This Vegan Noodle House Ramen soup with Tofu has been made more than once a week recently. It’s the perfect cozy, decadent bowl of noodles, with rich broth, pan-seared tofu, and warmth.
For tofu in this soup or tofu in Marinated Oven Kebabs (also spelled kebobs), I love water-packed, extra firm tofu that has been frozen in the package, thawed in the fridge and then pressed when you are ready to use it.
This process of freezing, then thawing and pressing give it a marvelous spongey texture. I discovered this concept when I ordered tofu at a Bronze Empire and it was listed as “Frozen Tofu”.
In this case, with this ramen, the tofu is pan-seared with some of the Miso Base. Magically, when the seared tofu is in the soup it soaks up the broth and holds the miso flavor and crispy outside. It’s ahh-mazing.
This is a really easy thing to do.
- Acquire tofu, place in the freezer while in package.
- Move down to the fridge (I put an F on it with a sharpie so that I know it has been frozen)
- When you are ready to use it open it and press it. This device makes pressing so easy. If it’s still frozen in the middle you can use the microwave to fully thaw it.
Miso Paste Base
After making the Miso base once, and put half of it in an airtight container and it can stay in the fridge or freezer until you make this again. I always want to make it again within a few days, especially on cold, moody days.
I do not recommend making this with all white miso, it would be sweet and it would be missing the flavor that comes from the red miso, I highly recommend using both white and red miso.
I use unsweetened, original almond milk. I find it creates the best broth. I’ve made this with unsweetened, original soy milk and the result was a little too thick and more naturally sweet than I would have preferred. Also, make sure that your plant-milk is original flavored and not vanilla because you don’t want vanilla flavored ramen.
I use Better Than Bouillion No Chicken Vegetarian Base. Just add 4 cups water and 1 TBSP + 1 teaspoon of the base (or just 4 teaspoons if you only want to use one measuring spoon).
Dried Shitake Mushrooms
I recommend using pre-sliced shitake mushrooms, I had some that weren’t pre-sliced and slicing adds an extra step. The last time I made this I used the pre-sliced ones and it was nice being able to do a light chop and toss them in the broth right away so they could start re-hydrating and flavoring the soup base.
One thing we did notice about the pre-sliced Shitakes is that some of them, which seemed like the stem bits, don’t hydrate well, even if you leave them in the broth a long time. The mushrooms flavor the broth giving it earthy, umami goodness, so if you are not super into mushrooms, you could strain them out and discard them if desired. I have a friend who hates mushrooms, so if I make this for her I will definitely remove the mushrooms from the broth.
Thai Basil and regular Basil are fantastic as toppers for this soup. If you can get your mitts on some Thai Basil, I highly recommend it.
If you love cilantro, then chop some up to top up your soup. If you are part of the cilantro tastes like Palmolive club, then pass on the cilantro and I am truly sorry that your genetics worked out this way.
If you want to bring the spice, do a paper-thin, see-through slice on your jalapeño.
Scallions or Chives
I am really into scallions and/or chives. I love the little extra it gives this soup.
Bok Choy or Roasted Brocolli
2 bunches bok choy, 4-6 baby bok choy, or one crown chopped roasted broccoli
If using bok choy, put the bottom celery-like part in the broth early and the leaves in the broth at the end.
If using broccoli, roast it in the oven at 400 degrees F with oil salt and pepper until it starts turning brown and then place in soup with noodles when plating.
Luckily, Amazon or your local Asian Market has most of these ingredients. I’ve linked to the Amazon ones in the recipe below to help identify the items. Ryan and I love going to the Asain market, we usually come home with a few off-list exotic items.
Let’s make Vegan Noodle House Ramen soup with Tofu
First, Miso Base
Make the miso base by blending all Miso Base ingredients in a food processor. You will have leftover miso base to make this tasty ramen again. You can freeze the leftover Miso Base, or keep it in the fridge.
Then, press the tofu
Press the tofu, you can leave the tofu in the press while you do the next steps.
Next, Shitakes and broth
Carefully, thinly slice the dried mushrooms, if you bought pre-sliced, you can do a light chop on them if you’d like.
Make the broth base: add 4 cups hot water to 1 TBSP + 1 teaspoon or just 4 teaspoons (if you only want to use one measuring spoon) of Better Than Bouillion No Chicken Vegetarian Base.
In a 4 quart pot combine the broth and sliced shitake mushrooms, let simmer. If using bok choy, slice off celery-like bottoms and add to the pot. Set bok choy leaves aside, you will add them at the end.
Then, pan-searing the Tofu
After the tofu has been pressed, cut it into cubes. Heat the earth balance in a pan on medium-high heat and start pan-frying the tofu. Try to get the tofu seared on all sides of the cubes, it’s okay if you don’t get all of the tofu sides. Once the tofu has turned yellow and/or browned a little, add 1/4 cup of the spicy miso paste. Reduce heat to medium, coating the tofu with the miso base and pan-searing some more to get a nice golden color. Leave tofu in the hot pan, but remember to turn off the heat, while you finish the broth and make the noodles.
Put the miso base into a very fine sieve
Place 1/2 to 2/3 cup miso base into a very fine sieve. You can do this all at once or in two rounds. Lower the sieve half-way into the simmering broth and use a spoon to press and dissolve the paste into the broth. Discard the “solids” remaining in the sieve.
Then add almond milk to the miso broth pot. You do not want to add the miso mixture directly into the soup, it would be gritty or chunky. Adding the milk at the end allows the miso base to get fully dissolved into the soup as well as allowing the mushrooms to fully hydrate.
And Make the Noodles
Make the noodles according to package instructions, I’ve noticed the noodles take 6 minutes instead of 4, probably because I am at a high altitude. Sometimes, we use soba noodles, both are great in this beautiful soup.
While the noodles are cooking, add the bok choy leaves (if using) to the pot with the broth.
Drain the noodles and return them to the pot for plating.
Place noodles in bowls and then add broth, top with your choice of scallions, French’s onions, Thai basil, cilantro, scallions, roasted broccoli or bok choy leaves and tofu. Garnish with a few drops of toasted sesame oil or sriracha if desired. Enjoy your Vegan Homemade Noodle House Ramen with Tofu and have a cozy day!
Vegan Noodle House Ramen with Tofu
- Food Processor for Miso Base (I use a medium bullet-style) Also a Blender works.
- Fine sieve to infuse the Miso Base into the broth
- Pan for searing/pan-frying tofu (I use a 12 inch non-stick)
- Pot for broth (I use a 2 Quart)
- Pot to cook noodles in (I use a 5 Quart)
- Recommended: Something to drain the noodles in
- Recommended: A Tofu Press
- 1 onion small, yellow or half of a large onion 150 – 200 grams rough chop, it's going in the food processor
- ½ cup red miso
- ½ cup white miso
- 3 TBSP sambal oelek
- 2 TBSP garlic I use jarred minced garlic if using fresh, no need to mince just put the peeled garlic cloves in the food processor
- 2 – 3 inches peeled fresh ginger 40 grams, loose chop
- 3 TBSP mirin
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sriracha optional
- 14 oz Extra Firm Tofu (1 Block of tofu 12 – 15oz) Frozen, then thawed then pressed. Just pressed works too, but freezing first creates a nice sponge texture which soaks up flavor and broth.
- 1 TBSP Earth Balance for pan-searing tofu
- 4 cups no-chicken better than bouillon vegetarian base 1 TBSP + 1 teaspoon base mixed with 4 cups water
- 1¾ cups original unsweetened almond milk Not Vanilla
- 9.5 oz ramen noodles one 3 bundle pack, use gluten-free if needed
- ¼ cup scallions optional
- 1 oz or slightly under, dried shitake mushrooms thinly sliced, I recommend buying pre-sliced. See note below.
Toppings and Vegetables
- ¼ cup sliced scallions more or less
- ¼ cup Thai basil more or less
- 2 TBSPs french's fried onions optional, these are not gluten free
- 1/3 of a whole jalapeño very thinly sliced optional, if you really like some heat
- a few bunches bok choy, baby bok choy or a crown of roasted broccoli If using bok choy, put the bottom celery-like part in the broth early and the leaves in the broth at the end.
- MISO BASE: Make the miso base by blending all Miso Base ingredients in a food processor. You will have leftover miso paste to make this decadent ramen again. You can freeze half of the miso base or keep it in the fridge.
- Press the tofu, you can leave it in the press while you do the next steps.
- Carefully, thinly slice the dried mushrooms, if you bought pre-sliced, you can do a light chop on them if you'd like.
- Make the broth base (add 4 cups hot water to 1 TBSP + 1 teaspoon no-chicken better than bouillon vegetarian base).
- In a 4 quart pot combine the broth and sliced shitake mushrooms, let simmer. If using bok choy, slice off celery-like bottoms and add to the pot. Set bok choy leaves aside, you will add them at the end.
- TOFU: After pressing as much moisture as you can out of the tofu using paper towels or a tofu press, cut tofu into cubes. Heat the earth balance in a pan on medium-high heat and start pan-frying the tofu. Once the tofu has browned, add 1/4 cup of the spicy miso paste, coating the tofu and pan-searing some more to get a nice golden color. Leave in the hot pan while you finish the broth and make the noodles.
- Place 1/2 to 2/3 cup miso paste into a very fine sieve. You can do this all at once or in two rounds. Lower the sieve half-way into the simmering broth and use a spoon to press and dissolve the paste into the soup. Discard the “solids” remaining in the sieve. Then add almond milk to the miso broth pot. You do not want to add the Miso Base directly into the soup, it would be gritty or chunky.
- NOODLES: Make the noodles according to package instructions, I've noticed the noodles take 6 minutes instead of 4, possibly because I am at a high altitude. While the noodles are cooking, add the bok choy leaves to the pot with the broth.
- TO SERVE: Place noodles in bowls and then add broth, top with your choice of scallions, French's onions, Thai basil, cilantro, roasted broccoli or bok choy leaves and tofu. Garnish with a few drops of toasted sesame oil or sriracha if desired.
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Did you make Vegan Ramen with Tofu? What herbs did you add? How spicy did you make it? Tell me about it in the comments below.