1. First up, prepare your ramen stock. Place your dried yellow soybeans and dried Shiitake mushrooms into separate bowls, and leave to one side for later. Then, keeping the skin on, chop a small onion into large chunks and place it into a large bowl. Add the whole garlic cloves (again keeping the skin on), before chopping your spring onions into large, rough chunks with the roots attached. Peel your thumb-sized piece of ginger, bashing it with the side of a large knife or cleaver, and then add it to the bowl along with the onion, garlic and spring onions.
2. Now, place a large saucepan over a high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Pour in your bowl of chopped vegetables, bringing the heat down to medium, and then fry until the vegetables are a softened, golden brown and just start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add approximately 200ml of your vegetable stock and stir, using a wooden implement to scrape the flavour off the bottom of the pan. Add in the rest of your stock, cranking the heat back up to high to bring the mixture to a simmer. Finally, add the bowls of dried Shiitake mushrooms and dried yellow soybeans, leaving the stock at a rolling boil for 2-3 hours.
3. Meanwhile, make your toppings! Start by combining all ‘The Miso Glaze’ ingredients in a ramekin and mix well. Then chop your carrot into long, fine slices and slice your block of tofu into approximately 2-4mm thick pieces.
4. Next, add a teaspoon of oil to a large frying pan and bring to smoking point over a high heat. Lay your tofu pieces in the base of the pan, pushing in with the back of a ladle or spoon to sear, and then leave to fry for about 3 minutes. When the bottom of your tofu pieces are a crisp, golden-brown, flip them all over and fry for another 3 minutes until the colour is evenly distributed. Add half of your glaze over the pan, gently moving and flipping the tofu to ensure all the pieces are well coated, and then transfer to a bowl to one side.
5. In a clean frying pan, bring another teaspoon of oil to smoking point over a high heat and then add your slices of carrot. Pour in a dash of water, allowing it to evaporate on the high heat, and then add in the rest of your glaze and stir it around the pan to cover all pieces of carrot. Leave the glaze to caramelise for approximately 3 minutes until you see a dark colour begin to form on the base of the carrots, and then flip the carrots over and fry for a further 3 minutes until they are slightly charred and the glaze has soaked in. Transfer to a bowl, and leave to one side to be added in later.
6. Prepare the rest of your fresh vegetables by slicing your bulb of pak choi vertically into 8 pieces, then matchsticking a single spring onion, this time removing the root. Leave both in separate bowls to the side for later.
7. Once the stock has simmered for 2-3 hours, remove it from the heat and sieve the stock into a large bowl. Discard all of the large vegetable chunks except for a few of the Shiitake mushrooms, and then pour the clear stock back into your saucepan. Bring the pan back to a high heat, and add 1 heaped tablespoon of white miso paste, stirring to melt through. Add a tablespoon of light soy sauce, and again leave to simmer.
8. While the stock continues to simmer, prepare your ramen noodles. Place the dried noodles into a bowl and cover with boiling water, leaving to soak for approximately 6-8 minutes. At this point, drain the noodles and immediately run them under cold water to cool, before placing them in a bowl and massaging in a drizzle of sesame oil.
9. Finally, finely slice your leftover Shiitake mushrooms - and you’re ready to compile your ramen! First, place your soaked ramen noodles into the simmering stock for approximately 3 minutes before transferring them to the centre of your serving bowls. Next, add the pak choi to the stock, allowing it to simmer until wilted and the stem becomes slightly translucent, before then placing the pieces on top of your noodles. Introduce the tofu, carrot and shiitake mushrooms to the stock for only a couple of minutes, allowing them all to reheat, before then arranging them all into the top of the serving bowls. Ladle the ramen stock over the bowls until the noodles just poke out, then sprinkle with a garnish of matchsticked spring onion. Serve up - and enjoy!
How To Make Vegan Ramen
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