This post was sponsored by Better Than Bouillon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I was first introduced to Better than Bouillon products last year and since tasting the magic of the Vegetarian No Chicken base, I was hooked. Now my pantry is never without at least two of these vegetarian and certified vegan flavors at any time: Seasoned Vegetable Base, Roasted Garlic Base, Organic Seasoned Vegetable Base, Vegetarian No Beef Base, and Vegetarian No Chicken Base.
And this lemongrass ramen bowl came into being after a friend taught me that cooking noodles in broth is essentially magic. We were camping in the desert and she whipped us dinner in less than 15 minutes by boiling noodles in the Better than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken base and tossing in tofu and boy choy in the end. The starch from the noodles thickened up the stock, and gave it more life, while the tofu softened and turned almost melt-in-your-mouth soft. We ladled it all into bowls, added a generous drizzle of chilli oil, and that was that! It was incredible how so few ingredients had so much flavor, but that bowl, in the cold of the desert night, warmed us up within minutes.
When I got back home, I tweaked the recipe a little, and it resulted in this 30 minute Lemongrass Ramen, which is now a weeknight staple in my home. On days when I don’t have very much time to hustle dinner, this is what we eat.
You can make this recipe the 30 minute way by following the recipe instructions below the post or you can do it the one pot way (see notes under recipe).
Making the broth is as simple as dissolving the paste-like flavor base in water. Unlike regular bouillon cubes that need warm water and a lot of stirring, the Better than Bouillon bases dissolve in a heartbeat and leave no gritty residue in the bottom. And they don’t spoil on opening either. And that’s not all you can do with Better than Bouillon bases. Use directly as a marinade, or to flavor your veggie meatballs.
Add a bruised stalk of lemongrass to the stock (along with ginger and garlic), bring to a boil and let the noodles cook in this. The soy and sambal oelek is optional, and if you don’t have them, leave them out and it’ll still be fine. Substitute the sambal with harissa or even sriracha – some form of heat is kinda nice, I think. Or add some dried mushrooms for a kick of umami flavor. Treat this recipe as a starting point, an inspiration and make your own brew. Change it up every time and it becomes something different. It evolves.
And while the broth is heating up (before the noodles goes in), use the time to chop up your veggies. I use whatever vegetables I have on hand, but onion, bell pepper, carrots and cabbage are almost always included because I am never out of them. Ever.
While the noodles cook in the broth, the veggies are sauteed on the side, and everything assembled in a bowl. If you’ve got greens, blanch them in the hot broth right at the end. Top with spring onions, roasted peanuts and fried chilli flakes.
It’s really as easy as that, and for quite a nutritious meal too.
This is one of my favorites, and I love that it never looses it’s charm as the seasons pass – in the winter, I eat it piping hot and in the summer, I make it less spicy and eat it almost at room temp. The broth hydrates the body all through the year and nourishes as do the seasonal vegetables.
Like I already said, keep swapping up the vegetables and flavors and it will evolve into something you really need, throughout the year.
And when you make this easy VEGAN Lemongrass Ramen (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see what you cook from here!
For the vegetable topping
- 1 tbsp chilli oil
- 2 inches of ginger, minced (1.5 tbsp)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tbsp)
- 1 small onion (about 1 c), sliced
- 1/2 green bell pepper (about 1 c), sliced
- 2-3 c cabbage, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
For the broth
- 2 tbsp Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base
- 10 c water
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp sambal oelek (substitute with harissa or sriracha to taste)
- 1 stalk of lemon grass, washed and crushed with the back of a knife
- 2 ramen-style noodle cakes (see notes)
- Salt, to taste (see notes)
Condiments and Toppings
- 2 stalks of mustard greens (substitute with any other leafy greens of choice)
- Fried Chilli flakes
- Roasted Peanuts
- 1-2 spring onions, chopped
Cook the noodles
- In a large (8 quart) dutch oven, combine the Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base, water, dark soy sauce, sambal oelek. crushed lemon grass. Cover and bring to a boil.
- In another large skillet, add chilli oil, minced ginger and garlic. Turn on the stove to medium heat, and keep stirring until they're golden brown. Turn off heat, remove half and add it to the boiling broth.
- Add the noodle cakes to the broth and cook until soft.
- To the remaining ginger and garlic in the skillet, add the sliced onion and bell pepper, and on high heat, saute until fragrant, but still crunchy. Add the cabbage and continue sauteeing. You don't want the cabbage to soften or wilt. Keep it all crunchy.
- Remove the vegetables to a plate and stir in the julienned carrots.
- Once the noodles are cooked, dunk the leafy greens in the hot broth for a few seconds until it cooks. Discard lemongrass stalk.
- Divide noodles and greens between two bowls, ladle broth generously. Pile the veggies on the side. Top with the condiments: fried chilli flakes, roasted peanuts and sliced spring onions. Serve hot.
- I buy Ramen-style dried noodles in my local Asian store, and each cake serves one person. If you're substituting other kinds of noodles, add as much noodles as you'd normally make for two people.
- Better than Bouillon bases are salted. Taste first before adding more.
- To make this a one-pot recipe: In the dutch oven, saute ginger, garlic. Remove half in a small bowl. Saute veggies in the remaining ginger-garlic. Remove to a plate. Assemble the broth in the dutch oven and cook noodles. Serve.
- Make ahead: The broth, noodles and veggies can be made upto several days in advance and refrigerated, if stored separately. Otherwise the noodle will soak up the broth and the veggies will turn mushy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 892 Total Fat: 33g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 172mg Sodium: 2950mg Carbohydrates: 106g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 21g Protein: 46g