Caramelized Onion + Mushroom Ramen with Toasted Broccoli and Soft Boiled Eggs — a vegetarian one-bowl meal of chewy noodles and fresh veggies in a rich, homemade pantry-friendly broth.
Friends! I had every intention of getting this recipe published well over a week ago. And then, well, life happened. In fact, life just keeps on happening (as I not so gently alluded to in my recent post) and, yeah, this got back-burnered quite a bit. Which says something about the status of things around here, because anyone who knows anything about me understands that ramen ranks pretty high on my list of priorities, even amidst a global pandemic.
But the truth of the matter is, life’s gonna keep happening despite our careful planning (or, in my strategy of choice, the lack thereof) — and the least I can do is present you with a bowl of cobbled together noodles while we deal with it all. In theory, this ramen is as close as we’re gonna get to the group hug we probably all so desperately need right now.
Quick Meal Inspo: Easy Ramen Dinner Idea
This ramen was loosely inspired by a Bon Appetit post about a hybrid soup situation that was part french onion and part taiwanese beef noodle. Both soups are high on my list of faves — but alas, both are also fairly time-consuming. (See again: this post, in which I expound on just how much extra time I have these days.) Instead, this ramen comes together in about 30 mins, give or take. Yes, there are a few elements that have to happen simultaneously, but what are we at this point if not excellent multi-taskers? Annnd, yes, at the end there will be a few dishes to wash — to which I say: child labor. Ok, ok, and if you count the time it takes to soak the mushrooms, you’ll need to plan slightly ahead. Not much. If you’re reading this at lunchtime it could still easily make it to your table by dinner.
All that said, in this age of Cook What Ya Got, I hope it goes without saying that this recipe should be used more as inspiration than taken as gospel. No dried mushrooms? Just increase the veggie stock and use fresh mushrooms up top. No miso? Increase the soy sauce to taste, or add a splash of fish sauce (start small!) to duplicate the savoriness. (Granted that takes it out of vegetarian territory.) Don’t get picky about the ramen noodles, either. I happened to have fresh on hand from an Asian food store run I made before the Shelter In Place went into order, but the dried ramen bricks from your dorm room days will do the trick, too. Heck, you can even use soba — or any plain, straight pasta. It might not have the same exact vibe, but it will be tasty and satisfying nonetheless.
- 2 large onions (any color), halved and thinly sliced
- 2 oz dried mushrooms
- 2 cups veggie stock
- 2 T mellow white miso paste
- 1 T black vinegar (see note)
- splash mirin or sherry (optional)
- 1 T + 1 tsp dark soy sauce (see note), plus more, to taste
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1/2 T maple syrup
- salt, to taste
- white pepper, to taste
- 4 servings ramen noodles (fresh or dried)
- 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- scallions, sesame seeds and chili-garlic sauce, for serving
- 4 eggs boiled to your liking (see note)
- Rinse mushrooms in a colander to remove silt or grit. Add them to a medium bowl, cover with 4 cups boiling water, and allow to hydrate for at least an hour (see note). Drain mushrooms and reserve at least 2 cups soaking liquid, avoiding any silty bits in the bottom. Roughly chop mushrooms and set aside.
- While mushrooms soak, heat a few turns of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over a medium flame. Add onions and a pinch of salt and stir to coat in fat. Allow onions to cook, stirring occasionally, until they're very tender and starting to take on some good color, about 20 mins, turning the heat down if necessary if they start browning on the edges. (If you have the time to caramelize them further, feel free.)
- While onions cook, prepare ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Toss broccoli florets lightly with olive oil and a bit of salt and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Position a rack in the top third of your oven and broil for 6-7 mins or until just bright green and charred on the edges.
- Heat a small pan over med-high heat, add a splash of oil and add rehydrated mushrooms, 1 tsp soy sauce and 1/2 T maple syrup. Cook for a minute or two, until mushrooms are heated through and the "glaze" is absorbed. (The mushrooms won't be browned or sticky, just deeply infused with flavor.)
- When onions are nearly caramelized, add 2 cups of the mushroom stock and 2 cups veggie stock, 1 T dark soy sauce, black vinegar and mirin and bring to a bubble. Using a stick blender (or carefully transferring the mixture to a blender), blend onions into stock until thoroughly combined. Add miso, sesame oil and a pinch of white pepper and blend again. Taste for seasoning, adding more soy or salt and/or white pepper to taste. If you seek a thinner broth, add a splash more of either stock. Keep broth hot but do not return to a boil.
- Divide noodles amongst bowls, briefly rinsing them first in cold water if they've started to stick together. Ladle hot broth over noodles and top with the charred broccoli, the mushrooms and the eggs. Garnish with sesame seeds, chili-garlic and sliced scallions. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
1) The mirin or sherry here just adds a little more depth of flavor, and the alcohol will mostly cook out, but if you don’t have it or prefer not to use it, no worries.
2) You can find dark soy sauce in some supermarkets or Asian food stores -- or, of course online (this is the brand we use). It's inkier but actually a little less salty than traditional soy sauce. You can most definitely use regular soy sauce, but be sure to taste the broth before adding more than the recommended amount.
2) As for the eggs, my preferred method, of late, is using the Instant Pot. Fit raised insert into Instant Pot (we use this one) and arrange desired number of eggs on top. Add 1 cup water, set Instant Pot to Manual 3 mins and set valve to Seal. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. When 3 mins have elapsed, use Quick Release method to immediately release pressure. Remove eggs to ice water and allow to cool until chilled enough to handle. If you’re feeling fancy, make them a few hours ahead of dinner and turn them into Soy Sauce Eggs. (As such they make for excellent snacking, too.)
Here’s to good eating, full bellies (for which we are endlessly grateful) and keeping our wits about us, friends.
p.s. If you’re into recipes like this, be sure to join me for our next cooking Live on The Mom Edit Instagram Tuesday at 6pm Eastern. And if you have ideas for what you’d like to see me cook, feel free to comment with your suggestions, below, or shoot me a DM. 🙂 Cheers!
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!