the soup! And this broth would go well with so many types of noodles, not just the ones from the instant ramen packets. Although, I do suggest choosing a thicker kind of noodle to go with the this creamy broth!

Homemade ramen is lyfe. I really almost feel like I could just leave it at that “homemade ramen is lyfe” statement and there would be nothing more that would need to happen here except you grabbing a big bowl, piling it high with slippery ramen noodles, pouring that spicy miso broth over the top, adding a scoop of seared tofu, drizzling everything with sesame or garlic oil, tossing in a handful of scallions, and going to town with your chopsticks to the delight of your little ramen-loving heart.


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