Zoodle ramen soup makes for the perfect one-pot soup to cleanse and detox. It’s packed with plant-based, immunity boosting ingredients and rather than traditional ramen noodles, it’s made with zucchini noodles (a.k.a. zoodles). This Asian-inspired soup recipe is low-carb and vegan and is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes, making it a great mid-week meal option.
Spiralized zucchini noodles — healthy low-calorie, low-carb noodles
Zucchini noodles are simply zucchini that has been spiralized (forming long spiralized spaghetti-like strands). Not only are they a great low-carb and gluten-free substitute for wheat-based noodle products, but they are also rich in antioxidants, promote digestion, and deliver vital vitamins and other nutrients. And zucchini noodles can be used in a number of types of recipes, if you are looking to reduce carbs, searching for gluten-free alternatives or simply want to amp up your vegetable intake.
Choosing the right zucchini for making noodles
Freshness is of course important here. Look for zucchini that is firm and dense. Medium or smaller ones are the way to go, as they will have a less seedy core and I find taste better. Green or yellow zucchini (summer squash) is also fine. And since we are adding the zucchini to a soup you don’t need to worry about extracting any of the extra moisture, which is required, for example, when preparing stir-fried zucchini noodles.
How to spiralize zucchini
When it comes to preparing vegetable noodles there are a number of methods that can be followed using a variety of different tools. Since this recipe requires three zucchinis, I find it is easiest prepared using my Kitchenaid spiralizer attachment. It takes mere minutes to get a full bowl full of zoodles. Alternatively, a handheld spiralizer also does the trick. And for shorter zucchini-length noodles, you can simply use a mandoline with a julienne attachment, or a julienne vegetable peeler.
The name ramen actually refers to an Asian-style noodle made from wheat flour, salt and water, which can be bought both fresh or dried. A traditional ramen soup is generally made from a complexly flavoured bone broth made from chicken, pork and/or beef as well as dried katsuobushi (bonito) and niboshi, which are natural umami-packed flavor enhancers made from tuna and sardines. As with shiitake mushrooms, onions and kombu (kelp). This recipe on the other hand is far from traditional, and is purely plant-based and excludes any exotic ingredients. Dried shiitake mushrooms add an umami element, as well as miso paste and soy sauce.
Types of ramen soup
There are 4 basic variants to a ramen soup depending on the preparation of the broth:
- Shoyu, broth with the basis of soy sauce
- Shio, a broth seasoned primarily with salt
- Miso, basic broth with fermented soy paste
- Tonkostu, a pork bone broth (ton means pork and kotsu means bone)
My version is made with both miso paste and soy sauce to give it extra flavor, since it is not made with a bone broth base.
How to adapt this zoodle ramen soup recipe
The broth base of this soup is made with shiitake mushrooms, green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and miso paste. The rest can be adapted as you like. Add your favourite vegetables, or feel free to sub out zucchini noodles for ramen or instant noodles (Mie-Nudeln).
The soup can be refined with many different types of vegetables. Try:
- A handful of fresh spinach leaves
- Snow peas
- Broccoli florets
- Bok choy
- Mini corn on the cob
- Mung bean sprouts
Looking for other Asian-style soup inspiration?
Try one of these recipes:
- Miso Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy
- Spicy Asian Hotpot with Udon Noodles
- Miso-Soup with Beef and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
Zoodle Ramen Soup (Easy Vegan Recipe)
- 10 g dried shiitake mushrooms (alternatively use porcini)
- 1 cup hot water (250 ml)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 200 g cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 a fresh red chili, sliced (optional)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and grated ginger
- 1- litre vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 teaspoon muscovado brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
- 3 zucchinis, spiralized
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1/4 small red cabbage, shredded
For serving / garnish (optional):
- Toasted sesame oil and/or sriracha sauce, to season
- Cilantro leaves
- Black or white sesame seeds
In a small bowl, combine hot water with the dried mushrooms. Let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the mushroom water, before coarsely chopping; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until softened 5-7 minutes. Add the green onion, chili, garlic and ginger and sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add the reserved shiitake mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes. Then add soaking liquid, strained through a sieve to remove any debris.
Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, miso paste, brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer lightly for 10 minutes.
Add the zucchini noodles and cook until tender, 2 minutes more.
Divide the broth and noodles among four bowls, dividing the carrots and cabbage among each. Season with toasted sesame oil and/or sriracha if desired and garnish with fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- To make this recipe completely gluten-free, replace soy sauce with tamari.
- See above for tips on how to sprialize zucchini.
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