How to carrot-based vegetarian ramen broth?
April 1, 2020 3:09 PM   Subscribe

A local-to-me (but not local enough for take-out at present) ramen place says their vegetarian ramen broth is somehow or other carrot based? It's creamier and tastier than many other vegetarian ramen broths I have had. Sadly, my google-fu is apparently not up to finding a recipe. Do you have such a recipe? Do you have thoughts, ideas, or educated guesses about what such a recipe might look like? Do you have any good links about multiple options for vegetarian ramen broths in general?
posted by eviemath to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sorry, I don't have a carrot broth recipe, and this isn't a completely from-scratch recipe, but here's a vegan creamy mushroom ramen that I really like: https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegan-creamy-mushroom-ramen/

(Spoiler: she adds coconut milk to the broth.)

The other thing I think is important is to make sure there's enough salt in your broth.
posted by warble at 3:29 PM on April 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


My educated guess is that there is chickpea aquafaba involved. I accidentally overcooked chickpeas once and used the liquid in a "clear the fridge" effort with a plain old packet of ramen and I was very surprised by how creamy (and tonkotsu-like) the results were.
posted by paradeofblimps at 3:34 PM on April 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


Serious eats has a vegan ramen recipe that is loads of work, and really good.

(also, in These Times, you can email the restaurant and ask; they might help you out. I just got a recipe for a favorite dish to replicate at home from an understanding chef and a couple bucks).
posted by furnace.heart at 3:41 PM on April 1, 2020


(also, in These Times, you can email the restaurant and ask; they might help you out. I just got a recipe for a favorite dish to replicate at home from an understanding chef and a couple bucks)

The restaurant's web site appears to have expired, so... :( (Not what you'd expect from a new-ish hipster place, and they seemed to be doing good business. Maybe they were so busy they forgot?)
posted by eviemath at 3:44 PM on April 1, 2020


The very best vegetarian ramen broth I ever had was at Ivan Ramen. The first comment to this Reddit question is the chef describing how they make it (you first have to make vegetable "fat"). IMO any carrot-based broth would be too strongly flavored and distinctive to use as a ramen broth.
posted by stellaluna at 3:49 PM on April 1, 2020


Both the Budget Bytes and the Serious Eats recipes look good. A couple suggested changes that could help: while coconut milk is a fine idea, coconut oil will probably go farther towards making your soup creamy, since the perception of creaminess is mostly fattiness, and coconut oil is a thick hydrogenated oil (hey, I didn't say it was good for your heart, just good for your taste buds). Also, if you have access to a good Asian market, dried shiitakes are quicker and probably cheaper than using fresh mushrooms and roasting them or whatever. Definitely use kombu (Japanese) / dashima (Korean).

Finally, I think carrots specifically are a bit of a red herring for the qualities you're looking for. I would expect carrots to contribute a bright, sweet aspect to a soup, definitely not creaminess. They might make a positive contribution but probably not the main flavor. If you are inclined to add carrots, I'd consider toasting / roasting them first to brown them a bit and get some of that deep savory flavor from them in your broth.

Oh! Also - adding miso is a really quick, easy, and vegan way to add a lot of savory flavor to your broth.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 3:57 PM on April 1, 2020 [6 favorites]


For creamy, I’d guess soaked and blended cashews, as in this amazing cream of tomato soup From the Oh She Glows cookbook.
posted by FencingGal at 4:02 PM on April 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Could the carrots be roasted first to get a depth of flavor reminiscent of roasted meat bones?
posted by Mizu at 6:23 PM on April 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Could the carrots be roasted first to get a depth of flavor reminiscent of roasted meat bones?

I believe the carrots are first roasted in the recipe I'm trying to re-create, yes!

Folks, let me try to redirect back to my main/actual question. Think about it this way instead: if you were trying to make a carrot broth, as opposed to a traditional carrot soup which ends up thicker and more like a bisque, how would you do it? Like, forget the ramen part momentarily: how do I make carrot broth?
posted by eviemath at 11:14 PM on April 1, 2020


For ramen in particular, I'd go for a roasted vegetable and kombu stock with ginger. Carrots, shallots, garlic, maybe some other things like leeks, celery, or peppers? Some of those long onions might be good, some daikon, some nappa cabbage perhaps. Cut everything very fine, crumble kombu in there, maybe also some dried shiitake or fresh mushrooms? The kombu is really amazing for flavor, it's like a DIY MSG. Toss with oil just to coat, and roast it low and slow in the oven, turning a few times until things get browned all over. By cutting the vegetables finely you're maximizing the roastiness surface area. Then pour boiling water into your pan to scrape everything up, and get it all into a pot to simmer for a while. Strain out the solids and see what you've got. Adjust the amount of carrots to other veg as you see fit. For a western roasted vegetable stock I'd use tomatoes and more different root vegetables like parsnips, but as ramen is sort of Japanese by way of China I'd go for aromatics and root vegetables that those cuisines use more often.

As for the elusive creaminess, I do wonder if there could be some butter melted in at the finish? Was it vegan or vegetarian? A little butter at the end will give a creamy mouthfeel, and it's apparently a thing in Hokkaido.
posted by Mizu at 12:52 AM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


Like, forget the ramen part momentarily: how do I make carrot broth?

I’d cut carrots into chunks, enough to fill a baking tray along with an unpeeled onion cut 8ths and a few unpeeled garlic cloves, toss in olive oil and roast hard, not burned but getting there. Cover with water in a pot and simmer for an hour with any of the following I may have on hand: a couple of bay leaves, a few slices of fresh ginger, a handful of dried shiitakes and/or a small piece of kombu. Strain and blend in a tablespoon or two of miso.
posted by STFUDonnie at 4:33 AM on April 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


I've heard that carrots roasted low-and-slow (like this) are phenomenal, so maybe try starting there?
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:01 AM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


coconut oil is a thick hydrogenated oil

Strictly for the sake of accuracy, I need to correct my previous answer: coconut oil is saturated, not hydrogenated. The general spirit of the comment is unchanged, however. Sorry and carry on.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 9:36 AM on April 2, 2020


You can make a carrot broth by juicing carrots, simmering the juice until it "breaks" and then filtering it through a cheesecloth, coffee filter, paper towel or other suitable filtration medium. If you want to amp up the carrot-ness nd make it creamy, you can make some carotene butter and emulsify that in to your warm carrot broth.
posted by slkinsey at 10:02 AM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


Juice carrots. Freeze.

Sit the block of frozen carrot juice over cheesecloth in a colander. Collect the (very clear) liquid.

Use this liquid to make a consommé.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 8:40 PM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


If you have a pressure cooker and a good blender, you can make the ultimate in carrot soup: Modernist Cuisine's caramelized carrot soup. If you thinned this out with more carrot juice and added some ginger & scallion, it would very closely approximate a carrot version of creamy tonkotsu ramen broth.
posted by slkinsey at 7:17 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


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