Making the base stock the day before ensures a deep, satisfying flavour; this dish is a sure-fire hit with my vego friends!
2 tablespoons miso paste
5 cups good-quality vegetable stock
20 grams dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
300 grams firm tofu
250 grams mixed oyster and fresh shiitake mushrooms
500g ramen noodles (or egg/udon/soba noodles)
1 bunch bok choy, trimmed, separated into leaves
150 grams enoki mushrooms
4 soft-boiled eggs (7 minutes is usually spot on), halved
finely chopped Chinese chives or spring onions
2 tablespoons spicy chilli
toasted sesame seed
Put the miso paste and stock into a large saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the dried mushrooms, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli flakes and honey and bring to a boil. At this point I cool my stock and refrigerate it overnight, allowing time for the flavours to develop, but if you're pressed for time you can carry on. Bring the stock to a simmer.
Slice the tofu into pieces and press between kitchen towels. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the tofu for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. Set aside. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and cook for 4-5 minutes over a medium-high heat.
Put the noodles into the hot stock for 5 minutes. Divide the bok choy, stock and noodles between serving bowls. Top with tofu, cooked mushrooms, enoki, boiled eggs, Chinese chives, chilli bean paste and sesame seeds.
Cook’s note: To reheat the eggs, while still in the shells, drop into rapidly boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and peel.