Ramen, Heavy on the Healthy

Yahoo FoodApril 17, 2014

Rochelle Bilow, recipe by Alison Roman, photo by Yossy Arefi

Want comfort food? There’s little better than a hot, steamy bowl of ramen, teeming with noodles, heady broth, and plenty of accoutrements. But somewhere between the pork belly and the soft-cooked egg, traditional bowls of ramen can veer off toward mega-indulgence. We’re all about being naughty now and then, but tonight, we’re lightening things up: This vegetarian version of ramen is heavy on the flavor. Onion, carrot, celery, cabbage, and—of course—noodles make this a satisfying meal, while chile paste and garlic ramp up the flavor. Healthy ramen tonight, and all in the comfort of your pajamas? Yup, your night just got a lot better.

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Humble cabbage takes center stage in this vegetarian ramen inspired soup.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups cooked ramen or soba noodles
  • Hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek) and fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)

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Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 10–12 minutes. Add cabbage, broth, shoyu, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially with a lid, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, 15–20 minutes; season to taste with more shoyu if desired. Serve over noodles topped with hot chili paste and cilantro.

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