This Konnyaku Noodle Ramen is made using noodles that are made from the roots of a yam plant, which work as a great, if slightly unusual, alternative to regular ramen noodles.
Konnyaku is a jelly-like substance made from the konnyaku plant, which is also known as the Devil’s Tongue plant. Konnyaku usually comes in a big grey block, but for this recipe I used konnyaku noodles, which are basically konnyaku that have been squeezed into noodle shapes. Konnyaku noodles are also known as shirataki, which means ‘white waterfall’ because the noodles are long and white. You can get grey konnyaku noodles, but they don’t taste any different from the white kind. I used the white variety for this recipe as I thought they’d look nicer in a soup.
Konnyaku noodles are made of over 90% water, with the remaining percentage being made up of glucomannan fibre, as well as some minerals. Konnyaku contains very few calories despite being very filling, so it’s sometimes used as a diet food. It’s very healthy, and in Japan, it’s known as ‘a broom for the stomach’.
Konnyaku noodles work really well in this ramen because the texture is very interesting. Despite being mostly made up of water, they’re slightly gelatinous but firm, meaning they’re a little chewy and can be easily slurped up, a bit like regular ramen noodles, rather than some vegetable noodles that would not hold their own in a soup.
Flavour-wise, konnyaku itself doesn’t taste of much, and because it’s mostly made up of water, it’s great at absorbing all the flavours of the soup it’s cooked in. This also makes it quite similar to regular ramen noodles. It’s therefore perfect for this noodle soup here, which is packed full of umami flavour, thanks to the miso, sesame oil and sesame seeds.
This Konnyaku Noodle Ramen is absolutely perfect if you’re feeling a little under the weather – it’s full of nutrients and fibre, and is so warming and comforting. I love the contrast of the chewy noodles paired with the fresh, crisp pea shoots combined with the intensely savoury miso and sesame-flavoured broth. It’s also super quick and easy to make, coming together in around 30 minutes.
If you want to add protein, you can add some tofu, or if you’re not vegan adding a boiled egg or poaching an egg in the broth would be great.
What would also be a great addition to this Miso Brown Rice Soup is kimchi! You can buy vegan-friendly kimchi, and if you can’t get hold of it, you could always try making your own. Kimchi not only adds a delicious pungent flavour that compliments the mellowness of the miso, but also adds lots of probiotics that will keep your tummy happy!
If you’re looking for something a little more energy-filled, I’d recommend using half ramen noodles and half konnyaku noodles.
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1cm ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon (ground) sesame seeds
- 200g konnyaku noodles (shirataki)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 heaped teaspoon miso
- Handful of shiitake or maitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Handful of green leaves – I used pea shoots and purple mizuna but watercress, baby spinach or cress would all work well
- Heat sesame oil in saucepan and add onion, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds once hot
- Meanwhile, prepare the konnyaku noodles. Open the package over the sink and drain away the liquid it comes in. Rinse then noodles under cold water.
- Once the onions etc have all browned nicely, add the konnyaku noodles, stock cube, miso and mushrooms, with enough water to cover
- Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes
- Taste and add salt and pepper
- Pour into bowls and top with the fresh greens, and add kimchi if desired