I’m sure you’ve enjoyed a cup of instant ramen noodles at some point in your life. Maybe you have a stash of those little styrofoam cups hidden in your cupboard…I’m also sure you get that they’re a pretty junky processed food. But, just because the instant stuff is full of added sodium, preservatives, questionable oils and refined wheat noodles doesn’t mean ramen can’t be healthy if you have a little bit of time and know-how. In fact, I’m about to show you a totally healthy, wheat-free, vegan version of this classic Japanese noodle soup that’s easy to make and fun to eat.
Instead of the traditional crimped wheat noodles (as cute as they are), I’m subbing them out with zoodles! You know the ones made from spiralized fresh zucchini. So fun! Once added to this soup bowl, they look just like “real” noodles and totally hold up in this brothy goodness. Plus, they help to boost the health benefits of this soup since zucchini is loaded with fibre, vitamin C, potassium, manganese and magnesium. We love zucchini.
You can use just about any mushroom that your heart desires in this recipe. I like to use cremini because they are easy to find and more nutritious that white button mushrooms, but shitake, oyster or portobello are all great options. Mushrooms are powerhouse packages of nutrition and are still being studied for their extensive health benefits and anti-cancer properties. They’re fantastic for boosting immunity. And did you know mushrooms are one of those foods that are actually more nutritious when cooked? Ah yeah.
Two of the key ingredients in making a veggie ramen broth (tamari and miso) are fermented soy products that have a nice, salty flavour, but don’t contain refined sodium. Miso can be found at most health food stores and is great to have on hand in the fridge for a variety of uses like dressings and glazes. Just a tbsp in this recipe really infuses it with that signature “umami” flavour. Tamari is actually a byproduct of miso and is pretty much the same as soy sauce, but is the darker, thicker Japanese version. If you’re avoiding gluten look for “gluten-free” tamari, which means no wheat was used in the process like most soy sauces.
Hope that info has whet your appetite cause we’re about to get into it!
- - 2 tbsp coconut oil
- - 1 tbsp miso paste
- - 4 c filtered water
- - 4-5 bunches baby bok choy, bottoms trimmed and cut in half lengthwise.
- - 3 green onions, sliced.
- - 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced.
- - ½ large red onion, sliced.
- - 3 tbsp garlic, minced.
- - 2 tbsp tamari.
- - 8 oz (one package) cremini mushrooms, sliced.
- - 2 large zucchini, spiralized.
- - 1 tsp sesame oil (for drizzle).
- - 2 tbsp sesame seeds - white or black (for sprinkling).
- - 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped.
- - Sriracha (optional).
- Make sure bok choy halves are dry. Rub a small amount of miso over both sides. Reserve remaining miso to add to broth.
largefry pan onmedium heat, add ½ tbsp coconut oil and sear bok choy halves about 3-4 minutes per side until wilted and edges slightly browned. Repeat with ½ tsp coconut oil and remaining bok choy. Set aside.
- In large soup pot, heat remaining tbsp coconut oil and add onions + mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add garlic + ginger and cook, stirring frequently
- Add miso, tamari + water and increase heat until a gentle boil begins.
- Once slightly bubbling, add zucchini noodles and stir frequently until just starting to get limp (about 1-2 minutes).
- Taste and season with additional tamari if needed.
- Serve immediately
bytopping with reserved bok choy, drizzleof sesame oil, green onion, cilantro and sesame seed garnish. Feel free to add a drizzle of your fave hot sauce for fun!
I know you’ll be so proud of yourself for making this pretty and healthy dish and sharing it with your nearest and dearest. It’s a big hit at my place.
This dish is definitely best fresh, but leftovers can be stored in the fridge for about 5 days and holds up pretty well to reheating. If you want to add some more protein feel free to top with some crispy chickpeas or sliced boiled egg. Yum!
Have fun and let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below. Did you try something different? I’d love to know. Sharing is caring, so if you know someone who loves ramen, go ahead and send this recipe their way.