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This vegan tonkotsu ramen comes together in a single pot and is so easy to make! It has a spicy, creamy base and flavorful seared char siu tofu topping. Add whatever veggies and other toppings you like!

vegan tonkotsu in the pan after adding tofu and toppings
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This is tonkotsu-inspired ramen based on a couple of different ramen recipes. It has a spicy base in the broth with jalapeño and sambal oelek. And then it’s topped with simple tofu that has been marinated and seared on all the sides and then sliced, like a char siu pork.

vegan tonkotsu in the pan next to the plate of seared tofu

You cook the ramen and everything in just one pot and top it with jalapeño, pepper flakes, or chili oil and whatever else you like. I add mushrooms and fresh veggies like bok choy for flavor and texture, and serve it hot with the seared and sliced tofu. All the flavors in broth and the delicious tofu match so well.

close-up of seared tofu slices on a plate

Why You’ll Love Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen

  • spicy, creamy broth with flavorful seared tofu and tender baby bok choy.
  • one-pot meal
  • ready in 40 minutes
  • naturally nut-free with easy gluten-free option
close-up of vegan tonkotsu in the pan after adding tofu and toppings

More Vegan Ramen Recipes

Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen

5 from 12 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
This vegan tonkotsu ramen comes together in a single pot and is so easy to make! It has a spicy, creamy base and flavorful seared char siu tofu topping. Add whatever veggies and other toppings you like!
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Ingredients 
 

For the seared tofu:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, , tamari for gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce,
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 7 ounces firm or extra firm tofu, pressed for at least 15 minutes and then sliced into two slabs

For the ramen:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced, or 1 ounce of soy curls, soaked in hot water or broth for 15 minutes, then drained and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste, or use 3 cloves of garlic, minced and 1/2” of ginger, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow miso
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek, or any Asian chili garlic sauce
  • 2.5 to 3.5 cups vegetable broth, (depends on noodles used and consistency preference)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 ounces noodles of choice, such as thin udon or ramen
  • 1 or 2 baby bok choy, washed really well and then sliced in half

For topping:

  • chopped green onion
  • sliced jalapeño
  • sesame seeds
  • chili oil or crushed pepper flakes
  • lime wedges

Instructions 

Make the seared tofu.

  • Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl, then add the tofu slabs to the bowl and coat them on all sides. Set this aside for at least 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Then heat a wok or a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, place the tofu slabs in the skillet and cook until they are golden brown on one side. Then flip the slabs over and brush the golden side with more of the marinade and continue to cook. Do this least twice to get a really nice, thickened and caramelized sauce coating on all sides of the tofu.
  • Remove the tofu slabs from the wok, and set aside. Once the tofu is cool to the touch, you can slice and then use.

Make the ramen.

  • Add a teaspoon of oil to the same skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a good pinch of salt and continue to cook for 3 minutes or so, stirring and pressing occasionally, until the mushrooms are starting to turn golden. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and jalapeño and mix in. Cook until the garlic doesn't smell raw.
  • Then mix in the miso, sesame oil, and sambal oelek. Add 1/2 cup of the broth, mixing well so that the miso dissolves into the mixture. otherwise, once you pour all of that broth in, the miso will just be a floating blob.
    Once the miso is mixed into the broth, add the rest of the broth and the coconut milk and salt and mix in. You can use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt depending on the salt content of your broth or stock.
  • Once the mixture is boiling rapidly, add the noodles, then continue to cook until the noodles are cooked to your preference. Ramen will take about 3 to 4 minutes, while thin udon noodles cook in about 7-8 minutes. Stir occasionally, and just when the noodles are about al dente, add the bok choy to the pan, and submerge them in the broth. Continue to cook for a minute or so, then switch off the heat.
  • Taste and adjust salt and flavor in the stock. You can add about a teaspoon or so of maple syrup or brown sugar , if you like, to balance out the flavor.

To serve.

  • Ladle some of the stock into your bowls, scoop the noodles and the veggies into the serving bowls, and top with the sliced tofu, green onion, jalapeño, sesame seeds, lime wedges, and chili oil or crushed pepper flakes, and serve!.

Video

Notes

Nutritional information doesn’t include toppings, since the amount you use will vary by taste.
Storage: Store the toppings separately from the ramen, refrigerate for upto 3 days. reheat the ramen and then add toppings and serve as needed.
This recipe is naturally nut-free. Use gluten-free noodles, tamari, and gluten-free hoisin sauce for gluten free.

Nutrition

Calories: 391kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Sodium: 674mg, Potassium: 328mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 3796IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 188mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!
noodles, mushrooms, miso, and other ramen ingredients in bowls on a kitchen counter

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • soy sauce – Adds umami and saltiness to the seared tofu.
  • hoisin sauce – This thick, sweet sauce adds so much amazing flavor to the tofu marinade!
  • maple syrup – Brings out the sweetness of the hoisin sauce.
  • white pepper – Adds just a little bit of heat.
  • sesame oil – Helps the tofu get crispy and adds an incredible flavor.
  • garlic powder – For umami in the tofu marinade.
  • tofu – Use pressed firm or extra firm tofu to make the char siu pork-inspired topping.
  • oil – To saute.
  • mushrooms – Adds texture and flavor to the stock. You can use soy curls instead, if you want a more chicken-like texture in the finished ramen.
  • ginger-garlic paste – You can use fresh ginger and garlic instead, if needed.
  • yellow miso – For umami.
  • sesame oil – Flavors the stock beautifully!
  • sambal oelek – Adds even more flavor and a lovely heat.
  • vegetable broth – This is the base for your ramen stock.
  • coconut milk – Makes the broth creamy. Use full-fat coconut milk.
  • noodles – You can use thin udon noodles or ramen noodles in this dish.
  • baby bok choy – Tender baby bok choy cooks quickly at the end.

Tips

  • Make sure to sear the tofu really well. It’s all about that golden, caramelized coating!
  • Before adding all of the broth to the pan, add a splash and dissolve the miso. It is much harder to dissolve the miso paste in several cups of broth, so use just a little first, then add the rest after the miso dissolves completely.

How to Make Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen

First, make the seared tofu. 

Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl, then add the tofu slabs to the bowl and coat them on all sides. Set this aside for at least 5 minutes. 

adding garlic powder to the tofu marinade
tofu marinade in the bowl, after mixing

Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients, then heat a work or a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, place the tofu slabs in the skillet and cook until they are golden brown on one side. Then flip the slabs over and brush the golden side with more of the marinade and continue to cook. Do this least twice to get a really nice, thickened and caramelized sauce coating on all sides of the tofu. 

adding marinated tofu slabs to the frying pan
tofu slabs in the pan, after browning

Remove the tofu slabs from the wok, and set aside. Once the tofu is cool to the touch, you can slice and then use. 

seared tofu on the cutting board before slicing
slicing the seared tofu into pieces

Now, make the ramen. 

Add a teaspoon of oil to the same skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a good pinch of salt and continue to cook for 3 minutes or so, pressing occasionally, until the mushrooms are starting to turn golden.

mushrooms in the frying pan, before cooking
mushrooms in the frying pan, after cooking

Then add the ginger-garlic paste and jalapeño and mix in. Cook until the garlic doesn’t smell raw. 

adding ginger-garlic paste and jalapeños to the mushrooms in the frying pan

Then mix in the miso, sesame oil, and sambal oelek. Add 1/2 cup of the broth, mixing well so that the miso dissolves into the mixture, because otherwise, once you pour all of that broth in, the miso will just be a blob.

mushrooms and sambal oelek in the frying pan
dissolving the miso into some broth with the mushroom mixture

Once the miso is mixed into the broth, add the rest of the broth and the coconut milk and salt and mix in. You can use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt depending on the salt content of your broth or stock. 

adding coconut milk to the pan
adding broth to the ramen stock

Once the mixture is boiling rapidly, add the noodles, then continue to cook until the noodles are cooked to your preference. Ramen will take about 3 to 4 minutes, while thin udon noodles cook in about 7 to 8 minutes.

noodles added to the tonkotsu ramen stock

Stir occasionally, and just when the noodles are about al dente, add the bok choy to the pan, and submerge them in the broth. Continue to cook for a minute or so, then switch off the heat. 

adding bok choy to the tonkotsu ramen stock
bok choy, after cooking in the broth

Taste and adjust salt and flavor in the stock. You can add about a teaspoon or so of maple syrup, if you like, to balance out the flavor.

To serve, ladle some of the stock into your bowls, scoop the noodles and the rest of the ingredients into the serving bowls, and top with the sliced tofu, green onion, jalapeño, sesame seeds, lime wedges, and chili oil or crushed pepper flakes and serve. 

vegan tonkotsu in the pan next to the plate of seared tofu
vegan tonkotsu in the pan after adding tofu and toppings

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tonkotsu vegan?

Traditional tonkotsu ramen is not vegan, but this vegan version has the same rich broth. Instead of topping it with seared pork, we are using a rich marinade to sear tofu that you slice and arrange of top before serving.

Does tonkotsu ramen have dairy?

Traditional tonkotsu doesn’t contain dairy, but it does use animal bones to make the broth creamy. In this vegan version, we are using coconut milk instead.

Is this recipe allergy-friendly?

This recipe is naturally nut-free. Use gluten-free noodles, tamari, and gluten-free hoisin sauce for gluten free.

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 12 votes (1 rating without comment)

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24 Comments

  1. Virginia says:

    5 stars
    This is, without a doubt, the best vegan ramen!! My guests and I loved it!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Yay! So good to hear!