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Easy Vegan Ramen uses premade ramen broth and your choice of fresh vegetables for a healthy upgrade from the dorm room favorite.
A Brief History of Ramen
Did you know Ramen was originally from China, not Japan? Historians – and by historians, I really mean Professor George Solt of NYU – agree to the origins of this dish, but not the timeline. Ramen seems to have appeared in Japan somewhere between the 17th and 20th centuries. No one knows how Ramen got to Japan, but the prevailing theory begins with the Rai-Rai Ken restaurant in Tokyo.
The restaurant opened in 1910 by a custom’s agent who worked in Yokohama’s (a city near Tokyo) Chinatown. He employed Chinese cooks but changed the broth to better suit Japanese taste. Supposedly the Chinese version of Ramen was too oily, so they added soy sauce to cut it.
The Rise in Popularity
The industrialization and urbanization of Tokyo helped lead to the rise in popularity of Ramen noodles. They became a hit with blue-collar workers, politically inclined students, and soldiers. The dish was healthy, filling, and inexpensive.
Unfortunately, during World War II, food became scarce. Premade foods were viewed as a
After the war, Americans occupied Japan and started importing wheat as a way to combat communism. Lack of food = rise in communist support.
After Americans scooted out of Japan, the Japanese focused on rebuilding their economy and still struggled with food insecurity. A citizen by the wonderful name of Momofuku Ando aimed to create a solution to combat hunger. He created the non-perishable, inexpensive, quick and easy Instant Ramen that we love today. Interestingly, these noodles were actually marketed to middle-class women as a whole, nutritious meal. It wasn’t known as the ultra-cheap dorm favorite as we see it today.
As post-war Japan began to flourish, Ramen restaurants became a common sight again. Slowly it became known as a national symbol.
How to Make Noodle Bowls
Ramen bowls are some of the easiest and most versatile recipes in existence. You really only need broth, noodles, protein, and veggies. I simplified the recipe by using pre-made Ramen broth by Oceans Halo.
The photo above is an Amazon affiliate link. This means that I will earn a small commission if you purchase the broth, or anything else, using that link. I shouldn’t say this since I want you to use this link, but Walmart sells this broth for a fraction of the cost. So please, check your local grocery stores.
If you can’t find a good Ramen or Miso broth, feel free to use plain broth. You could also add a tablespoon or two of miso.
Most broth contains MSG. If you are watching your MSG intake, try out my Vegetable Bouillon recipe to make a delicious, healthy broth.
Stir in some ginger and garlic. Plop in some tofu. Add slivers of your favorite vegetables (Julienne peelers are super nifty here). Serve with a side of fresh spring rolls – you’ve already sliced the veggies, right?
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Easy Vegan Ramen uses premade ramen broth and your choice of fresh vegetables for a healthy upgrade from the dorm room favorite. If you’re only cooking for one person and want leftovers: follow the recipe as usual, but only cook a single serving of Ramen at a time. If you store the noodles in the broth, they will absorb all of the liquid.
- Ramen or Vegetable Broth, 32 oz
- 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbs Minced Ginger
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce
- 3/4 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
- 6 oz Dried Ramen Noodles
- 14 oz Tofu, Diced
- 1 Cup Sliced Vegetables of Choice (See Notes)
- Optional: Cilantro, Green Onions, Red Peppers, Jalapenos
- Bring broth to a boil.
- Add all ingredients, except for the ramen, to the broth and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
- If you are planning on eating everything immediately, cook the noodles in the broth. If you think you will have leftovers, cook the noodles separately. Ramen will continue to absorb the broth even once you are finished cooking.
- Serve immediately and top with the optional ingredients.
I used a mixture of carrots, asparagus, red bell pepper, and onions. This is a great way to use up any leftover veggies you have lying around.