Ramen, it’s comfort food beloved worldwide by college students, struggling creatives, and everyone who hates cooking.
It’s quick, easy, salty, and so comforting, but I think we can all agree it’s not exactly the healthiest option. In a time like this though, when the world is a little bizarre, ramen is probably acting as a staple for more than a few. Besides, today we’re talking about a pretty healthy upgrade from your standard nineteen cent bowl of noodle soup.
I’m always surprised to realize how few people enjoy cooking in today’s day and age. It’s probably because I enjoy it so much that I can’t understand others not wanting to even cook simple things. I will admit though, that I even have times when I’d prefer to take some short-cuts. This is one of those times that I think a short-cut doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Besides, we’re going to upgrade this meal and add extra health.
So you might be wondering what black rice (also called “forbidden rice”) is and why it’s any better than other rice. Well, the answer is in its rich, dark color full of antioxidants. In Chinese culture it was once so highly prized for its health benefits that it was “forbidden” to anyone but the emperor, giving it the name. It’s contains higher amounts of protein and iron than other rice varieties as well.
Black Rice Ramen with Miso & Tofu (Vegan+GF)
Take a few extra minutes to give your favorite comfort food a health makeover.
- 1 small yellow onion or half of a large
- 1/2 cup red miso
- 1/2 cup white miso
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek you can use less if you're a spice wimp like me
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 12 –15 ounces extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 5 ounces fresh portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 5 - 6 cups vegetable stock
- sea salt to taste
- 8-9 ounces black rice ramen noodles
- scallions, additional limes, and sesame seeds for serving optional
Combine all the ingredients for the miso paste together in a blender or food processor until a smooth, thick paste forms. You'll only need half for this recipe so you can refrigerate or freeze the extra for later use.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190C) and line a baking tray with parchment. Use paper towels or a tofu press to get out as much liquid from the tofu as you can. Cut into cubes and gently toss in a large bowl with the sesame oil. Place on tray and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until browned on the edges. Once the tofu has browned, remove pan from oven and allow to cool.
In a non-stick skillet add the mushrooms and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until mostly cooked. Add about a tablespoon of miso paste stir until warmed. Add the stock and lime juice then bring to a simmer. Take about 1/2 cup of the miso paste in a very fine sieve. Lower the sieve half-way into the simmering soup and use a spoon to slowly dissolve the paste into the soup. Throw away the pieces left in the sieve and simmer the soup for another 5 minutes. Add salt to taste (you can also use soy sauce or tamari).
Cook the ramen noodles according to package instructions and drain well. Divide the noodles into four large bowl and ladle the soup on top (you'll probably have extra). Top each bowl with the tofu, scallions, and sesame oil. Serve with additional limes.