scenes from a weekend well explored
I’ve always put Ramen on a pedestal – this foreign, seductive, and brothy entity meant for the big leagues – those guys who really knew how to cook, how to develop flavor, how to succeed in winning over the world with a bowl of noodles. This weekend I not only had the pleasure of bopping around Washington, DC’s Emporiyum, a well curated food marketplace of artisans from around the US (think Mast Brother’s chocolates, Black Seed Bagels, Quin candies, and Momofuku’s Milk Bar), but was able to spend the better part of Sunday morning picking Erik Bruner-Yang’s brain, owner and chef of Toki Underground, Honeycomb, and the soon-to-open Maketto, on all things ramen. Although the ramen 101 workshop focused primarily on the art of one-pot pork broth – ramen for the ‘Everyman’ – takeaway was found in how personal, customizable, and unique a bowl could be.Even within the confounds of traditional ramen rules, perhaps there were no rules, just an impassioned quest for umami.
Inspired by Erik Bruner-Yang’s recipe and mantra of making real food accessible and affordable to the ‘Everyman’, today I couldn’t be more excited to share my adapted recipe for vegan Roasted Vegetable Everyman Ramen – more provocative, savory, and impressive than I could have every imaged. Made with roasted Asian pears, deeply aromatic shiitake mushrooms, and nourishing ginger, this silky, yet rich one-pot broth is served over fresh ramen noodles, wilted kale, and bright cilantro. I serve my ramen with extra togarashi seasoning and a glass of dry sake.
VEGAN ROASTED VEGETABLE EVERYMAN RAMEN (makes 4 servings)
inspired by: Erik Bruner-Yang, Everyman Ramen
Roasted Vegetable Ramen Broth
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and roughly chopped
6 heads garlic , tough stem removed, then halved
4 medium Asian pears (about 2 pounds), cut into eighths and deseeded
4 large carrots (about 1 pound), roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
12 cups filtered water
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 inch knob fresh ginger (about ¼ pound), diced
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 piece dried kombu
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, rack in the middle.
On a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss onions, garlic, pears, carrots and olive oil until well combined. Place in oven and roast for 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes for even cooking, or until vegetables are fork tender and slightly charred.
Transfer roasted vegetables to large pot. Add filtered water, soy sauce, ginger, mushrooms, and kombu, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until stock is reduced by half (about 2 hours). Thoroughly strain solids from broth. Set broth aside.
Vegan Roasted Vegetable Everyman Ramen
4 cups cooked ramen noodles
6 cups roasted vegetable ramen broth (recipe above)
1 cup red kale, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
4 ounces mushrooms of choice, thinly sliced and sautéed
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
¼ cup green onions, sliced into thin rings
sriracha and togarashi (optional)
Disperse ramen noodles evenly amongst four large bowls.
In a large pot return broth to a boil. Add kale and mushrooms and simmer for 1 minute, or until kale has just wilted. Pour broth and vegetables evenly over each of the ramen bowls. Top with cilantro, green onions, sriracha, and toagarashi. Serve and enjoy!