VEG RAMEN BOWLS

Who doesn’t love to cozy up to a warming bowl of soup? And that too if it is a bowl of incredibly comforting, light and delicious umami flavored vegetable ramen, who could deny having it? It is such a healthy, wholesome, filling and satisfying meal. Also, slupring the noodles as they whip across the chin and nose, splattering drips of flavor infused broth every which way makes it epically fun to eat. I always wanted to make ramen at home but making ramen from scratch is pretty darn elaborate. But this recipe here is a lightened version of the authentic ramen which comes together in less than an hour and is full of japanese flavors and nourishing ingredients that will make you feel good about having a bowl.

The soul of ramen lies in it’s hearty broth. Although making a traditional ramen broth from scratch involves slow cooking it for several hours, I wanted to keep things as simple and quick as possible yet achieve the authentic ramen taste and texture. I made a broth with store bought vegetable stock and used mushrooms, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, soy and light miso paste to enhance and layer the stock for a complex and delicious soupy broth. This broth is pretty light and not as rich and creamy as the traditional ramen broth, but the simple ingredients do a mighty fine job of lending a deeply savory, salty and spicy flavor to the soup, while keeping the cook time to a minimum.

The best part and possibly my favorite thing about ramen is that you can feel free and throw in any veggies that sound good to you or happen to be rolling around in the bottom of your refrigerator drawer. I went in and loaded my soup with tons of veggies to make the soup wholesome and filling. I used mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli and it was a hit!

And of course, let’s not forget the star of the soup; ramen noodles. I used whole grain flat ramen noodles, but you can also use basic ramen noodles, or even soba, udon or any asian style noodles you like.

I wanted to add a good amount of protein to the soup, hence I went ahead with boiled eggs and fried tofu for some protein infusion. Although ramen is usually served with a soft boiled egg with the gooey yolk imparting a mega cream flavor, I opted for hard boiled eggs as I have not been able to cure my aversion towards poached eggs.

With my experience of making ramen, all I could say is that stirring a restaurant worthy ramen at home is not hard. This recipe comes together very quickly and is a total flavor bomb with a pool of glistening and delectable broth layered with flavors that is thick enough to coat the noodles as they’re slurped from the bowl, plus the veggies add a lot of texture and density to the soup and the crown of fried tofu and glorious eggs add an instant protein kick. This ramen is an ideal meal for a weeknight dinner and it also makes for a perfect work lunch, since it tastes equally delish the next day.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 5 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches of scallions
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, roughly diced
  • 32 ounces low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 8-10 Brussels sprouts, cut in halves
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 5 ounces dry ramen noodles
  • 4 tablespoons of white miso paste, light & sweet
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces firm tofu
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • salt as per taste

Instructions

  • In a large cooking pot, heat some olive oil and sesame oil over medium heat. Add in the scallion , carrots and shiitake mushrooms. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes until softened.
  • Add in the ginger and garlic and saute for another minute.

 

  • Now add in the vegetable broth and water along with soy sauce. Let it come to a light boil.img_5031

 

  • Add cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli florets, reduce the heat and simmer it for 20 – 25 minutes.

 

  • Once done, add in the ramen noodles and cook for another 5- 8 minutes or until the noodles are tender.

 

  • Now add the miso paste and rice vinegar and give it a nice stir to combine. Add some red pepper flakes to spice things up. Remove from heat and adjust the seasoning as desired.img_5040

 

  • To pan fry the tofu, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan. Press the tofu lightly to get rid of all the excess water. Cut it into thin and flat slices. Place these slices on the pan in a single layer. Fry the tofu until all sides are browned and crispy.

 

  • Ladle the ramen in bowls and top it with fried tofu, boiled egg, sliced carrots, jalapeño peppers and scallion greens and fall into a state of bliss.

  • You can always garnish your bowl with toppings of your choice.

 

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