Thanks to Just One Cookbook, my first attempt at making vegetarian ramen was more successful than expected! This was a great recipe to kick off my journey of perfecting vegetarian ramen.
Here is what you will need for this recipe. I took close-ups of the miso and bean paste to make it easier to figure out which kind you’ll need.
For the miso, the author recommends Awase miso (red/white) or Koju miso. When in doubt, go with a lighter-colored miso. The lighter the color, the more mild the flavor will be. I went with a white miso–the lightest.
For the bean paste, I used the one pictured in the authors original post. Although she noted that the first two ingredients you should look for should be “fermented broad bean paste” and “soybean”, the ingredients read just soybeans and salt. I compared the sauce jar character for character and I am fairly certain the one pictured below is accurate. Whatever you do, I highly suggest choosing one without sugar in the ingredients. This ramen broth is on the sweet side as it is, and any added sugar will push it over the edge!
Start by prepping your ingredients. Chop your aromatics, make your vegetarian dashi, and grind your sesame seeds. It doesn’t hurt to measure the bean paste and miso also.
If you use the same soy milk I used (Silk Plain Unsweetened soy milk in a 32oz box) it doesn’t require any measuring. One of those boxes is pretty much exactly 4 cups, which is perfect if you’re making 4 servings.
Let’s get cooking!
Add your sesame oil and green onion/garlic/ginger to a pan. Cook until fragrant. Then add your bean paste and miso and stir up real good.
Add the sake and mix. Then mix in the sesame seeds and soy sauce.
Slowly mix in the soy milk. Once the soy milk is fully incorporated, add the dashi.
The broth is essentially complete! Give it a sip. Add white pepper and salt to taste.
You may notice the soup is a bit…chunky. I went ahead and gave it a little blend with a stick blender until the particles were a bit finer.
Now we’re talking! Ready to serve.
This a great broth recipe overall, although there are some aspects that could be improved.
The broth is quite sweet. I prefer more savory, “meaty” broths, although this is a pitfall of many existing vegetarian ramen recipes (and part of my motivation to start this journey in the first place!). I also feel it is a bit heavy on the sesame. This could be more accurately titled a “sesame miso ramen”. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not quite what I am aiming for.
That being said–we still inhaled it. If you decide to make this recipe, make more than one serving. You will wish you did! And feel free to make this broth a day ahead of time if you like. It saves really well.
- 3 cups water
- 4 1"x2" pieces of kombu
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 4 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2" ginger
- 4 green onions, sliced (white parts only)
- 8 tsp sesame oil
- 8 tsp bean paste
- 8 tsp miso
- 4 Tbsp sake
- 4 cups or a 32oz box unsweetened plain soy milk
- 2 cups dashi
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- Hefty dash of white pepper