I fully admit that I use the term 'ramen' loosely. This recipe has many 'ramen-like' qualities: a broth based soup with noodles, veggies, and protein... but I am no ramen master. All I can say is that this ramen-like soup is so full of flavor and nutrition, you've got to give it a try. Plus the kids loved it!
Unlike many other soups, this one is incredibly filling without breaking the bank (with saturated fat and salt). And the addition of udon noodles just further amps up the protein in this soul-warming dish.
Miso Paste -
1 small yellow onion
1 cup white miso
4-5 cloves garlic
~2 inch piece fresh ginger, skin removed
3 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 block very firm tofu, cut into small cubes
~2 Tbsp EVOO
1 (8oz) container fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped (or whatever mushrooms you can find)
1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, sliced thickly (throw in any other veggies you have on hand or prefer!)
3-4 cups no added salt vegetable stock
1/4 cup coconut cream or canned coconut milk, optional
1 package udon noodles (9.5 ounces)
Toppings of choice: scallions, toasted sesame seeds
To make miso paste: Pulse all miso paste ingredients together in a food processor until a smooth, thick paste forms.
Meanwhile get water on the burner for the udon noodles.
To make tofu: Press as much moisture as possible out of the tofu using paper towels or a tofu press, then cut into cubes. Lightly toss cubes in cornstarch. In a large pan, heat EVOO on medium high heat and start frying the tofu. This may need to be done in batches so the cubes cook evenly. Once tofu has browned, add 1/4 cup of miso paste and cook for another minute or two to get a nice golden color. Remove from pan and keep warm in an oven or toaster oven. (I put mine at 170F.)
To make broth: To the 'tofu' pan, add mushrooms and zucchini and 1-2 tablespoons of miso paste and stir fry until golden brown. Add stock and coconut cream and bring to a simmer. Add cabbage and about 1/2 cup miso paste, and mix to combine. Taste and adjust to your preference. If it's too salty, add some more stock. Need more salt? Add a little more of the paste or continue to simmer until reduced a bit. Meanwhile throw udon noodles in boiling water and cook according to instructions. Add noodles to broth and mix to combine.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with tofu, scallions, and sesame seeds.