This Vegan & Gluten-free Ramen Recipe is so rich, flavourful, and filling you’ll want to ask for another bowl but your stomach will be too full. Filled to the brim with fresh veggies, ramen noodles, delicious stir-fried shiitake mushrooms, and the rich kombu shiitake dashi (broth) creates this beautifully layered umami. You don’t get much more comforting than this bowl of creamy miso ramen. It works great during the colder months but for me, I’ll have a bowl of that creamy miso ramen any day summer or winter.
- WHAT GOES INTO THIS GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN SHOYU RAMEN RECIPE?
- ARE RAMEN NOODLES VEGAN?
- ARE RAMEN NOODLES GLUTEN-FREE?
- MAKING A KOMBU SHIITAKE DASHI WITHOUT KOMBU
- MAKING THIS GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN RECIPE VEGETARIAN
- MAKING THIS GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN RECIPE WITH ANIMAL PROTEINS
- KOMBU VS KELP
- MAKING THIS VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN RECIPE
- TIPS FOR MAKING A CREAMY MISO RAMEN
- STORING YOUR GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN RECIPE
WHAT GOES INTO THIS GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN SHOYU RAMEN RECIPE?
Ramen is really BIG these days. However, the traditional ramen recipe is anything but vegan. So, how do we get that awesome comfort food in its vegan version? Finding a good bowl of gluten-free and/or vegan ramen can be near to impossible in restaurants and those that do seemed to make it a dumbed-down, simplified version of the authentic one.
That intricacy of flavors takes time to develop, and in my experience, the restaurants that I have been to just didn’t get it. There had to be a better vegan dashi. In my search for a better version through trial and error, I have managed to make the best Vegan & Gluten-Free Ramen Recipe keeping true to a lot of the authentic flavorings.
I have created this Gluten-free & Vegan Shoyu ramen recipe to reflect the traditional umami flavours without all the animal products. Shoyu, meaning soy sauce in Japanese, is the base of this broth along with garlic, ginger, miso, shiitake, and kelp or kombu which work together to create that umami flavour that we are looking for in a vegan shoyu ramen.
ARE RAMEN NOODLES VEGAN?
The traditional ramen recipe is anything but vegan. Typically, dashi (ramen broth) is made with 2-3 carcasses so it is definitely not vegan. However, the instant ramen noodles themselves are typically made without any animal products. They usually don’t contain eggs and are only made with wheat flour, oil and sometimes have potato starch. So, the short answer to are ramen noodles vegan, the answer would be yes.
ARE RAMEN NOODLES GLUTEN-FREE?
Ramen noodles, as mentioned above, are typically made with wheat flour, making them unsafe for those who are intolerant or celiac. But, there are some delicious alternatives available that unfortunately tend to run a little pricier than the standard instant ramen noodles packs. The instant ramen noodles usually go for about 1-2$CAD/pack. The gluten-free ramen noodles are about 3-4$ CAD for my favorite gluten-free ramen brand Lotus Foods, which makes them 2-3 times more expensive. I usually get my gluten-free ramen noodles at Costco or Amazon in a 12 pack which goes for about 20-25$CAD which would save you around 11-23$CAD. So, to answer the question of are ramen noodles gluten-free, the answer is no, but you have great alternatives that are available.
MAKING A KOMBU SHIITAKE DASHI WITHOUT KOMBU
One of the downsides of moving to a small island is that there is are limited amounts of exotic ingredients. Kombu being a Japanese seaweed, it is not exactly something that is commonly found where I live. There are multiple Asian markets where I am at but definitely not Japanese. After having done some research, I realized that kelp is a similar enough ingredient to kombu that it can provide you with a similar taste. If that isn’t available, the broth itself is delicious just with the miso but it does add a lot of umami flavour.
Making The Gluten-Free Ramen Recipe Vegetarian
If you would like to make you Gluten-Free Ramen Recipe a vegetarian one instead of vegan, the traditional ramen is made with a soft-boiled egg. Cook an egg for about 8 minutes on medium-low, then gently remove the shell and serve on top.
Making this Gluten-Free Ramen Recipe with Animal Proteins
If you prefer making your Gluten-free ramen recipe with a meat protein I would suggest either shrimps, chicken, or pork which all work great for this recipe. However, if you prefer making it more traditionally, here is a link to a traditional version of making a ramen Homemade Shoyu Ramen.
KOMBU VS KELP
To make a Kombu Shiitake Dashi, you’ll need some Kombu. However, living on a remote island of only 150,000 people, exotic ingredients are often hard to come by and so I needed to forgo the delicious Kombu and replace it with its generic counterpart Kelp. Kombu is a Japanese variety of kelp that is much thicker, is usually used in Japanese broths, like a ramen dashi, to create that umami flavour. When trying the kelp version, I did find the kombu more flavourful. However, it was in my opinion a suitable replacement, creating that wonderfully layered umami broth. Kombu will generally set you back a good 15$ CAD and its kelp counterpart only about 5$CAD and can generally be found at any Asian market. So when it comes to kombu vs kelp, I say go for kelp!
- Grapeseed oil
- Garlic cloves
- Vegetable broth
- Gluten-free tamari
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Miso paste
- Kombu or kelp
- Block extra-firm tofu
- Gluten-Free Tamari
- Sesame oil
- Maple syrup
- Gluten-Free Ramen noodles
- Green onion
- Baby Bok Choy
- Nori Sheets
- Enoki Mushrooms
- Sriracha or chili
- Cooking sheet
- Soup pot
MAKING THIS VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN RECIPE
Pressing the tofu
Before marinating your tofu, you should always press it. This will remove any moisture and allow it to absorb the marinade. Start by draining all the liquid from the tofu container then using a paper towel then pat the tofu dry. Using a couple of fresh paper towels, fold them to the size of the tofu block and place them on a clean flat surface. Now place the tofu on top of the paper towel and place another couple of paper towels and fold them to approximately the same size as the tofu block again and place them on top. Find anything flat that has some weight to it; either a heavy book, a thick heavy cutting board, which is what I did, and leave it on top of the tofu. Alternatively, you can use a tofu press.
Marinating the tofu
Cut the tofu in half-inch slices. Put all the ingredients for the tofu marinade in a shallow bowl and mix till well combined. Add the tofu into the shallow bowl and mix until the tofu is well coated and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Roasting the vegetables.
I roasted both my bok choy and the enoki mushrooms. They are much easier to eat that way and it gives them a nice roasted flavour. Start by preheating your oven to 350˚F and line a cooking sheet with parchment paper. I cut your baby bok choy in halves and brushed on some olive oil and salt to taste.
The enoki mushrooms are usually all in one big chunk so I break them up in a way that I’m almost “unrolling” them into a 1-inch-thick strip. Prepare another baking sheet with parchment paper and bake both for about 10 minutes or until they have softened. Once cooked, you can break up the bok choy leaves if you are less concerned with the presentation.
Frying the tofu
By now, the tofu should be just about done marinating. Preheat a large skillet to medium-high with a tbsp of either grapeseed oil, coconut oil or any other oil of preference. Place as many pieces you can until the pan can’t fit anymore but don’t overcrowd them or they won’t cook properly. Leave at least a ½ inch in between pieces.
Making the Kombu Shiitake Dashi
Start by heating a large soup pot on medium heat with your frying oil of choice. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or two. Then add the shiitake mushrooms and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with about a cup of broth for a minute or so. Then, add the rest of the broth, miso, soy sauce, kombu or kelp and simmer covered for about an hour.
Putting The Creamy Miso Ramen Together
Once the broth has finished simmering, it is time to assemble all of your elements together. Start by putting the noodles in the bowl. Then, add the finely julienned carrots, daikon radish, roasted bok choy, enoki mushrooms, a dabble of chili paste if you have, top with the green onions and sesame seeds and garnish with the nori sheets (if using) then pour the both on top until you cover your vegetables. Make sure you add some of those lovely shiitake mushrooms.
TIPS FOR MAKING A CREAMY MISO RAMEN
Roast your vegetables
After having made this recipe dozens of times, I think the best advice that I could give would be to roast the bok choy and the enoki. It makes them so much more tender and easier to eat. Its also much easier to eat when you break off the leaves of the bok choy, not as striking presentation wise but much easier to eat with chop sticks.
Kelp works great on a budget
I have tried this from with the traditional kombu seaweed and with kelp, I will admit that the kombu does give it much more flavour but the kelp is much cheaper and you get similar enough results. So, if you are on a budget, I would suggest making this with kelp.
Press the tofu
Pressing your tofu will make a difference in the amount of marinade your tofu will absorb. Either invest in a tofu press, or sandwich your tofu between two pieces of paper towel and weigh it down with a flat heavy object.
Storing your Gluten-Free Ramen Recipe
Keep you dashi stored separately from all the other ingredients in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN RECIPE
- 1 Tbsp Grapeseed oil or coconut oil
- 5 cloves Garlic grated
- 1 tsp Ginger grated
- 6 cups Vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp Gluten-free tamari
- 500 g Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms sliced
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 piece of kombu or kelp found in health food or Asian markets
- 1 10 ounces Block extra-firm tofu cut in 2-inch squares by ½ inch thick
- 2 Tbsp Gluten-Free Tamari or Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 8 ounces Gluten-free ramen noodles cooked as per packaging instructions
- 1/2 cup green onion chopped
- Carrots finely julienned
- Baby Bok Choy Halved
- Nori Sheets cut into 3×3 squares
- Enoki Mushrooms
- Sriracha or chili paste to taste
- With a clean paper towel, soak up any excess moisture. Then fold up a couple of paper towels to the size of the block of tofu and place it underneath the tofu block. Repeat this on top as well and chose a heavy, flat object and place it on top of your tofu for about 30 minutes.
- Start marinating your tofu in a bowl by adding all the tofu ingredients. Let sit for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally and flipping sides.
- Heat a frying pan on medium-high then add coconut oil. Once the frying pan is hot, put in your tofu slices with the rest of the marinade. Fry until tofu is nicely browned approximately 5 minutes on each side.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Brush on olive oil on baby bok choy and salt. Break apart the Enoki mushrooms as if you were unrolling them. Brush with olive oil and salt.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add grapeseed oil or coconut oil, garlic and ginger. Sauté 1-2 minutes or until it starts to brown then add the shiitake mushrooms and continue sautéing for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Add 1 cup of the vegetable broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
- Add remaining 5 cups vegetable broth, kombu or kelp, miso, and tamari and reduce to low and let simmer with a cover for 1-hour stirring occasionally.
- To serve fill bowl with noodles and topping ingredients and ladle in the broth, ensuring to add in shitake mushrooms.