Cashew cream for vegan ramen broth?
October 30, 2018 6:36 AM   Subscribe

No-meat Monday got pushed back a day and I'm making vegan ramen tonight. Everyone online uses either soy milk or tahini to get a thick white broth; could I use (vitamix) cashew puree? Will it be too sweet, etc, or is there any reason no recipes online do this? Thanks in advance!
posted by ftm to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What recipes are you basing this off of? Other components can alter what substitutions are best options. Cashews should work fine, but you may want to strain it if you can’t get the smoothest texture.

FWIW, the best vegan ramen recipe ever seen does not use nuts, except as a topping. It is very good.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:57 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Certainly cashews will work, though if you have any toasted sesame oil to buy back some of the flavor of tahini it'll taste better, and you might soak them for a couple of hours first. Along with the sesame oil, you may want some other umami enhancers like a dab of tomato paste or miso or similar.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:07 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pour boiling water over the cashews and soak for at least an hour. You won’t need to strain them, especially with a Vitamix. Caveat: I always use raw cashews. I’m not sure if that makes a difference.

I use cashews for pasta all the time, but more like an Alfredo sauce, for which there are lots of recipes online. Cauliflower also works shockingly well for a cream sauce. My experience is that cashew sauces don’t work as well the next day if you pour them over the pasta in advance. They get kind of clumpy. But this should work.

Here’s the cauliflower sauce recipe I love in case anyone wants to try it.
posted by FencingGal at 7:09 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just agreeing with above, no need to strain with Vitamix, soaking for a bit may be useful if you have time by just pouring boiling water over. Double agreeing with FrencingGal, raw cashews lend a neutral creaminess, roasted cashews provide a decided cashew flavor that may or may not be what you want but is not neutral. Raw cashews are not salted in my experience so be prepared to add salt. I throw some raw cashews in with vegetable soups while simmering and before pureeing all the time for a creamy, vegan soup.
posted by RoadScholar at 7:39 AM on October 30, 2018

Vegan cookbook writer Ida Chandra Moskovitz uses cashew cream all the time. I've made a bunch of her recipes with it and never thought anything was off tastewise. She recommends soaking for at least three hours. We always used raw cashew pieces in our vitamix and things turned out fine, but we did put some water in the blender with the cashews per the recipe.
posted by LionIndex at 8:08 AM on October 30, 2018

I think cashew cream would not be exactly the texture you are looking for in this case. It's better for thicker things. I would recommend either thickening with miso or onion cream.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:24 AM on October 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

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