Pimped Out Ramen

We arrived back home late Sunday and I’ve spent the last 24 hours catatonic from exhaustion. Forgives the posting delay. My brain was firing on exactly zero cylinders. That’s not even a real thing to fire on, you know.

Ever since Brittany Murphy passed away in 2009, I’ve watched every single Netflix movie that features her smoky voice and quirky acting. Don’t ask me why. I wasn’t ever a big fan of Clueless, and I so never got around to getting my gangsta on with 8 Mile, but nowadays I feel compelled by her charm and so sit through Love and Other Disasters like it’s a seance with the sacred. Yeah, I’m in therapy.

So, ever since catching BM in The Ramen Girl, which details an American girls struggles to learn the art of true Ramen making in Japan, I’ve yearned for a bowl of real-live ramen. Not the sort you crack open and heat to a curly mush, but the sort made in Asian Ramen Houses, where the broth takes days to create and secret family recipes are viciously guarded.

In need of some sort of inspired dinner after today’s uninspired attempt to wean back to post-vacay life, I figured I had exactly enough energy to make a thang of ramen for the fam. The “oriental” Ramen flavoring contains no animal products, but it’s chock-the-freak full of sodium and other stuff. So I figured I could conjure up some sort of homemade broth using a few natural ingredients.

The result was a bowl of piping hot ramen dotted with tofu, garlicky bok choy, corn, bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, and the breath of heaven. To keep the fam from freaking a nugget over this meal, I thought it would be a blast to let them put their own toppings inside their ramen. A plan that would have worked with the precision of an arrow, excepting the fact that my Eldon friend came by for  visit and I forgot to be a mom for two hours of delicious conversation. C’est la vie clever dinner plans. Spontaneous chats with favorite friends are allllllllllways better than carefully built dinner bowls.

One bowl of ramen, one visit from a dear friend, a table full of hungry kids that belong to me? That’s enough to bring a girl out of post-vacation blues and make you feel like living again.

Happy ramen sigh.

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Crazy Quick Dinner Idea: Miso Ramen Bowl {Vegan}

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch bok choy, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
6 cups veggie broth
2-4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 ramen packets, noodles only
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini (optional)
3 tablespoons red miso*
1/2 block extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup basil
1/2 cup scallions
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup bean sprouts
cilantro
optional: limed slices, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes for garnish

Directions:

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy and garlic and saute over medium-high heat until wilted. Remove to a plate and cover. Immediately add the onion slices. Saute until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Add broth and soy sauce. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the ramen packets and cook for 2 minutes, just enough to loosen the noodles. Remove from heat and toss in the tofu, basil, scallions. Allow to sit for 1 minutes, then scoop into four deep, round bowls. Add a bit of your garlicky bok choy on the side of each bowl, a mound of corn and bean sprouts. Top with a sprig of cilantro and garnish as you please. Serve immediately, while piping hot, with chopsticks for slurping.

MISO is a puree of fermented soybeans and lends a mild depth to the broth. You'll find it in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods, or in the Asian foods section of most grocers. If you've never tried it, now's the time! Miso appears to offer your body support against breast cancer, with Miso eaters seeing a potential reduced the risk of the disease by more than 20%.

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15 Responses to “Pimped Out Ramen”

  1. 1

    Susie on April 24, 2012 at 7:41 am Reply

    Welcome back! That ramen looks totally delicious- I can’t believe you whipped that up right after a road trip!

  2. 2

    Linda on April 24, 2012 at 8:34 am Reply

    Hooray! No more guilt over buying el-cheapo ramen noodles!! Thank you:-) This looks yummy and since I’m planning my menu for the next week, this meal will be making an appearance. Happy today!

  3. 3

    ErinCroutons on April 24, 2012 at 9:22 am Reply

    First of all, love the title. Too funny. Secondly, how awesome is this recipe?? I’ve recently begun to like Tofu more than any other “meat” and this whole recipe looks right up my alley!

  4. 4

    Skye on April 24, 2012 at 9:49 am Reply

    Yum. I haven’t had ramen noodles in so long. This looks amazing and is definitely going in my recipe binder! I’ve been printing all your recipes lately but am ashamed to say that I haven’t made a lot of them. I need to start having friends over for dinner and trying them all out! Your photos are mouthwatering and I love your creative use of fresh, healthy, vegan ingredients. I think I love your blog more each day! (Though, might I make one small suggestion? It would be super helpful if you could add links to the previous post and next post.)

  5. 5

    dmlmsu on April 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm Reply

    My supermarket didn’t have miso. Should I add more soy sauce or tahini? Wasabi?

    Thanks

    • Brooke replied: — April 25th, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

      A little extra soy sauce for flavoring should work fine! Good luck!

  6. 6

    Bev Weidner on April 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm Reply

    THAT. Is one delicious looking ramen bowl of bliss. Shall I suit up?

  7. 7

    Nancy on April 25, 2012 at 9:10 am Reply

    Thanks for this! I made this last night-delicious! I added hard boiled eggs that I cut in half and quartered shrooms and doubled the ramen noodles to four packs (two college kids living at home:))

  8. 8

    Robin on April 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm Reply

    PERFECT! I’ve been craving something like this for the last few days- maybe the weather. But this recipe looks easy and great. Thanks. BTW- I’ve been following you for the last few weeks or so and have so many of your recipes bookmarked! Thank you so much for the ideas. You are inspiring!

  9. 9

    Linda on April 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm Reply

    I made this for dinner last night (doubled it and used celery instead of bok choy because I had it on hand). It got a thumb’s up from everybody. Thanks!

  10. 10

    BetterThanMore on May 1, 2012 at 7:23 am Reply

    Hi! Found your blog yesterday and I’m already pinning all kinds of yummy things! I love this recipe, but I just read through it (rather quickly, I must admit) and I can’t figure out when to add the miso and/or tahini. Did I miss it? Thanks!

    • Brooke replied: — May 1st, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

      Oh dear. Did I forget to put it? Just add the tahini with the soy sauce, and stir in the miso at the very end. I’ll fix the recipe right up! THANKS!

  11. 11

    Noorie on May 21, 2012 at 10:31 am Reply

    Hi! I really love miso soup but have never tried uisng it in noodles. I bought the white Miso paste since I could not find the red variety. Have you ever tried the while paste? Is so what is the difference in taste? Thanks!

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