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RECIPE: Smoke tofu and broccoli Korean-style vegan ram-don

Staff reporter

With spicy, smoky and umami flavours, this vegan ram-don recipe ticks all the boxes.

The inspiration for this recipe came from an unexpected place: the Oscar-winning movie Parasite.

In Bong Joon-ho’s hit film, a housekeeper is tasked with making a beef ram-don – a unique dish similar to a spicy noodle soup. This inspired Ching-He Huang to make her own vegan version, which her husband now calls her signature meal..

Smoked tofu and broccoli Korean-style vegan ram-don


(Serves four)

200g dried ramen or udon noodles

1tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 garlic cloves

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled

3 shallots

2 red chillies, deseeded

1tbsp cornflour

1tbsp rapeseed oil

200g smoked tofu, drained, rinsed in cold water and sliced into 2cm cubes

400g firm tofu, drained and sliced into 2cm cubes

200g fresh shiitake mushrooms

1tbsp Shaohsing rice wine

2tbsp dark soy sauce

150g long-stem broccoli, florets sliced lengthwise and stalks sliced into 0.5cm rounds

2tbsp vegetarian mushroom sauce

1tbsp clear rice vinegar

1tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce

2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced on the angle into 1cm slices

Noodle seasoning (per bowl):

1tsp dark soy sauce and Chiu Chow chilli oil

1tbsp each tahini and sweet chilli sauce

Sprinkle of shichimi togarashi pepper flakes.


1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Rinse under cold water and drain well, then drizzle over the toasted sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside in the colander until needed.

2. Place the garlic, ginger, shallots and red chillies in a small food processor and blitz to form a paste. Mix the cornflour with two tablespoons water in a small bowl or cup to make a slurry. Set aside until needed. Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking and add the rapeseed oil. Once hot, add the aromatic paste and cook, stirring, for a few seconds until fragrant. Add both kinds of tofu and the mushrooms. Season with the rice wine and dark soy sauce and toss together well for one to two minutes until all the ingredients are coated.

2. Add the broccoli and cook, tossing, for one minute. Stir in the mushroom sauce, rice vinegar and tamari or light soy sauce. Pour in the cornflour slurry to thicken the cooking juices in the wok, and toss to mix well.

3. Pour some boiling water over the noodles in the colander to reheat them, then divide them between four bowls.

4. Place a ladleful of the tofu, mushroom and broccoli mixture on one side of the noodles in each bowl, and top with the sliced spring onion. Dress the noodles by drizzling over the dark soy sauce, Chiu Chow chilli oil, tahini and sweet chilli sauce, followed by a generous sprinkle of shichimi togarashi pepper flakes. Serve immediately.

W Asian Green: Everyday Plant-based Recipes Inspired By The East by Ching-He Huang, photography by Tamin Jones, is published by Kyle Books on February 11, priced £20.

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