Sesame-Mushroom Ramen

"I make this dish with chicken, but skip the meat and use all veggie broth for a great vegan or vegetarian version."—Rach
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Sesame Mushroom Ramen

Photography by Christopher Testani

This recipe originally appeared in our Winter/Spring 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.

  • 4Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup or generous handful of dried porcini or mixed dried mushrooms
  • 3/4 to 1 lb. maitake (hen-of-the-woods) mushrooms, pulled into bite-size pieces Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray, preferably nonaerosol 
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. safflower or olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled, then cut into very thin matchsticks or grated
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced (whites and greens)
  • 1 tbsp. chili-garlic paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 quart chicken broth (to make this vegetarian or vegan, use vegetable broth)
  • 1 small bunch (8 oz.) rainbow or Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 package (9 oz.) ramen noodles
  • 1/4 cup black garlic shoyu or soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 2 carrots or 6 multicolor baby carrots, very thinly sliced
  • 9 to 12 oz. smoked chicken, very thinly sliced (optional) 
  • 4 small stacks of shiso leaves, thinly sliced, or 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • Toasted sesame oil, for drizzling

Preparation

1. Arrange the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Prepare an ice bath. Place the eggs in a medium pot; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and let stand off the heat for 2 1/2 minutes (you want the eggs to be jammy in the center). Drain and shake the pan to crack the shells, then transfer the eggs to the ice bath. Let the eggs cool, then peel. Set the eggs aside while you make the ramen.

3. In a medium pot, heat 2 cups vegetable broth with the dried mushrooms. Let simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. 

4. Arrange the fresh mushrooms on the baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray; season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. Using tongs, toss the mushrooms, then add the shallots to the baking sheet. Continue roasting until the mushrooms are crisp on the edges, 10 to 15 minutes more. 

5. In a soup pot, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the garlic, ginger, leeks, and chili-garlic paste, if using. Stir for 2 minutes, then stir in the wine. Cook, stirring often, until the wine is absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth, the chicken broth, and chard leaves. Bring to a boil over high, stirring occasionally.

6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the ramen. Add the ramen, cook for 5 minutes, and drain.

7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the reconstituted porcini to a work surface and chop. Add them to the soup pot. Pour the mushroom broth into the soup pot, leaving the last few tablespoons in the pan to avoid any grit that may have settled. 

8. In a medium bowl, whisk the shoyu, tahini, and miso. Whisk in about 1 cup of the broth from the soup pot, then pour the mixture back into the pot. 

9. Divide the ramen among 4 bowls. Top each with carrots, chicken, if using, and shiso. Add the broth to the bowls, then top with the roasted mushrooms and shallots. Sprinkle each portion with sesame seeds and chives; drizzle with a little toasted sesame oil. Halve the eggs and divide among the bowls.