Happy New Year! Bonjon Gourmet’s Vegetarian Miso Ramen

You do not need to be a vegetarian to love this miso ramen. When combined with a miso taré, the dashi in this recipe delivers richness and satisfying flavor with minimal effort. Just gather a few pieces of kombu, a handful of dried shiitakes, and slice up a couple ‘coins’ of ginger (put away that peeler!), and steep in boiled water for up to an hour. Spend some time at the supermarket picking out a quality miso with a flavor profile you’re looking for—sweet, or salty—and you’ve won half the battle.

Dried Shiitakes, Fresh Ginger, Dried Kombu

You’ll benefit from living near a Japanese or Korean market (such as the chain H-Mart) where you can acquire fresh ramen noodles. We’ve made this recipe with a couple noodle varieties, and fresh Sun noodles are our favorite substitution here.

Fresh Ramen Noodles (Sun Noodle Brand)

The Bonjon Gourmet’s Miso and Soba Noodle Soup with Roasted Sriracha Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms

Some comments we have on this recipe:

  • if you don’t have roasted sesame oil, peanut or roasted peanut oil will work fine as a substitute
  • strain the tofu before roasting under a heavy plate or bowl (extra credit: weigh down the plate or bowl with potatoes) to remove some of the liquid from the tofu, this will help when you are roasting the beancurd
  • kale is delicious, but other greens like chinese spinach are great, too—experiment!
  • have shichimi togarashi on-hand for sprinkling (you should have it whether you make this soup or not); bonjon suggests togarashi, which is strictly red pepper, but the shichimi version has bits of dried seaweed, ginger, and roasted orange peel for a more complex flavor and incredibly pleasing sweet heat
  • we found that the tofu and shiitake mushrooms needed more than 10 minutes in the oven to evaporate excess liquid and get them nicely roasted
  • it took 15 minutes in the refrigerated section at my local H-Mart to choose from a selection of more than 20 types of miso before landing on an Enjuku Koji Miso by Hikari Miso

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