Vegetarian Curried Coconut and Garlic Ramen

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It’s hard to get a flavorful vegetarian ramen broth, but I think I’m getting close. I found a neat recipe on thepigandquill, and have modified it as follows. This recipe serves about 3-4 people.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of coconut milk (~15 oz)
  • 1 can of organic tomatoes, about 14 oz (dirty dozen –> organic!)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
    • Peel ginger the intelligent way. I use the back end of my chef’s knife, but a spoon will do just fine.
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce
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  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (I used Korean chili powder, but I think I’ll try ground szechuan peppers next time)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 carrots, sliced like matchsticks
  • 1/2 a cucumber, sliced like matchsticks
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (stems discarded)
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp capers
    • Capers imbue a unique flavor to broth, similar to fish. The Japanese word for this taste is umami.
  • 1 bunch of baby bok choy (optional)
  • 1 block of tofu, lightly fried
    • How to pan fry tofu without sticking to your pan:
      1. Slice tofu 1/4″ thick. The thinner you slice, the crispier it will be.
      2. Lay flat on a paper towel to dry for about 30 min.
      3. Heat up a cast iron or stainless steel pan. Drizzle about 1-2 tsp of oil on the pan. Wait until the oil is just about to start smoking. You want it to be really hot! A thin layer of oil will form a barrier between the tofu and the pan.
      4. Add about 1/2 or 1/3 of the tofu slices to the pan. Too much will cool the pan down too fast, causing the tofu to stick to the bottom. Leave undisturbed for about 2-3 minutes.
      5. Flip to cook the other side. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
      6. Lay on another sheet of paper towel to drain the oil. Fry the remaining tofu similarly.
  • 3-4 servings of ramen noodles
    • Honestly, you can use whatever Asian noodles you want. Some choices are buon tuoi, udon noodles, soba noodles, ramen noodles (seasoning packets discarded), etc.
  • soft boiled eggs, if desired
  • optional garnish ideas: sliced green onions or chives, cilantro, lime, mint, rau thom (also known as sorrel)

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine ingredients from coconut milk through curry powder. Blend well.
  2. In a soup pot, combine ingredients from vegetable stock through tofu and the newly blended mixture. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  3. About 5 minutes before serving, cook the noodles. Soft boil the eggs at this point, if desired.
  4. Add the noodles to each bowl and ladle the soup and veggies on top.
  5. Add your garnish and gobble it up.
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