Ready to jump on the bandwagon and indulge in the Ramen trend? Perfecting this recipe totally reignited my love for these skinny little noodles in a hot, flavorful broth.
This Easy Vegetarian Ramen with Tofu is my old college dorm room fave reinvented into a filling, tasty dinner fit for a foodie.
Growing up, instant ramen was my go-to for an after-school snack. I wasn’t quite the chef I am today, but I remember adding pounds of Tabasco sauce to give it more flavor.
But I can promise you my adult attempt at Ramen is much better than a microwaveable pre-packaged cube of dry noodles cooked with tap water and a packet of salty dust. This broth has so much complex flavor, and you can really taste every note.
Vegetarian Ramen Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for the Tofu:
- Tofu. For the crispiest tofu, use extra-firm and get as much moisture out as you can by pressing it.
- Sesame Oil. This adds flavor and gets the tofu nice and crispy. You can use olive oil in it’s place.
- White Miso Paste. The perfect glaze to your tofu!
- Water. To loosen the paste.
- Cornstarch. To absorb excess water to give you a crispy exterior.
Here’s everything you’ll need for the broth:
- Sesame oil. Again, you can substitute olive oil, but sesame oil adds a depth of flavor.
- Garlic. To flavor the broth even more.
- Shitake mushrooms. For umami and a textural element.
- Vegetable Broth. The base of your ramen broth.
- Tamari. Or soy sauce. Vegetable broth already has a lot of sodium, so if you are substituting soy sauce for Tamari, start with a little less.
- White Miso Paste. This adds a little nuttiness and a touch of sweetness.
- Thai Red Curry Paste. This adds warmth.
- Ground ginger. For a little spice and aroma.
- Ramen noodles. Of your choosing.
- Sriracha (optional). For heat.
- Eggs (optional). Soft boiled for extra protein.
Vegetarian Ramen Tips and Tricks
It’s All About that Broth
Here’s the secret to a successful Easy Vegetarian Ramen With Tofu: it’s all about that broth.
And if your fear is that a vegetarian broth won’t provide the same depth of flavor, think again!
The strong taste of the miso and garlic that steeps in the veggie broth, combined with the sweetness of the ginger, the saltiness of Tamari, and the earthiness from the mushrooms brings a complex taste to every bite.
Top it off with some sriracha for a little bit of spice and this broth is literally teeming with flavor. It’s a finish-all-the-noodles-and-then-drink-the-bowl kinda broth.
Green tip: Industrial meat production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing your meat consumption is one great way to reduce your ecological footprint.
Press Your Tofu
Always use extra-firm tofu in this Easy Vegetarian Ramen with Tofu and take the time to press it to dry it out. It’ll get you that crispy tofu you’re looking for as contrast to the wet soup.
To get crispy tofu, it’s best to get as much moisture out as you can! If you don’t have a tofu press, you can fashion your own at home!
Just wrap your tofu in a large clean kitchen towel and put something heavy on top. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes (the longer, the better!).
This will push the moisture out of the tofu to be absorbed by the kitchen towel.
Cube Your Tofu
Cut your tofu into small cubes, about one square inch in size. Then, put your tofu cubes in between a second, dry kitchen towel and press down with your hands to get any leftover excess moisture out.
Toss and Bake the Tofu
The miso-glazed tofu gives this dish more substance and some protein. As you probably know, tofu is incredible at picking up flavor, but on its own is extremely bland. The miso glaze is just enough to elevate it without it competing with the strong flavors of the broth.
Whip up your glaze by whisking together the miso paste, water, sesame oil, and cornstarch to form a thick paste.
Green tip: Look for organic, non-GMO tofu to make sure it’s sourced sustainably.
Add your cubed tofu to the miso marinade and toss to coat. Be gentle so you don’t break the tofu. I use a spatula to fold the marinade over the tofu carefully.
Spread the tofu out on a baking sheet, leaving some space in between each piece. Bake until crispy.
Fry Your Garlic and Mushrooms First
Start by frying your garlic and Shitake mushrooms in sesame oil to release their liquids. This will help us get the most out of the flavor of both the garlic and mushrooms.
Develop Your Broth
Add your vegetable broth, tamari, miso paste, and ginger to the pot with your mushrooms and garlic.
Stir until the miso paste is integrated and bring the broth to a boil.
Green tip: Look for pasture-raised eggs (over free-range or cage-free) to support agriculture that is less reliant on chemicals and fossil fuels.
Boil Your Eggs
Rinse your eggs under cold water and slowly lower the eggs into the boiling water.
Time the eggs for 7 minutes with the broth at a boil to get that perfect soft-boiled egg. If you want them hard boiled, leave them in there for 9 minutes.
And if you would rather a fried egg, check out these Over Hard Eggs!
Prepare an Ice Bath
In order to keep your egg from overcooking, prepare an ice bath. Once you fish the eggs out of the boiling broth, you’ll transfer them directly to the ice bath to cool it down and stop the cooking right then and there.
Leave your soft-boiled eggs in the ice bath for a couple of minutes, allowing them to cool completely. This will help you peel them more easily.
Cook Your Noodles Last
When too overcooked, ramen noodles can get “gummy”. Only cook your noodles right before you are ready to serve them.
Follow the directions on the noodle packaging to get your cook time just right. It usually takes about 2 or 3 minutes for the noodles to cook.
Should You Have Leftovers
This broth stays delicious for about 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes or over the stove on high heat for about 10 minutes.
You can also freeze the broth for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Why You Should Make this Vegetarian Ramen with Tofu
- The depth of flavor. This broth packs a punch!
- It’s warming. The warming spices and hot broth will keep you toasty.
- It’s filling. With extra protein from the soft-boiled eggs and tofu.
Easy Vegetarian Ramen with TofuPRINT PIN RATE
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces shitake mushrooms
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon Tamari
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 ounces ramen noodles
- 2 teaspoons sriracha (optional)
- 2 large eggs (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable baking mat.
- Drain your tofu and press it with a tofu press or by placing it between a clean, large kitchen towel and placing something heavy on top from 5-10 minutes (the longer the better).
- In a large mixing bowl, add the miso paste and water and whisk until smooth. Then add the cornstarch and sesame oil and whisk again to form a paste.
- Cut your tofu into 1 square inch cubes and press one more time with a dry kitchen towel. Add your tofu cubes to the miso marinate and lightly toss with a spatula to coat.
- Spread your coated tofu across your prepped baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
- To a large pot over high heat, add sesame oil, minced garlic, and sliced shitake mushrooms. Sautee for about 5 minutes until the juices start to release from the mushrooms and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the vegetable broth, Tamari, white miso paste, red curry paste, and ground ginger and whisk until smooth. Bring the broth to a boil.
- Rinse your eggs under cold water and use a sieve or kitchen skimmer to slowly lower the eggs into the boiling broth. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes.
- Prepare an ice bath by adding ice and water to a mixing bowl. After 7 minutes in the boiling broth, remove the eggs and transfer them to the ice bath. Allow the eggs to cool down in the ice bath for 3-5 minutes before peeling and slicing in half.
- Add the ramen noodles to the broth and cook until tender (there should be directions on the noodle packaging—usually 2-3 minutes). Add sriracha to taste.
- Serve your broth with the cooked noodles and mushrooms, eggs, and tofu.
- Don’t overcook the noodles, they will become gummy. Always cook them right before you are ready to serve.
- You can substitute Soy Sauce for Tamari, but it is a little saltier, so start with a little less. You can always add more if needed!
- Find more delicious meat-free recipes in this collection of my best meatless meals!