This ramen is as straightforward as it gets, with a rich, flavorful broth that supports the noodles. I encourage you to take liberties with the adornments—I've added a few very simple ones here. The one rule is to use a light hand. Ramen shouldn't be laden with toppings, or you'll end up with a wet mound. Let the broth and the noodles do their magic, then finesse it at the table, adding heat, or salt, to suit personal preferences.

Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 quarts Vegetarian Dashi (see separate recipe)
  • 2 Tbsp. light-colored miso paste
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil or chili oil
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 8 ounces dried, or 12 ounces fresh, ramen noodles
  • Two 2-inch squares toasted nori
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cubed silken tofu
  • 4 large boiled eggs, molten or firm yolks
  • Garlic Chips (see separate recipe), for optional garnish
  • Frizzled Shallots or Scallions (see separate recipe), for optional garnish


    In a large glass, in a measuring cup or in the plastic cup that usually comes with an immersion blender, combine the miso, oil and about 1/2 cup of the dashi. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, puree in a blender.) Stir the mixture back into the rest of the dashi. Add the soy sauce and salt and taste, adding more salt if needed. (It should be strongly flavored, but you can always pass more soy sauce at the table.) Keep at a bare simmer, covered, until ready to serve.

    Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Place the sprouts in a sieve, dunk them into the cooking water to quickly blanch them for about 10 seconds, then immediately lift them out and rinse under cold water. Reserve the boiling water.

    Add the noodles to the boiling water in a strainer basket or in the pasta insert that comes with your stockpot, if you have one, and cook until tender, usually 4 to 7 minutes for dried; or, according to the package instructions; or, 60 to 90 seconds for fresh. Lift out the noodles, reserving the cooking water, and rinse the noodles thoroughly under cold running water in order to remove excess starch. Quickly dunk them back into the hot water to reheat. Divide among 4 bowls.

    Just before serving, wave the nori squares over the flame of a gas burner a few times, until the corners curl and they turn crisp; or, roast under a broiler, flipping periodically. Slice into thin strips with a chef's knife, or crumble with your fingers.

    Arrange the scallions, sprouts and tofu over the noodles in each bowl, then ladle the piping-hot broth over each serving. Top with the nori strips or crumbles. Add a soft egg, or a halved hard-boiled one, if using, to each bowl and serve, passing the garnishes of your choice at the table.

    Text excerpted from BOWL © 2016, by Lukas Volger. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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