“Vegan,” “Vegetarian,” or Just a Love For Vegetables

I seriously never thought I would ever buy a $600 vacuum, or that I would like or would want to prepare a vegetable based ramen. Well, now we are here with two types of vegan/vegetarian ramen.

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After being exposed to an all vegetable based pasta by my good friends Linda and Mike about a decade ago lead to countless visits to a vegetarian Chinese restaurant, to trying a vegan ramen shop in Orange County. Now a decade or two later, here I am doing not only one, but two.

My motivation behind this is because I wanted to offer a version that did not pander to and was not a cliché version of “vegetarian” food, but a dish that reflect Japanese cuisine/tastes which utilized familiar ingredients and preparation techniques.

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A shoyu based broth that is literally rooted in umami rich veggies.

One of the most core to Japanese ramen would be a shoyu (soy sauce) ramen and in the North a miso ramen, so I really wanted to do one that I would want to eat.

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A creamy savory spicy miso stock.

Anytime I hear a friend who doesn’t eat a variety of food from the world, and they want to lose weight, I just know they are going to tell me how they eat salads or on some trendy diet plan. I find that all laughable because they could be eating Lebanese arnabeet amongst a million other things, or adopting a diet of foods like Greek, Lebanese, to Vietnamese.

3 different types of Japanese miso
Miso has a number of varieties, and it can give a dish a very unique profile.

Unfortunately, a lot of dishes that are marketed to vegans, vegetarians, or the health conscious are not simply the dishes found throughout the world, but contrived dishes that meet a stereotype of what healthy food is such as salad greens, couscous, quinoa, “super foods,” and tofu.

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Spicy McVegan Face Ramen

I plan on serving both of these dishes either hot or cold because you do not have to cook a majority of the ingredients other than the grilled or deep-fried components – no edamame, bok choy, corn, or tofu here.

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Shoyu Furansugo tamanegi ramen is incomplete because I am having trouble sourcing a key ingredients, not to mention my plating needs work.

I can do a complete vegan tempura batter without egg, but I’m debating if I want to – it is already an issue of going from fried to grilled components on top of my main ramen (roasting and braising) menu although maybe I might just do this menu on certain days only?

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Bamboo shoots in Japan

The Japanese are no strangers to a strictly vegan diet due to Buddhist beliefs (shojin-ryori), and there are restrictions beyond what vegans would have issue with such as not eating pungent vegetables like garlic and onions. I love garlic and diced onions, yes, please, and anybody who knows me, knows I am like a walking garlic bulb.

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