I doubt that there’s a person on the planet who has not eaten ramen. The most basic of all meals, this instant noodle soup, is both low-brow and high-brow–the sustenance of college students and starving artists as well as ravenous chow hounds sniffing out the next food trend. But somewhere between simply filling up a cup with boiling water and all those fancy schmancy offerings at new noodle houses, which are popping up all over the place, there has got to be a good version one can make at home without too much fuss. Well, congratulations! You’ve come to the right place–Pan Asian–where quick, easy, delicious, and healthy Asian food is well within your reach.
For Asians, soup is comfort food, and Ramen, a Japanese noodle dish, is probably the most well-known soup of them all. Named after the Chinese wheat noodles that one slurps up out of the savory broth, there are infinite varieties of this dish, and in my one, I substituted the ramen itself for thick, Thai rice noodles. Like many Asians, I have an aversion to wheat gluten, so the rice noodles will do just fine, and for the broth, I use a simple combination of vegetable stock, soy, sauce, mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine), and white miso. Aside from that, feel free to use your imagination and use any vegetable (or even meats) that you want. I tailored this dish specifically to vegetarians since I was getting more requests for vegetarian recipes here on Pan Asian.
I also don’t normally eat any type of tofu product because tofu is a highly processed food and most of the soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, but I happened to find a brand of fried soy puffs which specifically listed “non-GMO soy” as one of its ingredients. This is why California’s proposition 37, regarding the labelling of GMO foods, is so important. If given the choice, I and I assume most people, would go non-GMO.
That said, the fun part of this dish is the garnishes. I used fresh chopped scallions, green chilies, fried shallots, and Sriracha sauce to liven up my soup. A few shakes of fish sauce or soy sauce cannot hurt either. Go crazy! I didn’t break a raw egg on top because I didn’t have any, but next time!
13 oz. (375 g) fresh ramen noodles
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 oz. (150 g) oyster mushrooms, halved
1 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 leek, white & greens parts, sliced
4 oz. (100 g) snow peas, halved diagonally
4 oz. (100 g) fried tofu puffs, cut into match sticks
1 quart vegetable stock
1 ½ Tbsp. white miso paste
2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 cup (90 g) bean sprouts
1 tsp. sesame oil
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
4 oz. (100 g) enoki mushrooms
1.) Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to boil. Add noodles and cook, stirring to prevent sticking, for 4 minutes, or until tender
2.) Heat oil is a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, oyster mushrooms, zucchini, leek, snow peas and tofu puffs, and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the stock and 300 ml of water and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
3.) Stir in miso, soy sauce, and mirin until heated through. Do not boil. Stir in bean sprouts and sesame oil.
4.) Place noodles in the bottom of six serving bowls, then pour in the soup. Garnish with spring onion and enoki mushrooms.