Miso Ramen

Miso ramen with pickled root vegetables.

Now the ramen I'm talking about is not the 25 cents a package variety we're most familiar with in America, the kind I ate almost everyday for lunch my senior year of college. The ramen of Asia is a flavor explosion with rich umami broth and vegetables and meat toppings to suit any taste. My partner and I were so excited when a place aptly named Ramen Bar opened up near our apartment, but it cost as much as $15 a bowl, depending on toppings. I scoured the web for recipes and ultimately adapted one to fit my palate and my wallet.

Before I share the recipe, let's talk about toppings. Ramen has become a weekly staple in our house and toppings vary based on what I have on hand. Here are some of the most common toppings we use:

Stir fried bok choy or cabbage
Bamboo shoots
Dried seaweed
Thinly sliced pork

The only topping I always use is pickled vegetables (well and Sricha and shichimi togarashi, a mix of seasame seeds and chili powder). I pickle my own root veggies using whatever is hanging out in the fridge, which usually means ginger, daikon, and carrots. The crispness of the root vegetables and the tartness of the vinegar they are soaked in adds a layer of flavor to the ramen that in my mind can't be omitted. I've included the recipe below.

The whole meal can easily be thrown together at dinnertime, or you can prep the components in advance and heat it up when you're ready to eat. Enjoy!

Start with ramen noodles

Add your toppings

Then comes the star, miso paste, to create a flavorful broth.

Miso Ramen

Adapted from Kitchen La Boheme

1/2 pound Ramen noodles
1/3 cup Miso paste (This is the main flavoring ingredient. I use white (soy-based) miso, but you can use whatever type you prefer.)
1 Tbsp Earth Balance
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
5 cups vegetable broth

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. When you are ready to eat, pour the broth over noodles and add desired toppings.

Important: Do not combine the noodles and broth until you are ready to eat. The noodles will absorb the broth.

Pickled ginger, daikon, and carrots

Easy Pickled Root Vegetables

4 cups Assorted roots vegetables (I like a mix of ginger, carrots, and daikon.)

½ cup Vinegar (Use can use any type. I like to use equal parts seasoned rice vinegar and red wine vinegar.)
1 Tbsp Brown sugar
¼ tsp Salt

Peel and cut vegetables I into desired shape (matchsticks, ribbons, however you like). Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a storage container and stir to combine. Add in the vegetables, seal the container, and shake well. Allow the contents to sit for at least two hours. The vegetables will keep for up to three days in the fridge. 

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