Food for Thought: Savory Mushroom Ramen

Did you know mushrooms aren’t just for coffee? (Insert winky-faced emoji here.)

While we’re known for mixing mushrooms into everything from coffee to tea to chocolate bars, we love making a meal out of them, too. One of our favorites? Behold the Mighty Ramen.

If there’s a dish more comforting than this savory soup, we have yet to find it. Yeah, we see you, Chicken Noodle–you got something to say?

While today ramen is as synonymous with Japan as a couple of Hello Kitty cosplayers at a karaoke cat café, a deeper dive reveals that ramen actually originated in China and didn’t arrive in Japan until 1859. This, according to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, worth a visit not only for its nine resident ramen shops but to take a subterranean stroll through a meticulously recreated Tokyo, circa 1953–the year instant ramen was invented.

Living in NYC, we’re spoiled by ramen options, but it’s not a dish that travels well, so when we’re looking to slurp from the comfort of our own home, we turn to a recipe we’ve just about perfected over the years if we do say so ourselves. It’s vegetarian, but its broth is rich enough to rival a pork base. It can also be made vegan by omitting the eggs and butter. And best of all, you’ll get all the health benefits of shitiake and portobello mushrooms have to offer, including immune and cardiovascular support, and an increase in cognitive functions.

Hungry? Check out the recipe below for a dish that puts the Ooooo in umami.

Vegetarian Ramen in a Rich, Savory Mushroom-Miso Broth.

Broth

1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 medium onion, diced
½ apple, cored, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 oz dried shiitakes
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp sriracha
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp mirin (rice wine)
2 tbsp tahini
3/4 cup red or white miso
8 cups of vegetable broth
1 or 2 tbs good butter (optional)

  1. Bring dried shiitakes and vegetable broth to a boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes-1 day.
  2. If you’ve got a food processor, throw in the carrot, celery, onion, ginger, apple, garlic and pulse until smooth. (If you don’t have a food processor, thinly dice these suckers while considering buying one–these are minutes that could probably be spent doing something more fun than risking lopping off a finger).
  3. In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, sautee the fruit and vegetables until tender (10-12 minutes). Turn down to medium-low.
  4. Remove steeped shiitake mushrooms and chop. Add shiitakes and one cup of broth to food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth.
  5. Return mushroom mixture to the broth and stir in sriracha, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and tahini.
  6. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the butter, miso, and mirin and let simmer.

Ramen Preparation

4 servings of ramen noodles
10 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
10 ounces of oyster, maitake or portobello mushrooms, sliced
10 ounces of baby spinach
1 6 ounce package of tofu
4 eggs
3 scallions
salt to taste

  1. Drain, press, and dry tofu. Slice into ¾ inch pieces and coat with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  2. Bring water to boil and turn off. Add spinach for one minute and then drain (if you hate doing dishes and don’t mind green water, scoop the spinach out and leave the water boiling for your eggs)
  3. Reduce to simmer, add eggs. Cook for 7 minutes and transfer to an ice bath (don’t overcook these guys, a runny yolk is what we’re after.)
  4. Boil noodles according to package
  5. Fry mushrooms in a skillet with a pinch of sauce until brown.
  6. Ladle broth over noodles. Build bowl with tofu, spinach, mushrooms, egg, and scallions. Serve with chili and soy sauce.
  7. Slurp away and enjoy!

* Recipe inspiration courtesy of Umami Girl, Simply Ramen, and countless, heartwarming hole-in-the-wall ramen shops scattered across NYC.

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