Of all the culinary gifts Japan has bestowed upon the world, ramen might be one of our favorites. Thanks to its deliciously brothy base and springy noodles (not to mention the endless topping possibilities), ramen holds a warm place in our heart. This flavorful veggie version mixes miso and mushroom powder with long life noodles, bok choy, leeks, and mushrooms. The finishing touch? A soft-boiled egg with a perfectly runny yoke.
Leeks grow in sandy soil, which means they pull up water, along with a little dirt, through their layered leaves. Separating and soaking them helps remove all of the grit between layers. Do not drain leeks, or the dirt at the bottom will pour over them. Instead, use a slotted spoon or your hands to remove them from the water, then pat dry before adding them to the pan to avoid splattering.
Starting boiled eggs in cold water ensures that they don’t break when added to boiling water and that the white doesn’t overcook.
8 ounces leek, divided
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
12 ounces baby bok choy, divided
1 ounce ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
8 ounces vegetable stock
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 teaspoon shiitake mushroom powder
8 ounces long life noodles
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 cup water + more for boiling
2 8″ medium pots with lids
Rinse leeks, then halve lengthwise and trim off dark green tops. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl of cold water, letting dirt sink to bottom. Remove and discard mushroom stems, then wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel and quarter. Rinse bok choy and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, keeping leaves and stems separate. Trim and discard skin of ginger. Rinse scallions, trim off roots, and thinly slice.
Remove leeks from water (see Recipe Tip). Heat half of sesame oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add mushrooms, whole knob ginger, leeks, and bok choy stems. Cook until fragrant and tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
While aromatics sauté, place egg in a medium pot and add enough cold water to just cover (see Recipe Tip). Bring water to a boil, then immediately remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes. Remove egg, leaving water in pot for noodles, and rinse egg under very cold water for 60 seconds to stop cooking. Place in a small bowl of cold water and set aside to fully cool. Return water to a boil for noodles.
Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, miso paste, mushroom powder, and 1 cup water to pot with vegetables over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until flavors have melded, 7-8 minutes. Keep warm, covered, over low heat.
Season boiling water generously with salt, then stir in long life noodles and cook until al dente, 2-3 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to stop cooking. Return to pot off heat and toss with remaining sesame oil. Set aside.
Stir chili garlic sauce into broth, then add bok choy leaves and stir to wilt. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired. Remove and discard ginger from pot. Divide noodles between serving bowls and ladle over broth. Peel cooled egg, halve lengthwise, and place half over each bowl of ramen. Garnish with scallions and dig in!