Spicy Shiitake Ramen with Crispy Tofu

When I was in college, like most other kids my age, I lived on ramen noodles. And I’m talking about the $.25 per package ramen noodles. They were easy, cheap, and filled me up! It wasn’t until I lived with my vegetarian roommate Judy that I realized I could add things to my ramen and make it even better. I think I started by just adding scallions. Pretty soon, I added sautéed mushrooms and garlic. Eventually, my recipe became more and more complex. When I became a vegan, the beef became tofu, and the recipe had evolved again

The best part of Ramen is that you can make it in an infinite number of ways. I like mine spicy, but if you don’t, you can leave out the gochujang, and it will be just fine! Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that may make dishes spicier (depending on the capsaicin in the base chili) and make dishes sweeter and smokier. Or if you like spicy but don’t want to buy something new you can use any hot sauce. You can add your favorite ingredients or whatever you happen to have on hand. There is no wrong way to make it. The key is a rich and flavorful broth. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!


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Spicy Shiitake Ramen with Crispy Tofu

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

Description

A delicious bowl of ramen is the ultimate comfort food.  And the best part is that you can make ramen an infinite number of ways!  This recipe happens to be my favorite, but you can use whatever ingredients you love or happen to have on hand.  Some additional toppings might include:

  • daikon radish
  • finely shredded cabbage
  • steamed bok choy
  • mushrooms (smoked are nice- see below!)
  • baby spinach
  • scallions

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 to 16 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons thin matchsticks peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 6 ounces)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock 
  • 1 sheet Kombu seaweed, rinsed
  • 1/8 cup mirin ( Japanese cooking wine)
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang 
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegan soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 Fresno chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 12 ounces somen, udon or ramen noodles

Instructions

Make the Broth:

  1. In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute the onion in 1 tablespoon oil until tender about 3 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add the garlic and ginger and continue cooking the onions until they are deeply golden brown about 3 more minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan; cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, a sheet of kombu, mirin, gochujang. Bring to a Simmer.

Make Tofu: 

  1. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes. Warm a skillet over medium heat, when heated add 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil. Add the tofu and cook for about 10 minutes until lightly browned and crisp on all sides, turning occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together 2 tablespoons miso, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon water. When the tofu is browned, turn off heat and carefully pour sauce over tofu (be careful, it splatters!). Stir sauce onto tofu and cook additional minute over medium heat until fragrant.

Assemble:

  1. Add the bok choy and ramen noodles to dutch oven. Cover and cook, stirring halfway through, until the boy choy is wilted and the noodles are tender, about 4 minutes.  Add Tofu. 
  2. Top each bowl with chili.
  3. Serve Immediately. 

Notes

If you cannot find fresh shiitake mushrooms you can use dried.  Just be sure to chop or slice them into small pieces. 


Nutrition

  • Calories: 400
  • Fat: 13.8
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 59.8

Keywords: Vegan Ramen, Bok Choy, Shiitake

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