I have developed this recipe to make use of all the lovely mushrooms I’ve been buying during lockdown. I have been taking delivery of boxes of exotic mushrooms from Smithy Mushrooms and I felt the best way to showcase these, was to make delicious ramen bowls.
These Japanese bowls of goodness can be made using many different ingredients, and adapted to what you have in your fridge and to accommodate dietary requirements (vegan, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian etc.). The base of a good ramen is the stock or broth (‘dashi’), which, with a few key ingredients is really simple to make.
For the dash or broth:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of vegetable or coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
500ml vegetable stock
1 litre of water
1 sheet of kombu (seaweed)
Dried Shiitake mushrooms
splash of mirin
1 tablespoon white miso paste
For the Ramen Bowls:
Assorted vegetables including mushrooms, grated carrots, spinach, shredded cabbage, box choy, pan choi, baby corn.
You can use any type of quick cook noodles you like. There are 3 main types:
egg noodles (not vegan obviously), flour noodles which are soft and wider, and rice noodles (gluten free).
Cook the noodles according to the packet and set aside after refreshing in cold water.
Have your toppings ready in small bowls so these can be added when the broth is served.
Use a selection of the following: pea shoots or watercress, fresh coriander, crispy onions, sesame seeds, Japanese spice seasoning, sliced spring onions, finely sliced radish, Japanese pickles, soft boiled eggs (not vegan).
Firstly make the broth or dashi. Finely chop the onion and caramelise this well in the oil, cooking for about 5-6 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the stock and water, together with the kombu, mirin, dried mushrooms and a good grind of black pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce to as simmer for at least 30 minutes uncovered.
Remove the kombu and chop a little back into the broth. Blend the broth to a smooth creamy liquid if you prefer, or you can leave the dashi with onions and mushrooms intact. Keep your broth warm and make the vegetable and noodles.
Cook your chosen vegetables quickly and not too much (you want to retain as much texture, colour and crunch as possible, then set aside.
To assemble your ramen bowls, add a nest of noodles, some cooked vegetables and your chosen toppings. Spoon over the hot broth and top with sesame seeds and Japanese seasoning.