Here’s where I admit that for most of my life, “ramen” has pretty much always been synonymous with “Top Ramen.” Up until a few years ago, I always thought ramen was just a simple soup with noodles and broth, a budget-friendly meal option for just-out-of-college folk but also secretly a favorite comfort-food lunch for many more than that.
Then, fancy ramen came into fashion. And that’s when I learned ramen is so much more than from-a-packet noodles and broth. It is a gorgeous bowlful of fresh noodles, rich broth, a soft-boiled egg half or two, and artfully arranged piles of veggies. But I still had a mental disconnect. In my mind, I continued to think of ramen as a super quick and easy meal. Theeeeen I’d try a fancy ramen recipe with a gazillion beautiful toppings and the kitchen would be destroyed and dinner wouldn’t be on the table until a good 90 minutes after I’d started. Total ramen disconnect.
I finally came to the conclusion that I still craved the simplicity of the ramen I used to know and love – just broth and noodles, sir. Yet I liked the idea of a homemade ramen.
And so here we are – Super Simple Vegan Miso Ramen! A vegetarian, vegan ramen with a really flavorful broth, perfectly cooked noodles, and simple scallions sprinkled along the top. Done and (slurp!) done.
Just to be clear, I’m not claiming an authentic ramen recipe here. Authentic ramen usually involves meat, for one, but more importantly, I’m SO not a ramen expert! I am a home cook who loves delicious food, and I tested and retested this one while doing my very best to keep it suuuuuuper super simple. So that I could enjoy delicious homemade ramen anytime, fast, and without destroying my kitchen.
For the most flavorful broth in the quickest amount of time, I start with charring the onion on the stovetop. I was inspired by Serious Eats’ vegan ramen recipe which starts with a variety of roasted and charred veggies. I love the slightly smoky, deep flavor a bit of charring adds via my shortcut approach. And then we have garlic (please don’t brown it or you’ll add yucky bitter notes!) and fresh ginger. A standard store-bought veggie broth, and then soy sauce, miso, and chili garlic sauce for umami and a smidge of heat. And also mirin, which adds just a touch of sweetness.
Many vegan ramen recipes call for shiitake mushrooms in some form or another, or kombu/seaweed, but this vegan ramen recipe goes without mushrooms and without seaweed. If you’d like to add those, go for it! I’ve found that I love this broth as-is and wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
Also, feel free to use this vegan miso ramen recipe as a base for all your toppings if you do want to go that route! Personally, I love it with a sprinkle of diagonally-sliced scallions and maybe a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. If I want more protein, I might add tofu or a soft-boiled egg (which, of course, is not vegan, but eggs are something I do still eat).
More ramen topping ideas:
- Soft cubed tofu
- Roasted chickpeas
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Roasted or steamed carrots
- Steamed broccoli or roasted broccolini
- Steamed spinach
- Thinly sliced baby boy choy
- Bean sprouts
- Anything else you want! Sky’s the limit!
I hope you like this Super Simple Vegan Miso Ramen as much as we do!
Super Simple Vegan Miso Ramen
- 1 10-ounce package ramen noodles (I love Nona Lim fresh Tokyo ramen, found in the refrigerated section)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil*
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion (cut into strips)
- 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 thumb-sized hunk of ginger (minced (about 1 tablespoon))
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1/4 - 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (to taste)
- Pinch kosher salt (optional)
- 4 scallions (diagonally sliced)
- Fill a large pot halfway with water, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook ramen noodles according to package instructions. Drain, set aside, and rinse with cool water if the instructions call for it.
- While the ramen cooks, make the broth. Set a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and sesame oil to the pan. When hot, add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until charred in places, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Do not let the garlic get brown at all, or it will lend a bitter taste to your broth. If it starts to brown before one minute is up, add the broth right away.
- Add the broth, ginger, and soy sauce. Increase heat to high to bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of the broth into a small bowl and add the miso. Stir with a fork until a smooth paste forms, then add back to the broth. Stir in the mirin and the chili garlic sauce. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired.
- Divide noodles between 3 or 4 bowls. Ladle broth over top. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.