Mr. Taka Ramen's Takatoshi Nagara whips up a rich, delicious ramen that just so happens to be vegan. Delicate flavors blend into a silky sauce that thickens up quite a bit once the ramen noodles are added. A squeeze of lemon balances the creamy sauce, pulling it all together.
Use the sauce as a base recipe and get creative with seasonal toppings. We like to add roasted sweet potato, sautéed kale and maybe even a little pork belly.
To learn more, read "Something to Taka About."
Recipe adapted from Takatoshi Nagara, Mr. Taka Ramen, New York, NY
Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
½ cup mashed, plus 4 slices, avocado (1 large avocado)
1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
¾ cup water
⅓ cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons white miso
Kosher salt, to taste
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 square slices firm tofu, blotted dry with a paper towel
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ teaspoons shoyu (or soy sauce)
4 thin orange bell pepper strips (from ¼ bell pepper)
One 5-ounce package fresh or 3-ounce package dried ramen noodles
3 tomato slices
1 lemon wedge
Pinch black pepper
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mashed avocado with the lemon juice until smooth and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the water, soy milk and miso, and bring to a simmer, 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the mashed avocado and cook, whisking occasionally, until a creamy sauce forms, 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and lemon juice, and remove from the heat. Makes about 1¼ cups sauce.
4. In a small nonstick sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place the tofu slices in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch, turning the tofu to coat. Add the tofu to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, occasionally shaking the pan to prevent sticking and turning the tofu to cook both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce, flipping the tofu once to brown both sides, and remove from the heat. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
5. Return the nonstick sauté pan to medium-high heat and add the bell pepper strips. Season with a pinch of salt and cook 1 minute, flipping the strips once. Remove from the heat and add to the plate of tofu.
6. Cook the ramen noodles in the boiling water according to package directions.
7. While the ramen is cooking, reheat the avocado-miso broth and ladle into a bowl. Add the cooked ramen noodles to the broth and, using large chopsticks or a pair of tongs, fold the noodles 2 to 3 times in the broth to coat. (The sauce will thicken as the noodles are tossed.)
8. Garnish the ramen with the tofu, bell pepper, sliced avocado, tomato and lemon wedges. Sprinkle with the black pepper and serve.