Vegan Ramen  ビーガンラーメン [Recipes, Winter 冬レシピ]

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Which do you prefer winter or summer ?

This is a question we often ask each other among friends and family since I was small.

When the summer came, I used to think I prefer winter, and the winter came, I used to think I prefer summer.

Now my answer is always the same.

I definately prefer hot season.

When it is cold, I do not want to get out of futon, Japanese bed in the morning, and am reluctant to move around even within a house.  

I often ended up staying in a kitchen whole day. 

"Lazy" may be is the best word to describe myself in the winter, though I actually do not like to be lazy. 

Because of this hardship - might sound exaggerated for those who prefer winter- , my meal time with piping hot soup and bath time in 42℃ hot water are super happiest moments for me. ( You may be wondering why I am so precise, but temperature of Japanese bath is usually controled by 1℃ unit, and it is not hot enough if it is 41℃, and it is too hot if it is 43℃ for me.) 

I cook most of my food with clay pots during winter.

The food cooked with clay pots is not only hot and can maintain its high temperature, but also very gentle in its taste and texture.   

I am showing off some of my clay pots today.

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They look the same, right ?

Yes, they are same, but different in sizes.

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These claypots are most freqently used in my cooking, and are often used for cooking rice, making soup and simmer the red beans.

I sometimes encounter very attractive clay pots and am tempted to get them, but I have to give up because I don't have any more space to keep them.

If I had much space and money, I'm sure I would be a clay pot collecter !

Well, I move to introduce the recipe of January 2018.

I am going to show you how to make vegan Ramen today!


"Ramen" is not a traditional Japanese food though I know it is very popular as Japanese food even in overseas nowdays.  

The noodles usually made from wheat, water, pH balance additives to make the noodle texture firm, and quite often with eggs, coloring and oil.

Therefore you'd better check the ingredient list when you purchase ramen noodles.

"Udon" noodles which is usually made from wheat, water and salt only is healthier alternative, and suitable for this recipe too. 

Look for fresh thinner udon for a replacement of ramen.

As introducing instant food using the ready made ingredient is not something that I can boast, I am also going to show you how to make "Shiraganegi" (literally means white hair leek).  

It is a bit time consuming work, so if you think it is too much, you can skip it, and top up with plenty of blanched bean sprouts instead.

But "Shiraganegi" is very usuful for other dishes too, and can make the food very presentable, so try it if you want to improve your cooking skill.

Let's get started !

Vegan Ramen

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Ingredients (for 1 serving)

for soup

1 pkt konbu essence

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I usually use this brand, can be obtained from natural food shop.

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The inside of the package is like this.

2 Tbsp sesame paste or tahini

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I usually use this brand.

2 tsp miso

2 tsp soy sauce

1/4~1/2 tsp tohbanjan / chili paste

2 cups (400ml) boiling water

for seasonal vegetables and other ingredients

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1/4 carrot - cut julienne

1 leaf napa cabbage - leafy part, cut bite sizes,  thick part, cut thin

1 leek - outer part, cut into shiraganegi, refer to the instruction with photos below

1/4 enoki mushroom - cut off stem, and cut into half

4 kikurage / dried black fungus - soak in water for an hour and cut into strips

(can be replaced with shiitake mushroom or hijiki sea vegetable)

1/2 aburaage / fried tofu - blanch in hot water to remove oxidized oil

1 clove garlic - chop into small pieces

1 clove ginger - chop into small pieces

1 tsp sesame oil

1/4 tsp salt

1 portion ramen noodles

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds - grind


Shiraganegi / white hair leek (thinly cut leek)

1.   Prepare ice water in a bowl.

2.   Cut white part of leek into 5cm length.  (Keep the green part aside for frying.)

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3.  Cut each piece of  leek halfway through lengthwise, and take out round center parts.  Try not to cut  through. (Keep the center parts aside for frying.)

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4.  Pile up a few pieces of outer layers, and cut as thin as you can along the fiber.

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5.  Place them into ice water, and leave there for about 5 minutes ,and then drain.

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6.  Wrap with a kitchen towel to remove excess water.

Vegetables and Ramen

1.  Place the ingredients for soup in a serving bowl or clay pot except the hot water.

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2.  Pour water in a big pot and heat up.

3.  Heat up the skillet with sesame oil, garlic and ginger.

4.  Add the vegetable when garlic and ginger started releasing their fregrance.

5.  Add salt, and fry until they are wilt over high heat.  Put it aside for a while,  and transfer onto the noodle at the procedure 8.

6.  Meantime, cook the noodles in the hot water of the pot "2".

7.  Add 400ml of  boiling water into the bowl, and dissolve those ingredients  prepared in the bowl earlier.

8.  Transfer draind noodles into the bowl.

9.  Top up with fried vegetables and thinly sliced "Shiraganegi", and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds.

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Shiraganegi topping

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Bean Sprouts topping


*If konbu essence is not available, use 2 cups of thick konbu soup stock and 1 Tbsp of mirin /sweet wine, for replacement of konbu essence and hot water.

*You can add more sesame paste if you want the soup thicker, and also swirl some sesame oil over vegetables if you want it to be more filling.

* The photo shows the Ramen in the normal bowl, but you can make it in the small clay pot so that it can be piping hot until you finih the last piece of noodle or last sip of soup whichever remains the last.

Happy Cooking !

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