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This quick and satisfying bowl of vegetarian miso ramen has remarkable depth of flavor. Yours in about 30 minutes.

vegetarian miso ramen in a bowl with chopsticks
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Why we love this recipe

One of Umami Girl’s most popular recipes of all time is Vegetarian Ramen with Rich, Savory Broth. I adore that recipe (and how happy it has made so many of you), but it takes a little while to prepare. This 30-minute vegetarian miso ramen is another favorite, and it’s more accessible on an average day.

Here’s why we love it:

  • Even though the broth is vegetarian and comes together quickly, it’s layered with deep, savory flavor and a little bit of creaminess
  • The broth works beautifully with all the traditional ramen toppings
  • Succulent slices of char siu tofu and an optional ramen egg make satisfying, substantial vegetarian protein sources
  • It’s easy to scale the recipe up or down to suit your needs
  • You can even make the broth in advance if you like

I first published a version of this recipe here back in 2016. I’ve since updated the post for clarity and updated the recipe itself, too.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

For the broth

ingredients in bowls
  • Minced fresh shallot, garlic, and ginger create the first layer of flavor. You can strain them out of the broth before serving if you like, but I prefer to leave them in.
  • Use a really good-quality butter if you can. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price. If you’d like to make this recipe vegan, you can swap in a vegan butter of your choice.
  • My favorite boxed vegetable broth by far is Imagine No Chicken lower-sodium broth. It has a great flavor profile and none of the rust-colored nonsense that plagues many other brands. It works beautifully in this recipe. You can, of course, use vegetarian dashi instead if you happen to have it on hand.
  • I like to use lower-sodium soy sauce since it packs all the umami with less salt.
  • Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine that’s pervasive in cooking and in dipping sauces. It’s pretty easy to find in grocery stores these days, but you can also buy it here.
  • A small amount of tahini (sesame seed paste) adds depth and creaminess to the broth that mimics pork ramen, without really making the broth taste like sesame.
  • White miso paste is made from fermented soybeans. It has a salty, sweet, and savory vibe and is among the most mellow of the miso varieties. You’ll stir it in after taking the broth off the heat to keep the live cultures thriving. Buy it here.

For the char siu tofu

This is the same tofu that I love to use for my vegan banh mi. If you like, you can watch it being made in this video.

marinade ingredients and extra firm tofu
  • Extra-firm tofu stays intact, absorbs marinade well, and has a nice, gently chewy texture.
  • Five-spice powder is a warm, cozy, and slightly astringent spice blend made from star anise, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, clove, and cinnamon.
  • Hoisin sauce is a savory, salty, sweet sauce based on fermented soybean paste.
  • Fresh garlic is great, but truth be told I sometimes use garlic powder in this marinade.
  • Safflower oil is my high-smoke-point, neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend.

For the ramen

ingredients in bowls
  • If you can get your hands on the excellent-quality fresh ramen noodles made by Sun Noodle (a Hawaii company with a NJ production facility that supplies to many of the best ramen shops in NYC and NJ) or another similar company, I highly recommend them. If not, it’s okay to start with dried noodles.
  • Here’s how to make ramen eggs — or you can make seven-minute eggs.
  • The toppings are really up to you, but I love this quick and savory combination of sautéed spinach, toasted nori, bamboo shoots, and sliced scallions.
  • I like to include a flavorful finishing oil or hot sauce. Here I’ve used chili crisp, but black garlic oil, hot chili toasted sesame oil, or even sriracha would be great.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful bowl of vegetarian miso ramen in about 30 minutes. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

Make the broth

step by step
  1. First you’ll soften the shallot, garlic, and ginger in the butter. Pour in the mirin and let it bubble away for a few seconds.
  2. Pour in the broth and soy sauce.
  3. Bring to a boil, then let it simmer while you cook the noodles and prepare the toppings.
  4. Off the heat, whisk in the tahini and miso. You can strain the broth before serving if you like, but I usually don’t.

Assemble the ramen

step by step
  1. Cook the noodles in boiling water according to package directions — usually just two to three minutes for fresh noodles.
  2. Ladle some broth into a wide, shallow bowl and add the noodles. Gently toss to coat with broth so they don’t stick together, and arrange nicely in the base of the bowl.
  3. Arrange your toppings of choice.
  4. Drizzle with a flavorful finishing oil. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can cook the broth in advance, stopping before you add the tahini and miso, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to a year. Reheat to boiling, then continue with the recipe.

You can make the char siu tofu up to a week in advance if you like, and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cook the noodles and assemble the ramen just before serving.

Assembled leftovers will be okay in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two, but the noodles will continue to absorb the broth and soften. You can add more broth before reheating if you like.

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vegetarian miso ramen in a bowl with chopsticks

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vegetarian miso ramen in a bowl with chopsticks
5 from 4 votes

Vegetarian Miso Ramen

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This quick and satisfying bowl of vegetarian miso ramen has remarkable depth of flavor. Yours in about 30 minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

For the broth

  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2- inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 6 cups 1(420 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) tahini
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) white miso paste

For the tofu

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons (27 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) safflower oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 14- ounce 397-gram package extra-firm tofu, cut into 12 slices

For the noodles

  • 4 servings fresh or dried ramen noodles

For the toppings

  • 4 ramen eggs or 7-minute eggs
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) baby spinach, steamed or sautéed
  • 1 cup (170 grams) bamboo shoots
  • 2 sheets toasted nori, torn into pieces
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) chili oil or other flavorful finishing oil of your choice

Instructions 

Make the broth

  • In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the shallot, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about five minutes.
  • Add the mirin and let it cook for a few seconds.
  • Pour in the broth and soy sauce, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  • As soon as the broth boils, reduce heat and simmer gently for a few minutes, while you prepare the toppings.
  • Off the heat, whisk in the tahini and miso.

Make the char siu tofu

  • In a 9×13-inch baking dish, whisk together the garlic, five spice powder, brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, one tablespoon of the oil, and the rice vinegar.
  • Dry the tofu slices as well as possible by pressing lightly with your hands between thick layers of paper towels.
  • Add tofu slices to baking dish in a single layer and turn to coat top and bottom of all slices completely with marinade.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high.
  • Add the tofu slices in a single layer and cook undisturbed until beginning to char on the underside, then flip and do the same for the other side.

Cook the noodles

  • Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil.
  • Cook noodles according to package instructions.
  • Drain well.

Assemble the ramen

  • Ladle about 1 1/2 cups broth into each of four wide, shallow serving bowls.
  • Add a serving of noodles to each bowl, gently stirring them in the broth to prevent sticking and arranging them nicely in the base of the bowl.
  • Layer each bowl with three slices of tofu, an egg, some spinach, bamboo shoots, nori, and scallions.
  • Drizzle with the finishing oil and serve right away.

Notes

For the broth

  1. Use a really good-quality butter if you can. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn't have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price. If you'd like to make this recipe vegan, you can swap in a vegan butter of your choice.
  2. Minced fresh shallot, garlic, and ginger create the first layer of flavor. You can strain them out of the broth before serving if you like, but I prefer to leave them in.
  3. Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine that's pervasive in cooking and in dipping sauces. It's pretty easy to find in grocery stores these days, but you can also buy it here.
  4. My favorite boxed vegetable broth by far is Imagine No Chicken lower-sodium broth. It has a great flavor profile and none of the rust-colored nonsense that plagues many other brands. It works beautifully in this recipe. You can, of course, use vegetarian dashi instead if you happen to have it on hand.
  5. I like to use lower-sodium soy sauce since it packs all the umami with less salt.
  6. A small amount of tahini (sesame seed paste) adds depth and creaminess to the broth that mimics pork ramen, without really making the broth taste like sesame.
  7. White miso paste is made from fermented soybeans. It has a salty, sweet, and savory vibe and is among the most mellow of the miso varieties. You'll stir it in after taking the broth off the heat to keep the live cultures thriving. Buy it here.

For the tofu

  1. Fresh garlic is great, but truth be told I sometimes use garlic powder in this marinade.
  2. Five-spice powder is a warm, cozy, and slightly astringent spice blend made from star anise, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, clove, and cinnamon.
  3. Hoisin sauce is a savory, salty, sweet sauce based on fermented soybean paste.
  4. Safflower oil is my high-smoke-point, neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend.
  5. Extra-firm tofu stays intact, absorbs marinade well, and has a nice, gently chewy texture.

    For the noodles

    1. If you can get your hands on the excellent-quality fresh ramen noodles made by Sun Noodle (a Hawaii company with a NJ production facility that supplies to many of the best ramen shops in NYC and NJ) or another similar company, I highly recommend them. If not, it's okay to start with dried noodles.

    To assemble the ramen

    1. Feel free to get creative with the toppings, swapping in what you’ve got (and what you love).
    2. I like to include a flavorful finishing oil or hot sauce. Here I've used chili crisp, but black garlic oil, hot chili toasted sesame oil, or even sriracha would be great.

    Make-ahead tips

    1. You can cook the broth in advance, stopping before you add the tahini and miso, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to a year. Reheat to boiling, then continue with the recipe.
    2. You can make the char siu tofu up to a week in advance if you like, and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
    3. Cook the noodles and assemble the ramen just before serving.
    4. Assembled leftovers will be okay in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two, but the noodles will continue to absorb the broth and soften. You can add more broth before reheating if you like.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 371kcal, Carbohydrates: 55.1g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 11.6g, Fiber: 8g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Additional Info

    Course: Soups
    Cuisine: American
    Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

    Hungry for more?

    Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

    Hungry for More?
    Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
    Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

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    About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

    Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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