Vegan Mushroom Ramen

This vegan mushroom ramen is packed with flavor and everyone loves it! Mushrooms, bok choy and tofu accompany the noodles in the warm, savory broth.

Vegan mushroom ramen

Want to make stunning ramen in the comfort of your own home? Authentic ramen from a Japanese restaurant is the absolute best. But the next best thing is trying it homemade! It also can be hard to find vegan ramen when you’re out. So enter: this mushroom ramen. The broth is so savory, flavored with the umami of both dried mushrooms and fresh mushrooms. Swimming in that gorgeous broth are bok choy, colorful veggies and tofu. It’s an explosion of flavor that’s a total crowd pleaser. Here’s how to make it!

What’s in this vegan mushroom ramen?

Sitting down with a bowl of steaming vegan ramen is incredibly satisfying. Ramen is a traditional Japanese dish of broth and wheat noodles (here’s a Ramen Guide for more). Alex and I served a version of this mushroom ramen to a big group of friends on New Year’s Eve. It went over very well (even with the kids!), and we have fond memories of everyone around the table slurping their noodles.

You’ll need a few special ingredients to make ramen at home, but it’s not hard to put together:

  • Dried & fresh mushrooms (more below!)
  • Tofu
  • Baby bok choy or spinach
  • Onion, garlic and ginger
  • Sweet peppers (the small, multicolored kind)
  • Ramen noodles (more below!)
  • Vegetable broth
  • Toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and mirin
Vegan ramen

How long does it take to make vegan ramen?

This vegan ramen takes about 45 minutes to put together, but the time is well worth it! The most important thing about ramen is the nuanced, savory broth. This recipe we’ve designed to be easy enough that it’s not a days long process, but have flavor complex enough that it’s worthy of being called ramen. (Vegetarian ramen is quicker: try our 30-minute Miso Ramen!)

Mushroom ramen

Tips on cooking with dried mushrooms

Vegan ramen is difficult to pull off, because the intense savory flavor of most ramen is due to the meat. In this recipe you’ll both dried and fresh mushrooms to achieve an intensely savory flavor. You’ll also use the soaking liquid to flavor the broth. You must use dried mushrooms here: it’s a non-negotiable! Where to find them? Check your grocery store in the produce section or by the spices (it varies; ask the store if you can’t find them).

Here are some tips for working with dried mushrooms:

  • Use any type. You can use whatever type of dried mushroom you find at the store. Porcini is likely the easiest to find, but any will do.
  • Soak before using. Dried mushrooms needs to be dehydrated before using. Soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes before adding to the soup.
  • Use the soaking liquid too. You’ll also pour in the mushroom soaking liquid into the soup, since that has lots of flavor too! Just make sure to strain out the liquid to make sure there are no tough parts of the mushrooms included.

Want more? Here’s all you need to know about working with dried mushrooms.

Vegan ramen

Ramen noodles: a breakdown

Where to find ramen noodles? There’s a lot of variety in ramen noodles! Here are a few tips on types and where to find them:

  • Standard grocery vs Japanese or Asian grocery: Most grocery stores give you 1 or 2 options for ramen noodles: usually you’ll find them dried. You can also can go to your local Japanese or Asian grocery; they will have a wider variety and will likely have fresh and frozen.
  • Fresh vs dried: You can use either fresh or dried noodles in this vegan ramen recipe! We like using fresh if we can find them, but dried are easier to find.
  • Curly vs straight: You’ll find noodles packaged with the word “ramen” that are curly or straight. Ramen is basically a wheat noodle served in broth, so there’s a lot of variation. You can use either! In our Tofu Ramen and Miso Ramen recipes we used straight ramen noodles.

Want to learn more about noodle types? Here’s a review of 6 different packaged ramen noodles.

Ramen noodles

What’s baby bok choy? (PS it’s optional.)

Boy choy is a type of Chinese cabbage. It’s a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it’s part of the same vegetable family with kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. You can find boy choy in most grocery stores in the produce section near the cabbage. It’s also available at farmers markets. Here are some tips on working with bok choy:

  • Make sure to buy baby bok choy! Bok choy is very large, but baby bok choy you can simply cut in half and serve as you see in the photos.
  • Here’s how to eat it: Many ramen recipes are served with halved baby bok choy. But it’s a little challenging to eat! The white ends portion can be a little tough. To eat it, pick it up with your chopsticks and take bites off of it.
  • You can use spinach instead. If you can’t find bok choy or are not up for the challenge, use spinach instead! Simply throw spinach leaves into the broth and skip the step to saute the boy choy.
Baby bok choy

Garnish with smoked soy sauce (shoyu) if you’d like.

Smoked soy sauce (or shoyu, the Japanese word for soy sauce) is popping up at mainstream grocery stores these days. Alex and I could not be happier! We found smoked shoyu at a Japanese restaurant in Santa Fe years ago. The intensely savory, smoky flavor is incredible for using in vegan recipes. But because it was hard to find, we never called for it in our recipes: until now! If you can find it, a drizzle adds the perfect garnish.

This vegan mushroom ramen recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Vegan mushroom ramen

Vegan Mushroom Ramen


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This vegan mushroom ramen is packed with flavor and everyone loves it! Mushrooms, bok choy and tofu accompany the noodles in the warm, savory broth.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 12 to 16 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 baby bok choy or 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (from two-inch nub)
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 small sweet peppers (or 1/2 very thinly sliced bell pepper strips)
  • 2 radishes or watermelon radishes, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces dry ramen noodles
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • Garlic chili sauce and smoked soy sauce (shoyu), for garnish

Instructions

  1. Soak the mushrooms: Soak the dried mushrooms in 2 cups of room temperature water for 30 minutes, while you complete the steps below.
  2. Prep the veggies: Cut the tofu into 2 x 2 inch squares and pat dry. Slice the bok choy in half, if using. Slice the onion. Thinly slice the garlic. Peel and grate the ginger. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice them. Thinly slice the sweet peppers. (For the garnish, thinly slice the radishes and set aside; you can also do this later if you prefer.)
  3. Saute the bok choy and tofu: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. If using bok choy, add the bok choy cut side down and cook until lightly charred, about 3 minutes (if using spinach, skip this step). Set aside. Add the tofu to the same pan and cook for about 10 minutes until lightly browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Remove and place on a plate; drizzle lightly with soy sauce.
  4. Cook the noodles (while you make the broth): Heat a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles to al dente while you make the broth (do not salt the water). Drain and set aside. If necessary, refresh the noodles under some hot tap water before serving.
  5. Make the broth: In large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook 4 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds just browned, stirring constantly. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the dried mushrooms to the broth: Use your hands to remove the soaked dried mushrooms from the bowl, saving the soaking liquid. Rinse them and add them to the broth. Pour the remaining soaking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into the broth (this avoids adding any tough particles).
  7. Add the veggies: Immediately add the soy sauce, mirin, and the shiitake mushrooms to the broth. Cook 8 minutes. Add the peppers and bok choy (or spinach) and cook for 1 minute. Taste the broth and season with salt until the flavor pops.
  8. Serve: To serve, place the noodles four bowls and top with broth, tofu, and vegetables. Garnish with sliced radishes and garlic chili sauce. Store leftovers with the broth and noodles in separate containers (to avoid the noodles soaking up all of the broth). 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Ramen

Keywords: Vegan Ramen, Mushroom Ramen

Want more ramen recipes?

We’ve got ’em! Because we love the stuff, we’ve got several more ramen recipes in addition to this mushroom ramen. Here are some of our favorites:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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