This is one of my favourite all-time dishes. We eat this all the time! A warming, nourishing and revitalising bowl of perfect winter soul food. A ramen rainbow!
Xmas is almost upon us, but this week I’m focusing on healthy, light and satisfying recipes to keep us full of energy for this busy time of year.
This is a really quick meal and is a technique that once you’ve tried it out, can be very flexible. Swap veggies around and use tofu instead of tempeh, or some beans, for a protein pick me up.
This soup is BIG on flavour, with the fermented goodness of miso and tempeh, it’s packed with all the nutrition we need to face up to and thrive in winter time.
Adds a lovely, umami filled flavour. I use it in marinades, dressing, roasted vegetables and stews/ soups, it adds a totally new dimension and also has a load of health benefits, see the ‘Foodie Fact’ below.
You can get miso in all kinds of colours; yellow, white, brown, red…..it’s normally made with soya beans but is also made using barley, seaweed, millet, hemp seeds and rice. There are hundreds of different types, many regional.
It’s a fermented food, so filled with probiotic goodness, excellent for our digestive system or our ‘gut’ as many call it. A healthy gut has been linked with a sense of well-being, plus good mental and physical health.
Miso’s flavour really depends on how it’s made, best unpasteurised, it can vary from sweet to salty, savoury to fruity and fermentation time can be anything from five days to several years.
Miso is traditionally from China (named ‘Hishio’) and has been made since the Neolithic period! Miso soup is a staple in Japan, eaten most days and with white rice, makes for a tasty breakfast which energises and stimulates digestion.
Tempeh may well be a new ingredient for you, it’s basically fermented soya beans, packed together. It is a very healthy and delicious food, even better for us than tofu. It traditionally comes from Indonesia and is packed with protein and adds a nice texture to a bowl of steaming noodles. Tempeh is becoming more popular and you’ll find it in your local, friendly health food shop for certain. Some supermarkets stock it too.
XMAS IS COMING (PROMISE:)
I will post some more traditional vegan Christmas recipes soon, but we can’t live on Christmas pud and cream sherry alone, we need some quick and tasty food in winter.
I hope you like this hearty, healthy noodle broth, I’ve been cooking versions of it at Trigonos for years and it’s always a hit at our cooking events. I think the most surprising thing is how easy and tasty it is.
Steaming bowls, good for the soul!
This is such a quick recipe to cook, make sure all your preparation and chopping is done before you get started.
Don’t overcook the veg or noodles, we’d like a bit of crunch on the veggies here. This soup is best served straight away.
Dried shiitakes can be found easily in Asian shops and Waitrose also do them.
To add even more flavour, you may like to pan fry the tempeh with a little oil until golden and crisp. Then add to the noodles.
The balance of flavour in the stock is important, it should be nicely sweet and sour, a harmony between vinegar, miso and tamari (soya sauce) that tickles your taste buds.
We’re looking for big flavours here, so I’d recommend a darker brown miso, filled with umami.
Try not to boil the soup once you’ve added the miso, it will take away some of the sublte flavours and detract from the enzyme-rich properties of the miso (which are ace!!)
For gluten-free version, check that the miso is gluten-free, along with the noodles and tamari/ soya sauce.
Nourishing Tempeh and Miso Ramen Bowl
The Bits For 4-6
100g ramen noodles or your favourite noodle
1 large carrot (finely sliced)
1 red pepper (finely sliced)
275g/ ½ small red cabbage (finely sliced)
50g dried shiitake/ wild mushrooms
2 big handfuls kale (sliced)
2 inch chunk fresh ginger (finely chopped)
200g tempeh (chopped into chunks)
2 ltrs light veg stock
4-6 tbs brown miso
3 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs tamari or soya sauce
(All to taste, adjust and enjoy!)
1 handful spring onions (sliced)
Radish (finely sliced)
Red chillies (sliced)
Get everything ready beforehand, this soup comes together pretty quickly!
In a small bowl, mix together the tamari, miso and vinegar into a paste.
In a large saucepan, bring your stock to a boil, add the dried shiitakes, boil for 2 minutes, then add the ginger, tempeh and vegetables (except the kale). Pop a lid on and simmer for four minutes, then add the noodles, cook for a 1-4 minutes (depends on the noodle type) until soft.
Take off the heat and stir in miso mix and kale, add more miso if you like it stronger, add more tamari if you like it a bit saltier.
Ladle into warm bowls and scatter with your favourite toppings.
Miso is a good source of minerals like copper, manganese, iron and zinc plus vitamins like vitamin K also helps to keep our gut healthy.
The probiotics present in fermented foods like miso help with the absorption of nutrients and support the immune system. Miso is high in salt, so enjoy in moderation!
We always go for organic miso, it will say somewhere on the label.
Keep your miso in the fridge, it keeps well and if it forms some light, white mould on top, this is natural. In Japan, they just scrape it off and get on with the broth.