This vegan shoyu ramen is so scrumptious and made with homemade broth!
Shoyu is soy sauce in Japanese, so this ramen is seasoned solely with that. Traditionally, shoyu ramen broth is made from pork. Today, you’ll see how to create a simple broth that’s as flavorful using one of the secret ingredients – CASHEWS or other nuts. Adding cashews not only creates a silky soup texture but also has that meaty flavor. The tip is to cook until the cashews start to release their own natural oil.
How to make Vegan Shoyu Ramen
Part 1: Prepare the broth
One of the challenges for vegan broth is how to bring out the flavor using just vegetables. Rest assured, with a few combinations, you can easily create a delicious silky broth that you can’t just stop slurping.
To make the broth, sauté ginger, mushrooms, cashews, leek, and daikon radish for a few minutes to bring out each ingredient’s flavor. Then, add the water, garlic bulb, kelp, and a little salt. Cover with a lid and bring it to boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the kelp right after it boils for a less kelp taste. When ready, season with mushrooms seasoning. If you are planning to serve it right away, set the broth over low heat.
Part 2: Make the Tare
There are a few ways to make tare. This method is inspired by my good friend, Seonkyoung with minor adjustments in the soy sauce and aromatics.
Place 1 part of light soy sauce, 1/2 part of dark soy sauce, garlic cloves, ginger slices, and scallion tops in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer until it reduces to almost half. Use immediately or strain to a jar and refrigerate (up to a week) for future use.
Part 3: Prepare the tofu cha shu
Press the tofu to remove its moisture. I cut one large block of tofu into 4 smaller pieces, then transfer to a shallow plate or a reusable bag. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of tare to it and marinate the tofu for at least 15 minutes.
Next, add a drizzle of oil to a small non-stick skillet and set it to medium-low heat. Pan-fry the tofu until golden brown, 1-2 minutes on each side. For saltier tofu, pour in the remaining marinade and let it cook until the tofu absorbs all the sauce. Let it cool and slice in pieces when cooled.
Part 4: How to serve vegan shoyu ramen
Bring a pot of water to boil, then blanch the mung beans sprouts (if using), and cook the ramen as directed. If you like your noodle soup hot, rinse the bowl with hot water.
Ladle about 2 tablespoons of tare into the bowl and top with broth.
Add the noodles, mung bean sprouts, menma (seasoned bamboo shoots), chopped scallions, and tofu cha shu. Serve warm.
Vegan Shoyu Ramen cooking tips
Broth – There are many ways to create a flavorful broth, but you can’t miss out on mushrooms and kombu on this. The broth includes daikon radish, leek, aromatics (ginger and garlic), mushrooms, kombu, and cashews. I added daikon radish to create that mellow sweet flavor so it balances the soy sauce to create an umami savoriness. Other vegetables to use include jicama and carrot. Use cashews to create a silkier broth, but omit if you are allergic to it.
Tare – As mentioned, this tare is inspired by my friend, Seonkyoung. Here is another simple tare that you can use: 1/4 cup of dried shiitake mushrooms, 1/4 cup of dried kelp pieces, and 1 cup of soy sauce (regular or a mix of light and dark). Similarly, bring it to a boil and reduce it until almost half. Similarly, in this recipe, you can use all regular soy sauce and adjust the saltiness accordingly. The dark soy sauce is meant to give the tare more color.
Toppings – I made a simple tofu cha shu that was marinated with the tare along with blanched mung bean sprouts, and store-bought seasoned bamboo shoots (menma) along with lots of chopped scallions. You can add a piece of nori or top with gyoza if you prefer. The mushrooms and kelp from the broth can be sautéed to make a flavorful topping as well.
How to store – Tare can be strained into a jar once cool and refrigerated for up to a week. Similarly, the broth is also good for up a week in the fridge or freeze for longer shelf life. If you prefer a less kelp taste, remove the kelp once the mixture comes to a boil. Always strain the broth once cool.
Other favorite ramen recipes to try:
This vegan Shoyu ramen is
- Easily customizable – use gluten-free sauces as an option
- Made using a combination of vegetables, mushrooms, and aromatics
- Perfect for make-ahead meals – tare and broth can be prepared ahead of time.
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Vegan Shoyu Ramen
- 4 oz of firm tofu pressed
- 3-4 servings of ramen noodles used fresh ramen
- Menma seasoned bamboo shoots
- A handful of chopped scallions
- cooking oil
- 4 slices of ginger
- 10 dried Shiitake mushrooms cleaned
- 1 cup raw cashew – washed
- 3 leeks chopped
- 1.5 lbs daikon radish – chopped in bite-size cubes
- 2 small garlic bulbs cut in half
- 1 oz kombu
- 20 cups of water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mushrooms seasoning
- 1 cup of light soy sauce
- ½ cup of dark soy sauce
- ⅓ cup sake
- ⅓ cup mirin
- 2-3 stalks scallion white part only
- 2-3 garlic cloves mashed
- 3 slices of ginger
Prepare the Broth
- Sauté ginger and mushrooms with a tablespoon of oil in a large stockpot until aromatic. Then, continue to stir-fry cashews, leek, and daikon radish for a few minutes. Add the water, turn the heat to high. Immerse the garlic bulb and kombu in the water, then add the salt.
- Cover the pot with a lid and bring it to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Remove kombu right after it comes to a boil for a less murky broth. Season with mushrooms seasoning.
Prepare the Tare and Tofu
- Place all tare ingredients in a small saucepan, then bring it to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 -15 minutes, uncovered until it reduces to almost half. Set it aside, I prefer to let the aromatics steep in the tare for as long as I could to extract the maximum flavor. If not used immediately, store it in a jar once it's cooled down for future use (but strain out the aromatics).
- To prepare the tofu, cut it into 4 blocks and place them on a shallow plate. Ladle a scoop (about 2 tablespoons) of tare over and marinate for at least 15 minutes (turning occasionally so all tofu sides are well-coated).
- Next, heat a non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil. Pan-fry the tofu until golden brown over medium-low heat, until a thin crust forms, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Let it cool completely before slicing it.
How to serve
- Now, strain the broth into another pot and pick out the mushrooms and kelp (if not removed earlier) and reserve for another dish. Keep the broth warm over low heat.
- Bring a pot of water to boil, then blanch mung bean sprouts for a few seconds. Use the same pot to cook the ramen noodles as directed on the package.
- To serve, add 2 tablespoons (adjust this based on your taste) of tare in a bowl, and ladle the broth over. Add the noodles, and top with mung bean sprouts, menma, chopped scallions and tofu cha shu. Serve warm.
- Use jicama to substitute daikon radish if preferred
- Remove kelp from the broth right after it comes to a boil to get a clearer soup
- Feel free to use regular soy sauce and skip light and dark soy sauce. Please adjust the saltiness accordingly.
- Tare and broth can be made ahead of time and store for future use. Please store once they are cooled.
- Replace sake with vegetable broth or water if you can’t have alcohol.
- I’m using fresh ramen which takes less than 3 minutes to cook.
Feel free to pin the below picture on your Pinterest Board for easy reference.
Products I’ve used:
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means if you decide to purchase through my link I will receive a small commission for qualified purchases. Some products shown may have different brands from Amazon that I recommend as a suggestion. The links are embedded in the picture or shown as hyperlinks. Please note that these sauces generally have a lower price at the store.
1. Sake – please use vegetable broth or water instead for a non-alcoholic option. I found this at Mitsuwa, you may check this at your local store.
2. Soy sauce – You can use a mix of light and dark soy sauce. For a regular version, you may use your favorite or this brand here. Please note, the store has a lower price compared to online.
2. Mushrooms seasoning – I prefer to get this at the store to make sure the expiration date is further out.
3. Menma – seasoned bamboo shoot