“When I first opened Nanban, we had no vegetarian ramen on the menu. This is because I just thought vegetarian ramen was wrong. It’s a meat dish and that’s that – in Japan it’s even sometimes called nikusoba – ‘meat soba’,” explains chef Tim Anderson.

“To make a veggie version seemed like a betrayal of what ramen is all about. But I gathered that the front of house staff were tired of having to explain why we didn’t do a veggie ramen, so I gave it ago


“This is what I came up with, and it’s delicious. We decided to name it after a vegetarian celebrity as they do with sandwiches in American delis, and eventually settled on Faye Wong, the Cantonese pop star/actor who was once named the world’s sexiest vegetarian.”

Vegan ramen recipe from Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson
(Hardie Grant/Nassima Rothacker/PA)
Vegan ramen recipe from Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Vegan ramen
Amount Per Serving
Calories 615 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 27g169%
Sodium 1446mg63%
Potassium 408mg12%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 270IU5%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 261mg26%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Vegan ramen

Mushroom dashi ramen with vegetables and fried tofu
Cook Time25 minutes
To make the mushroom dashi1 hour
Course: Main Course, Soup, Supper
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4
Calories: 615kcal
Author: Tim Anderson


  • Saucepans
  • Bowls
  • Food processor


  • 300 - 350 g firm silken tofu cut into 8 rectangles
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 100 g cornflour
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp additional vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp aonori flakes or 1 sheet or nori
  • Big pinch of salt
  • 1.2 litre mushroom dashi 
  • 90 ml soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 daikon/mooli peeled and cut into rounds about 2.5cm thick
  • 100 g enoki or shimeji muchsrooms roots removed and broken into small clusters
  • 1/4 Chinese cabbage cut into 2.5cm strips
  • 4 portions of uncooked ramen noodles
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms (this is a good use for the rehydrated ones from making dashi) destemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1/2 mild red chilli deseeded and very thinly shredded
  • A few strips of lemon or yuzu zest

For the mushroom dashi:

  • (Makes about 350ml, plus the rehydrated mushrooms)
  • 10 g kombu (a piece about 10cm square)
  • 15 g dried shiitake mushrooms or 10g dried shiitake plus 5g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 500 ml cold water


  • To make the mushroom dashi: Place the kombu and dried mushrooms in a saucepan with the water and set over a low heat. Slowly bring the water to a very low simmer – you should just see a few little bubbles breaking the surface. Remove from the heat, then leave to infuse for at least 1 hour – it will take a while for the shiitake to fully hydrate and release their flavour into the dashi. Remove the mushrooms and squeeze them out like a sponge, then pass through a sieve and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. The mushrooms will keep in the refrigerator for about four days.
  • Put the tofu into a small bowl and pour the sake over the tofu. Mix together the cornflour and sesame seeds, then carefully dredge the tofu in the cornflour mixture, ensuring it is evenly coated. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat and cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tofu is golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Purée the 100ml oil, nori and salt together in a food processor until the seaweed is completely pulverised. Leave the oil to settle while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  • Bring the dashi, soy sauce and mirin to the boil in a saucepan, then add the daikon rounds. Reduce the heat to a high simmer, place a lid on the pan and cook until the daikon is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the daikon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • If you’re using shimeji mushrooms, boil them in the dashi for a couple of minutes, then remove and reserve (the enoki don’t need cooking). Keep the dashi at a low simmer with a lid on the pan.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the cabbage for one minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Let the water come back to the boil and cook the ramen until al dente, according to the packet instructions. Drain very well.
  • Divide the ramen among four deep bowls, pour over the mushroom dashi and toss the noodles with chopsticks to ensure they aren’t stuck together. Top with the cabbage, daikon, mushrooms, tofu, spring onions, chilli shreds and lemon or yuzu zest.
  • Finally, add a generous spoonful or two of the nori oil to the surface of the broth. Enjoy immediately.


Calories: 615kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Sodium: 1446mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 4mg

Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson, photography by Nassima Rothacker, is published by Hardie Grant.

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