Long nights and blustery winter winds make the perfect setting for curling up with a big bowl of ramen noodle soup. Traditional ramen broths can take hours, but this hearty vegan version—made with miso and shiitake mushrooms—offers a fast, delicious hack. Plus, you can switch up the toppings depending on what you’re craving or what’s in the veggie bin. Visit your local Asian market to load up on noodles, miso, and add-ins. Slurps up!
2 portions fresh ramen noodles or 2 squares dry ramen noodles
1 6-inch strip kombu dried seaweed
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
⅓ cup yellow miso
¼ cup sesame tahini
1–2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 7-oz. package baked seasoned tofu
1 cup frozen corn
½ lb. baby bok choy, preferably small heads, 4 inches long or less
2 scallions, finely sliced
Salt, pepper, toasted sesame oil, and vegetable oil such as avocado or olive oil
2 nori seaweed snack sheets, hot chili oil, or togarashi red pepper powder for garnish
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain, rinse with warm water, and toss with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Portion into large soup bowls.
In a 3-quart pot bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add kombu strip and mushrooms, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine miso, tahini, and soy sauce into a thick paste. When the stock is done simmering, discard kombu. Remove shiitakes, thinly slice, and toss with oil, salt, and pepper; set aside. Partially cover stockpot and turn heat to low.
Dice tofu into bite-size cubes. In a small strainer, rinse frozen corn with hot water until thawed. Slice baby bok choy in half vertically, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat grill bok choy for 2 minutes or until bright green and slightly tender. Add shiitake slices to the pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned. Divide tofu, corn, bok choy, and shiitake slices among serving bowls.
Pour ½ cup kombu stock over miso mixture and stir into a creamy sauce. Stir sauce into the kombu stock to combine, then ladle 1½ to 2 cups of hot broth over each noodle bowl. Garnish with chopped scallions, chili oil or togarashi, and nori snack sheets, then eat immediately.
Top photo by Yudi Ela; Prop stylist: Audrey Taylor; Food Stylist: Malina Syvoravong
This article originally appeared in BUST's Winter 2022-2023 print edition. Subscribe today!