The ultimate Japanese comfort food: a creamy, hearty veggie broth infused with miso and sesame for the BEST vegan ramen. So good you won’t believe it’s completely plant-based, gluten-free, and oil-free!
Ramen is probably my favorite comfort meal ever. Anything with noodles is already at the top of my list, and when it’s swimming in a rich, creamy broth and filled with veggies and plant-based protein I am the happiest Ellie to ever exist. I love food, and I love when good food leaves me feeling good — emotionally and physically. I’ve had bowls of ramen that were deliciously salty and oily and the best thing my taste buds had touched — but 10 minutes later the bowl was empty and those delectable feelings were replaced by lethargy and bloating. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still go out and indulge in some heavier vegan ramen every now and then. But sometimes I want something a little healthier and cheaper that I can make at home. And here it is! The BEST healthy vegan ramen.
This vegan ramen requires 9 main ingredients:
- roasted sesame seeds: Make sure they are roasted/toasted and not raw. If you only have raw sesame seeds, you can toast them yourself in a pan over the stove, just be careful not to burn them.
- gochujang: Some gochujang do contain wheat, so if you are gluten-free make sure you read the label. This gochujang by Chung Jung One is gluten-free.
- miso: Red or white miso will work. Keep in mind that white miso is slightly sweeter than red.
- kombu dashi: You can make your own with kombu and water (here‘s an informative post by Nami of Just One Cookbook) OR use kombu dashi powder if you’re short on time
- ramen noodles: My current favorite is the Rice Ramen by Lotus Foods, but you can also use dry ramen or fresh ramen noodles
For fillings and toppings you can use any veggies or protein of choice. My preferred ingredients are:
- carrots, zucchini, cabbage, bean sprouts, green onion, mushrooms, corn, wakame
- plain soft tofu, marinated firm tofu, or marinated tempeh
Tips & Tricks for Making the Best Vegan Ramen
- Kombu dashi powder can usually be found in a Japanese/Asian grocery store, or online. If you can’t find the powder you can make your own dashi from kombu and water (follow this guide from Just One Cookbook) and use this liquid to replace the water + dashi powder called for in the recipe. If all else fails, you can omit and just use water and add more miso to taste — but I highly recommend using dashi as it will bring out more of the umami flavor.
- Make sure to toast the sesame seeds. If you buy sesame seeds that are already toasted, you can skip this step if you want, but I like to toast them again to bring out the toasted flavor more. Place them in a small pan over medium heat and stir frequently as they will burn easily. Once fragrant and lightly browned, turn off the heat and cool briefly. Then use a pestle and mortar to grind the sesame seeds.
- Stir in the miso at the end of cooking. Adding miso to boiling water will kill the probiotics and lose some of the nutrients, fragrance, and flavor of the miso.
- Miso can get clumpy. In order to ensure the miso is evenly dissolved in the soup, add miso to a mesh skimmer or strainer and place on the surface of the soup, using chopsticks to dissolve the miso with the liquid. OR, fill a small bowl with some of the liquid from the soup and add the miso, mixing until dissolved. Then add the liquid back to the soup.
- If the ramen is not spicy enough for you, add gochugaru or red chili flakes, depending on what you have available, to taste.
- The flavors will deepen as they heat and meld together, but be careful not to overcook the veggies or they will get mushy.
Why This Vegan Ramen is Better Than Restaurants
- Easy to make
- Ready in 30 minutes
- Filled with veggies and plant-based protein
- Extremely delicious!
Check out these other hearty Japanese dishes!
- Sesame Miso Soup
- Jackfruit Japanese Curry
- Air-fryer Vegan Karaage
- Air-fryer Korokke
- Tofu Gyoza
- TVP Hamburger Steak
If you try out this recipe, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it! It always makes my day to see you recreating my recipes 🙂 Happy cooking!
Spicy Veggie Miso Ramen
- ¼ cup roasted/toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 4 cups kombu dashi*
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 3 small carrots** sliced
- 1 cup shredded cabbage**
- 2 small zucchini** sliced
- 3 tbsp red or white miso add more to taste
- 1 14oz block soft tofu cubed
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels**
- 3 servings of ramen noodles
- Use a pestle and mortar to grind the toasted sesame seeds. It does not need to be finely ground; some whole seeds leftover are fine.
- Add kombu dashi, garlic, ginger, and carrots to a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for a minute, then add cabbage and continue to cook a few more minutes. Once carrots are slightly tender, lower to medium heat and add in zucchini.
- Mix in ground sesame seeds, tahini, gochujang, and mirin. Simmer until zucchini are tender, then add tofu and about half the green onions and heat for another minute.
- Turn off the heat, and once the soup has stopped boiling mix in the miso until evenly dispersed. Taste and add more miso if needed, or chili flakes if not spicy enough.
- Prepare ramen noodles according to package instructions.
- Place cooked noodles in a large bowl and pour in soup. Top with corn and remaining green onions. Store leftovers in air-tight containers in the fridge, storing the noodles and soup separately.
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