This Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen recipe is big on flavour and packed with hearty ingredients for the most satisfying vegetarian ramen. Learn how to make a super rich, creamy and flavourful broth without any meat bones with this easy method!
Feast your eyes: the creamiest, richest, most flavourful and slurp worthy vegan ramen. This my friends, is the real-deal.
If you've ever been disappointed by the lack of richness some vegetarian ramens are, you're in the right place. Today, I'll be sharing the very best vegan ramen OF YOUR LIFE. I know, bold claim but this broth will comfort you in all possible ways and satisfy any ramen enthusiasts. AKA, Eric. He claimed this to be 'hands down, the best creamy ramen he's had– vegan or not'.
Are you ready for for your ramen dreams to come true? Let's do this.
Ingredients for vegan ramen broth
The secret to perfect ramen broth is the layering of different flavours. These are the key ingredients you need to make a rich and flavourful vegan ramen broth:
Oat milk vs. Soy milk
My go-to non-dairy milk for ramen has always been soy milk, like for my black sesame tantanmen and white sesame tantanmen. Soy milk adds flavour and a slight sweetness to the broth which contrasts deliciously with the other ingredients.
However, recently I've been on a huge oat milk kick because of its ultra creaminess and subtle sweetness which I thought would be perfect for Tonkotsu broth since it is especially rich and creamy. It adds a lot of body to the broth that soy milk lacks (especially the cartoned stuff) so I do recommend oat milk for this recipe.
Coming from the shiitake mushroom and kombu, it adds a ton of umami and extra depth of flavour that would usually come from pork bone broth.
Another secret ingredient that makes this broth so rich, creamy and flavourful! It adds a wonderful savouriness and subtle nuttiness.
Please do not substitute with tahini or it will take on a completely different flavour and you'll be missing out on that true authentic flavour.
How to make rich and flavourful vegan ramen broth
Homemade ramen broth is actually super easy to make:
- Caramelize the onions to bring out its natural sweetness. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the kombu. Once broth comes to a boil, add the shiitake mushroom, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove just the kombu. Transfer the soup into the blender, add the remaining broth ingredients and blend until smooth. Strain the soup using a fine mesh sieve. Taste the soup and season with salt to taste.
Once the broth is ready, add it to some cooked ramen noodles and top it off with all the toppings!
There are three main types of ramen noodles to choose from:
- Fresh Noodles: the tastiest but might be more difficult to find (especially without eggs). My local Asian grocery stores sell packages of frozen ramen (comes with the soup and flavourings) and those are similar to fresh as well.
- Dried Noodles: can be found near dried soba noodles or udon noodles. It may be levelled as Chuka Men or Chinese style noodles in bundles.
- Instant Noodles: the most convenient and can be found at Asian grocery stores near the dry noodle section or instant ramen section.
When I'm able to go to my local Japanese grocery store, I'll use fresh thin straight noodles but here, I used wider wavy dry noodles because thats what I had on hand. Although tonkotsu ramen is typically paired with fresh, thin and straight noodles, there are no specific rules as to which ramen noodles you choose so use whatever style of noodles you like and what you can find!
The most common and traditional toppings for ramen include:
- sweet corn
- wood ear mushrooms
- bamboo shots
- bean sprouts
- sesame seeds
Again, there are no specific rules as to what should go on top of ramen so use anything you like and have on hand that you think will pair well with the broth and noodles! Some of my other favourite toppings include bok choy, enoki mushrooms, aburaage, kimchi and fried tofu puffs.
Vegetarian ramens usually come with an egg, but I added some tofu katsu to this vegan ramen which pairs wonderfully. The katsu actually stays pretty crispy while soaking up the broth!
More slurp-worthy vegan ramen recipes to love:
- Black sesame tantanmen
- White sesame tantanmen
- Hiyashi chuka (cold ramen)
- Shio ramen (coming soon)
- Shoyu ramen (coming soon)
- Miso ramen (coming soon)
- Mazemen (coming soon)
- Tsukemen (coming soon)
SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓
If you recreate this Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen
Cozy up to the most rich, creamy and mega flavourful vegan ramen topped with katsu, corn, wood ear mushrooms, scallions and black garlic oil!
For the Broth
- 1 medium onion (240g)
- 5 garlic cloves, micro grated (15g)
- 1 heaping teaspoon ginger, micro grated (8g)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (44g)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (32ml)
- 1 ½ tbsp sake (24ml)
- 1 large dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated (20g)
- 2 ½ cups oat milk (600ml // or pure soy milk)
- 2 cups vegetable stock (480ml)
- 1 ½ tbsp Asian sesame paste (22g)
- 1 piece of kombu or 2 teaspoon kombu dashi granules (6g)
For the Ramen
- 4 servings of ramen noodles, cooked
- 4 servings of tofu katsu, optional
- ¼ cup dried wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated (10g)
- ½ cup corn (100g)
- 2 scallions, sliced (24g)
- Chili oil (la-yu)
- Scorched black garlic oil (ma-yu)
- Sesame seeds
For the broth:
- Over medium high heat, add the onions to a pot and cook until semi-caramelized (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the kombu. When the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove kombu. Transfer the soup into the blender. Add the remaining broth ingredients and blend until smooth. Strain the soup using a fine mesh sieve.
For the ramen:
- Add cooked ramen to a bowl. Pour the broth over the noodles just enough to cover it. Top with dried wood ear mushrooms, corn and tofu katsu. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Drizzle some la-yu and ma-yu. Slurp up and enjoy!
- Helpful Equipment: fine mesh sieve, ladle, micro grater
- Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).
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Didnt even have all the ingredients on hand and still tasted amazing! I substituted the asian sesame paste with some sesame seeds, and the ginger with ginger powder. Also used macadamia milk and it came out super creamy! Can't wait to try this again with the missing ingredients, thanks for the recipe!!
Lisa Kitahara says
So happy to hear you enjoyed, Amy! Thanks so sharing 🙂
This is hands down the best vegan ramen I’ve had! The vegan ramen that you can get at restaurants where I live has nothing on this! So rich, flavorful, doesn’t taste like your eating ramen noodles thrown into a hot bowl of tahini (which is basically all of the ramen here). I told my husband that this is what I want for my birthday meal. Thank you for this amazing recipe!
Lisa Kitahara says
I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed, Naomi! I'd love ramen for my birthday too 😂 Thanks for the review!
I didn’t see where to add the yeast and sake listed on the ingredients. Is this correct ?
Lisa Kitahara says
Its added with the remaining ingredients 🙂
This ramen is DELICIOUS! The broth is flavorful, rich, and smooth, and it's very easy to make. I will definitely make this again.
This ramen recipe is absolutely delicious! Super creamy and flavourful but doesn't overwhelm with richness. Absolutely recommend trying it out for yourself and I can't wait to try more recipes. Thank you so much for sharing!
I love ramen it is a comfort food for me. Ever since I went to Japan I've been in a search for good ramen. And now because of quarantine I needed the perfect ramen recipe. Well look foe further because thos is it! I never thought I could have Tonkotsu ramen but vegan. This the broth was creamy, flavorful, and best of all, super easy to make. I will definitely make thie again. This ramen recipe is a 10/10.
Omg I love this ramen. hands down one of the best broths I've had. I must have made it like five times over the winter! It's SO flavorful and delicious.
I made this for dinner tonight, and my mom and I both loved it! I felt like I could've been eating at a really good restaurant. I always see interesting looking Japanese meals that I wish I could try, but they have meat or egg in them. As a vegetarian who doesn't like egg, I was so pleased with this recipe. I look forward to making the panko tofu again and trying it with curry.
This was the best ramen I've ever made in my life--it was the exact taste that I was craving and was so easy to make! I substituted miso paste instead of sesame paste because I didn't have any on hand, used sweet rice wine instead of sake, and used the water from the rehydrated mushroom as part of my vegetable broth (and added mushroom/vegetable broth powder for more flavor). I forgot to use the nutritional yeast and it was still creamy and delicious! Thank you for this recipe--I will use it for years to come 🙂
So tasty and creamy. Definitely going to make this again. I had to use my hand blender as my other one isn't big enough. But still worked so well. 🙂 x
This recipe is definitely going to become a regular addition! The broth is simple to make and you can add whatever veggies you feel like. Really enjoyed this! I can't find vegan kombu dashi anywhere so I just used a bit of kelp powder and mushroom seasoning as a substitute
so good and creamy! looks like a daunting recipe but comes together pretty quick!
Seriously the best vegan ramen ever! No more waiting to go to a restaurant for good ramen.
We loove this recipe! The broth is so rich and creamy. The amount of soup you get is enough for four servings - we are just two persons so we can have another bowl the next day. I am going to cook the double amount today and freeze some of the broth to have some quick ramen soup at hand on busy workdays. It works perfectly with some extra chilli and some steamed vegetables. Can't wait to try out more recipes 💙
Natalie Y says
I made this for my sister's birthday and everyone loved it! We had no leftovers and even though we were full, it wasn't the usual heaviness of eating too much. Can't wait to make it again.
I had no asian sesame paste on hand, so I tried to substitute it with a little less peanutcreme and it was amazing! Will definetly try it with the original one as well. So much creamieness in a vegan broth is a game changer.
I loved this SOOOO much!!!!! The sesame paste is a real winner, I specifically went to the Asian grocery store for it and trust me it’s worth it. I already had dried shiitake and konbu at home. I topped mine with winter chanterelle mushrooms along with bok choy, corn, spring onion, and tofu katsu. WORTH IT!
Tried this a while ago as a meal to impress my (at the time) new partner. He ended up helping and it was more of a bonding experience and it was so nice! We crumbed some tofu with Panko bread crumbs and had it on the side and it was so nice!
A bit more labor than I normally like to put out *disabled) but it was so worth it.
I went to a hip plant-based ramen restaurant and had vegan Tonkotsu there. Since then I have been wanting to make some myself. This is amazing and tastes exactly like it, if not better. Thanks for this recipe.
This was really good! We were out of nooch so I subbed miso. I made the katsu too. Yum!
Kim Benjamin says
Very tasty broth! I'm glad I tried it, I love any vegan ramen recipe <3