Baby portobello mushrooms are simmered in spicy miso broth and served over slurpable noodles to create this savory vegan mushroom ramen.
We're halfway through spring, but somehow it's managed to stay rather cold where I live. Last week in particular was pretty darn nippy. Not that I mind! I'm actually all about that sort of thing...but it is nice to know what to wear and what to cook, and sometimes with unpredictable weather that's not the case.
So one particularly cold and rainy day I had a springy recipe all planned, but I just wasn't feeling it. I was way more in the mood for something hot and comforting. So I decided to put my original recipe on the back burner. Literally, actually. I shoved the pot of food to the back burner while I busted out some noodles and mushrooms for this spicy bowl of goodness. (I later packed up the food on the back burner to finish another day. Nothing wasted!)
This was exactly what I needed. My mushroom ramen was inspired by this noodle soup. My version takes a handful of shortcuts, but it's still super tasty. Any time dish calls for beef, mushrooms are the first thing I think of as a vegan substitute. They're also perfect material for a cozy bowl of soup.
The soup turned out to be super hearty, super flavorful, and pretty much exactly what I needed for dinner on a chilly spring evening.
Spicy Mushroom Ramen
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 12 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 5 cups water
- 1 star anise
- 7 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 ounces dried ramen noodles
- 2-4 teaspoons sambal oelek
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Chopped scallions
- Fresh cilantro
- Red pepper flakes
Coat the bottom of a medium pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in an even layer. Cook 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the onion and continue to cook 5 minutes more, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and continue to sauté for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Add the water and star anise to the pot. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer until the mushrooms are very tender, about 15 minutes.
While the soup simmers, coat the bottom of a medium skillet with the remaining tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tofu in an even layer. Cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until lightly browned and crispy on multiple sides. Transfer the tofu to a paper towel.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the ramen noodles and cook according to the package directions. Drain into a colander.
Once the soup has finished simmering, remove it from the heat and stir in the sambal oelek, miso, and sesame oil. Taste test and adjust seasonings to your liking (but make sure the miso dissolves completely). Discard the star anise.
To serve, divide the noodles into bowls and ladle the soup overtop. Top with tofu, scallions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Serve.
You can skip the tofu for an easier version of this dish, or if you're just not into tofu.