testing: vegan tonkotsu broth recipe from No Recipes

“Recipe by No Recipes. Find the original recipe here

Veg-friendly ramen recipes online are few and far between. Especially ones that appear as tasty and well-composed as this recipe from No Recipes.

Let’s give it a try!

This recipe requires making mayu and tare which are combined with other ingredients (soy milk, neri goma) later on to compose your final bowl.

View the recipe for mayu. The flavor it adds is essential for this recipe.

Here’s what you need for the tare.

Vegan Tare Ingredients
White Shoyu

The white shoyu will probably be the toughest ingredient to find. It is used in this recipe to keep the broth light in color like a typical tonkotsu broth. As you can see from the picture below, it really is lighter compared to typical soy sauce.

If you do not want to purchase white shoyu, you can use diluted soy sauce instead. It is not a perfect substitution, but it will do in a pinch. Learn more about white shoyu and substitutions here.

White Soy Sauce Color

To get started on the tare, grind up the shiitake, porcini, corn and kombu until powdered. Then, add the nutritional yeast and continue pulsing. The original recipe has you looking out for a grind as fine as powdered sugar.

Dried Veggies for Vegan Tare
Powdered Veggies for Tare

Next combine all of the ingredients for the tare. Put the white soy sauce, sake, salt and the veggie powder into a pan. Cook the mixture on high, stirring frequently. It will bubble and boil down to a gravy consistency. Once you can scrape the bottom of the pan and leave a trail, it’s ready.

Add Tare Ingredients to Pan
Cooking Tare
Tare Thickened and Complete

You can make the mayu and tare a day or two ahead of time and assemble the final ingredients before serving.

To prepare the broth, blend up your tare with soy milk and neri goma. For every Tbsp of tare, you will add 1 tsp neri goma and 1 cup soy milk. Refer to the recipe instructions at No Recipes for tips on amounts of each per bowl.

Neri goma is a Japanese sesame paste, similar to tahini. Some sources say the difference is neri goma uses unhulled sesame seeds. Other sources say neri goma is roasted for a longer time. It’s hard to find much information on it. If you have any insight, please comment below!

If you can’t find Japanese sesame paste/neri goma (this is the one I used, below), tahini is likely fine.

Nerigoma Black Sesame Paste

Careful when you blend. I suggest going at a very low speed to create as few bubbles as possible. It takes quite a while for these bubbles to settle. Drain + skim off as much of the foam as possible before serving.

Strain Foam from Ramen Broth
Skim More Foam from Broth

Once the broth is blended and strained of all foam, serve into bowls and add your noodles and toppings (including the mayu!).

Broth Closeup
Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen

I have mixed feelings about this recipe. Some aspects were tasty, some aspects were less so. I think the main fault lies with the lack of a true broth-y component.

The mayu was delicious. The tare may have been, too, but the way the final broth is assembled did not allow it to shine. Simply adding soy milk and neri goma made the broth mostly reminiscent of soy milk–thick and bland.

The original author did note that “if your soy milk is very rich, you may need to cut it with a bit of water”. This may have helped the thickness, but it wouldn’t have improved the flavor overall. The broth really needed a flavorful liquid (perhaps a kombu dashi) incorporated instead of just soy milk. The intention was for the tare to be concentrated enough to not need it, but as-is it missed the mark for me. Maybe using half soy milk and half dashi would boost the flavor and thin out the broth a bit. I will have to try this!

While I found some issues with the recipe, I would certainly make the mayu again. I would even give the tare another go. I think it would introduce wonderful flavor to a broth that already had some flavor. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pair well with plain soy milk.

recipe: vegan tonkotsu broth from No Recipes


    For mayu:
  • View mayu recipe
  • For tare:
  • 4 grams dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 grams dried porchini mushrooms
  • 3 grams freeze dried corn
  • 2 grams kombu
  • 5 grams nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup white soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1 tsp salt
  • To complete the broth:
  • Unsweetened plain soy milk
  • Neri goma


    View instructions and the full recipe at No Recipes

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