What do you think about when you hear that word? Inexpensive meals with no flavor? Living in a studio apartment with three used-to-be-friends? Poor, struggling college days? Sad instant noodles in a bowl flavored from a pouch? Well, stop that right now. Ramen is soooo much more.
First of all, did you know that ramen is a “thing”? I mean a cultural force sort of thing? Well it is. So if you think those dried noodle blocks with the little flavor packets that you see in the supermarket is all there is, you just aren’t in the know. That’s OK, we weren’t either. So, click that link, go read up and come on back.
Oh, you’re back? Great.
Cool, huh? Yeah, that’s what we thought.
But let’s get back to quick, inexpensive meals, and vegan food.
If you check the ingredients in the packets, or order a bowl of ramen in a restaurant, it’s likely to have animal products in it (as well as a TON of sodium – just saying). So toss that packet right in the trash and save the money you might spend eating out by making a bowl (or 10) yourself.
The essential component to a bowl of ramen are those noodles. If you read the linked page above, you now know that the secret is that the noodles do not continue to soften in liquid the way that ordinary pasta does. This is science in service to the everyday enjoyment of food. 🙂
In order to take advantage of inexpensive ramen noodles, and avoid the salt and animal products in the flavor packets, you need to have a few simple ingredients on hand in your kitchen. These are not hard to find and they are the sort of items that will be handy to have for a lot of delicious vegan dishes.
- Miso paste
- Wakame (dried seaweed. You might need the “ethnic aisle” in your local supermarket, or find a Chinese grocery in your area. You could always crumble up some nori sheets)
- Sesame oil
- Hot oil
The miso paste is an important part of the process as it gives the noodles a broth-y taste, and you don’t need much so don’t be concerned about excess sodium (but you can always opt out).
Take a look at how I do it in this short video below from our YouTube channel:
Isn’t that easy?
The meal is even better if you can find a cool bowl like that one. 🙂
Now that you have the idea, what you can do is add all sorts of delicious favors to your noodles. Just open your fridge, and pantry, and pull out some yummy, fresh ingredient.
Some suggestions (including what I use in the video):
- Dried onion flakes
- Grilled tofu
- Chopped carrots
- Kale chips
Find your favorite ingredients and make ramen your own!
Thanks for visiting! Please let us know what you think about ramen in the comments below.