It’s hard to describe the sensation of slurping through a bowl of ramen. And for the record, Japanese table etiquette demands that you slurp your noodles as you eat them. It’s even considered polite to do so, with the sound echoing your enjoyment of the meal!
And there’s really so much to enjoy about ramen, from the umami-rich complexity of the savoury broth to the chewy bite of the noodles and shades of heat delivered by a spicy slant.
While traditionally textured with intensely-flavoured meat, vegetarian renditions of ramen are just as thrilling and can be gussied up with vegan-friendly protein (hello tofu!) and heaps of veggies to bring colourful and cathartic comfort to your day.
Here, home chef Karishma Mehta – a.k.a. BowledOverByKari – guides us through her simple six-step guide for building your perfect version of a ramen bowl, with a creative Creamy Peanut Ramen (with a Thai twist!) to get you started!
Simple steps to build your own ramen bowl:
- Make the broth: You could either make a vegetable asian broth (recipe, here), mushroom broth, a creamy Thai peanut broth (recipe below) or a spicy broth!
- Cook your noodles: Ramen noodles are the obvious choice, but you can also use udon or even protein-rich chickpea noodles from Pink Harvest Farms.
- Add in your veggies of choice: carrots, broccoli, pak choy, spinach and baby corn are just a few of the many options!
- Pack in the protein: don’t forget to add in the protein of your choice – could be tofu, or eggs if not vegan
- Top it all off: garnish your ramen with either or all of these:
- Spring Onions
- Sesame seeds
- Drizzle over a spicy sauce (optional)
Creamy Peanut Ramen Recipe
- 5 cups Asian vegetable stock (or homemade broth; recipe, here)
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 2-3 tbsp red Thai curry paste
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp white miso paste (optional if you want to to give it an umami flavour)
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 bowl of mushrooms (button/shitake/straw)
- 1 yellow and red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 small broccoli, chopped
- 5-6 baby corn, sliced
- 1 bowl of baby spinach
- 1 block of extra firm tofu (cut into cubes)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 packet of chickpea noodles/ ramen noodles/ udon noodles
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Salt to taste
- Chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, spring onions to garnish
- Cook the noodles as per the instructions on the packet and set aside
- In a large pot, sauté together the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes
- Add in the curry paste and peanut butter and sauté further for 5 minutes
- Slowly add in the broth, coconut milk, honey or maple syrup
- Separately steam the broccoli, baby corn and spinach and set aside
- Sauté the mushrooms in a pan and set aside
- Sprinkle a little cornflour over the tofu and pan cook the tofu until crisp and set aside
- Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Add the lemon juice just before taking the soup off heat.
- Stir in the noodles just before serving the soup; stir until the noodles are soft.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, add in the sautéed veggies, mushrooms, crisp tofu and garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds and spring onions. Serve hot!
About Karishma Mehta:
Former lawyer turned home chef Karishma Mehta loves making colourful vegetarian and vegan bowls at home. Follow her culinary adventures and easy-to-follow recipes @BowledOverbyKari
We’d love to hear from you! Do let us know if you try this recipe – you can leave a comment below and/ or tag us in your delicious creations on Instagram @the_foodiediaries