This recipe for Vegan Sesame Miso Ramen is ultra-comforting with a full-bodied flavor. Miso, soy sauce, and dried mushrooms lend a ton of umami, while fresh ginger, garlic, and chili bring a bit of spice. Add Bok choy and brown rice ramen for a delicious and hearty noodle bowl!
What is Sesame Miso Ramen?
Sesame Miso Ramen is a noodle-based dish filled with a rich and savory broth. Miso ramen is primarily flavored with fermented soybean paste. This type of ramen originated in the Hokkaido prefecture of Japan and has since spread all over the country. It is important to note, the below is not an authentic take on this dish; most ramen is not vegan. So if you’re looking for something more traditional, I recommend this recipe.
What is miso?
Miso is a traditional Japanese condiment made from fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji (a fungus). This results in a thick paste that is full of savory flavor. Miso is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and is the base of many traditional dishes (perhaps most notably, miso soup, misoshiru).
Ingredients for Vegan Sesame Miso Ramen
For sesame-crusted roast squash:
- 1 small butternut squash, sliced thinly into rounds (can sub sweet potato, acorn squash, or delicata)
- 4 TBS Sesame oil (or olive oil)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 TBS sesame seeds
For broth/soup base:
- 4 cups (32 oz) low sodium vegetable broth + 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup + 3 TBS low sodium soy sauce
- 3 TBS rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup smooth tahini (peanut butter will likely work as a substitute)
- Scant 1/4 cup white miso paste
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 8-9 dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms
- 2 TBS freshly grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 heads baby Bok choy, separated into stalks
- 3-4 squares dried brown rice ramen noodles
- Freshly grated carrots, sliced green onions, and more sesame seeds
Sweet potatoes, acorn squash, or delicata squash can be used in place of butternut squash.
While I have not yet tried it, I would imagine that peanut butter would work as a substitute to tahini (though it will offer a very different flavor profile).
Bok choy, while traditional, can be substituted with another hearty green like cabbage or kale.
How to Make Sesame Miso Ramen
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and slice squash as thinly as possible (no need to peel). Coat in oil and toss with diced onion. Add to two lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring at the halfway mark to avoid burning. When edges begin to crisp, remove from the oven and set aside.
2. White squash is roasting, prepare broth by adding to a large pot vegetable broth, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, tahini, miso, red pepper flakes, dried mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Bring this to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes (about as long as it takes for the squash to roast).
3. Add bok choy stalks to broth along with prepared squash/onion mixture. Feel free to reserve a few pieces of squash to top the ramen bowls for serving. Remove broth from heat. Remove dried mushrooms if you’d like (they were mainly to flavor the broth).
4. Bring a separate small pot of water to boil. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
5. To serve ramen, portion noodles into large bowls and ladle broth/squash mixture over them. Top with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and freshly grated carrots. Enjoy!
Ideas to Customize this Recipe
- Add broiled tofu for some satisfying protein.
- Edamame or peas can also add plant-based protein and a nice pop of color.
- Swiss chard is the closest substitute for bok choy, though chopped kale or collards can also work.
- Sweet potatoes, acorn squash, or delicata squash can all be used in place of butternut.
Is ramen normally vegan?
No, most types of ramen include pork or chicken to flavor their stock. However, there are many vegan/vegetarian restaurants that serve meatless ramen (like this one in Tokyo station, or this one in my town).
According to the Yokohama Ramen Museum, ramen traveled from China to Japan in 1859, and since then has evolved a number of times. Ramen is extremely regional in Japan and innumerable styles exist today. It is usually classified by broth flavor. There are three common categories:
1. Shoyu (soy sauce)
2. Shio (salt)
Another type, Tonkotsu (using pork bones), references the broth’s base ingredient, not its flavors.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes, but be sure to prepare and store the broth and noodles separately. If the cooked noodles are stored in the miso broth, they will absorb too much liquid and become unappealingly mushy. This broth will deepen in flavor as it sits, so feel free to make it a day or two before you plan on eating it.
I hope you love this simple Vegan Sesame Miso ramen! Looking for more noodle recipes? Try one of these next:Print