This ramen is based on a rich, flavorful broth made with roasted mushrooms. Roasting concentrates the meatiness of the shiitakes (although even creminis benefit enormously from this technique), and roasting the other vegetables adds a caramel note to the dark broth. The broth is rich and savory enough to stand up to the addition of the soy tare (pronounced tar-eh), a powerful flavor base. For toppings, we recommend going light and bright. Raw vegetables such as radish, scallion, bean sprout, and carrot complement the broth. Add a soft-boiled egg to this one! Don't hesitate to use store-bought mushroom broth, if that's more convenient. Ease and deliciousness are the end goal. Extra tare will keep in your fridge up to a month, so you can make one bowl at a time. Add 1/4 cup tare for every 2 cups broth.
Active Time: 30 minutes | Inactive Time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Difficulty: Moderate | 4 very large or 6 moderate servings
For the mushroom broth:
1 pound mushrooms, preferably a mixture of shiitake, maitake, and cremini
1 large onion, skin left on, quartered
2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks (reserve carrot tops if possible)
1 celery stalk, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons avocado or other neutral oil
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2” piece fresh ginger, skin left on, roughly chopped
Green tops from 1 large leek
1 sheet kombu
For the soy tare:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2” piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup sake
2 packages (24 ounces) Umi Organic ramen noodles
Soy-glazed shiitake mushrooms (see recipe below)
Bean sprouts, chopped scallions, sliced radishes, grated carrot, etc.
Soft boiled eggs
1. Preheat oven to 425℉.
2. On a large baking sheet toss together mushrooms, onion, carrots, and celery with oil. Roast until vegetables are well-browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add dried mushrooms, garlic, ginger, leek tops, and 10 cups water. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes. Add kombu and cook 30 minutes more. Strain, pressing on vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard vegetables. Alternatively, substitute store-bought mushroom stock.
3. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and leek and cook, stirring, just until softened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, and sake. Add tare to 8 cups piping hot mushroom stock. Taste and adjust saltiness.
4. Bring a very large pot of water to a rapid boil. Gently pull apart and fluff noodles. Add noodles to water and boil 2 minutes, stirring often. Drain well.
5. To serve, divide noodles between bowls and pour hot broth into each bowl. Swish noodles around to make sure they are loose in the broth. Top with your choice of toppings.
Soy-glazed Shiitake Mushrooms
If you're patient enough to fish out the dried shiitake mushrooms from the stock pot, this is a great way to inject flavor back in and reduce your waste. But starting with new dried shiitake mushrooms is less onerous. These mushrooms make a fabulous topping on ramen or rice. Feel free to scale this recipe up if you want leftovers. They last a month in the refrigerator.
Pour boiling water over 1/2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms just to cover. Once the mushrooms are soft, lift them out of the soaking liquid. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove any sand or debris. Reserve liquid. Remove the stems from the mushrooms caps and discard. In a small sauce pan, combine mushrooms, reserved liquid, 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari, 1 teaspoon raw or brown sugar, and 1 tablespoons sake (optional). Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until all liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes.