Mushroom ramen can (and should) be so much more than a late-night snack from a package. Fresh vegetables, silky soft tofu and homemade broth will give you a much healthier, satisfying and oh-so-much tastier ramen experience.
This mushroom ramen soup recipe is replete with the flavours of autumn: fresh mushrooms, sweet potato and leafy greens. Mushroom ramen is just what you need to warm you up when the fall evenings start to get a bit chilly.
Last week we learned how to make ramen noodles at home and what makes them different from other varieties of pasta. The process is simple, albeit somewhat lengthy as you need to let the dough rest for an hour. So if you’re going to go to the trouble of making fresh ramen noodles from scratch, you need a killer soup to go with them.
Of course you are by no means obligated to make your own noodles for this recipe! Fresh ramen noodles are fairly readily available in larger supermarkets these days and you can always use the dried package kind as well.
I tend to avoid the packaged ramen noodles as they often contain palm oil (and lots of other things I can’t pronounce), but they will do fine in this mushroom ramen recipe. You could also use spaghetti if you’re really in a pinch!
I’ll admit that when I was a teenager I loved packaged ramen as an after-school snack. However I rarely just ate them as they come. I loved throwing in whatever odds and ends I could find in the fridge; tofu, green onion and tomato was one of my favorite combinations.
The beauty of ramen soup, like so many other noodle-based dishes, is that it’s a great fridge cleaner. It’ll take whatever you throw in it and the variations are endless.
They key to making this a really killer bowl of ramen soup is to start with the broth. We all know that making a broth for pho is an art form. Ramen broth, I’d say, is not as complex but you need to put some thought into it.
For this mushroom ramen I started with the vegetarian dashi recipe from Just One Cookbook and reinforced it with some dried shiitakes, garlic and red chili flakes for a very light heat. A bit of miso for savouriness and just a pinch of salt to round out the flavour.
While your broth steeps, prepare your toppings. Roasting the sweet potatoes and mushrooms amplifies their flavour and makes them nice a crispy on the outside. Contrast that with soft, silky tofu and fresh leafy greens and scallions for crunch and you just might have the most perfect bowl of fresh homemade ramen you’ve ever tasted!
For the ramen broth
- 8 cups water
- 40 grams (1 ½ oz) kombu / kelp
- 2 large or 4 small dried shiitake mushrooms
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- The white parts of 2 green onions
- 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
- 1 – 3 tablespoons miso paste (depending on your taste)
- ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
For the mushroom ramen soup
- 250 grams (9 oz) fresh mushrooms, variety your choice (I used baby oyster but any kind will do), larger ones cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium-sized (about 450 grams / 16 oz) sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 350 grams (12 oz) fresh ramen noodles or four individual packages of dried noodles
- One 500 gram (18 oz) package of soft tofu, drained and cubed
- Two generous handfuls of leafy greens such as lamb’s lettuce or baby spinach
- The green parts of two green onions, chopped
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Soak the kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms in 8 cups of water overnight in the fridge (see Just One Cookbook's recipe for a faster hot water method). Remove the kombu and shiitakes and bring the broth to a simmer. Add the garlic, white parts of the green onions and chili flakes. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to steep for 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. After 30 minutes strain the broth and discard the solids.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (375°F). Place the sweet potatoes on one baking pan and the mushrooms on another. Toss each with ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon oil. Spread them out evenly over the baking pans and roast for 10 – 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting, until the sweet potatoes and mushrooms are tender and crispy around the edges. Depending on their size, the mushrooms might roast faster than the sweet potatoes so keep an eye on them and pull them out when they’re done.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the ramen noodles and cook until tender. Fresh noodles cook in 60 – 90 seconds, dried in 5 – 7 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and if using fresh noodles, rinse them under cool water to remove any excess starch.
- Reheat the prepared ramen broth to a bare simmer and add 1 – 3 tablespoons of miso paste, depending on your taste, and a ½ teaspoon of salt if necessary. Divide the noodles between 4 bowls and ladle over the hot broth. Top with the roasted sweet potato, mushrooms, tofu, chopped green onions and leafy greens. Sprinkle over some sesame seeds for garnish if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 863 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 6mg Sodium: 1365mg Carbohydrates: 143g Fiber: 23g Sugar: 39g Protein: 31g