Vegan Asian Broth
2 -3 hours
I really really REALLY miss a good broth with any Pho, Ramen or Noodle dish so if you feel like me then this is a really easy one to make at home. It’s a guide of spices and ingredients to use and hopefully some inspiration - but by all means taste and adapt throughout the whole process.
For some of the ingredients you‘ll have to go to a specialist Asian supermarket or you can order online.
This is very simple and doesn’t require any frying of spices or roasting of vegetables - thats for another day. I use my pestle and mortar to slightly bruise these spices to release some of the oils and aromas before. To enhance it even more you can use home made vegetable stock * recipe in blog.
Taste and adjust to your preference, adding salt, fat, acid, and any umami flavours until you’re happy. Seaweed and dried mushrooms are for umami flavour and create depth - I’ve heard some cooks like to add xanthan gum which creates a thickness to coat your mouth and replicates the gelatinous texture of meat.
60g dried mixed mushrooms ** rehydrated plus liquid (300ml).
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pink peppercorns (bruised)
1 tsp coriander seeds (bruised)
3 lime leaves
2 sticks lemon grass (bashed and cut into chunks) (tsp ground)
1 chilli (or more if you like more heat)
1 thumb size wedge of fresh ginger sliced (you can keep the skin on, just rinse before)
Large clove of garlic, crushed/bashed open
Handful of coriander stalks (optional)
2 litre vegetable stock (or 2 stock cubes)
2 tsp mirin or rice wine vinegar
3 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 tsp Agave or a tiny bit of sugar for balance and sweetness
Soy sauce (to taste but usually about 2 tbsp)
Big pinch of mushroom salt (recipe below)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 sheet kombu or Nori (the kombu will need a wipe with a clean wet cloth both sides)
1 tbsp Miso paste (white/barley/chickpea)
1 tsp Wakame (Flakes/power or 1 sheet)
Rehydrate the mushrooms in 400ml boiling water for 15 mins. Separate and reserve the mushrooms for later. Pour the liquid in a big saucepan and add the star anise, cinnamon, ground ginger, (bruised) pink peppercorns, coriander seeds, lime leaves, lemon grass, chilli, fresh ginger, garlic, coriander stalks and stock and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for 2 hours (the taste will get better over time). Using a colander drain the liquid through it and into another saucepan or bowl. Discard the spices or if you want to (like me), pick out the lemongrass, lime leaf and ginger and add to the fresh saucepan with the stock. Add the mirin, lime juice, agave (or similar), soy sauce and seasoning, taste and adjust however you want. I find I add sesame and more chilli. Add your sheet of kombu or nori and simmer for another ten mins or so, don’t let the liquid boil as this will change the flavour. Remove the kombu and add the miso and wakame. Taste again and make any adjustments. Make sure you don’t boil the stock as miso looses its flavour.
*Option to add a spoonful of tomato paste which will slightly change the colour, and add yet more flavour.
This can now be used as the stock for a delicious vegan pho (recipe here), ramen or noodle soup, add shredded pak choi, mange tout, the rehydrated mushrooms, more coriander, spring onion and some cooked udon or soba noodles.
You could top with bean sprouts, mint, thai basil, green chilli peppers, more lime, shredded and roasted fennel.......
Sesame seeds, tofu, mushrooms, crushed peanuts, ribbons of carrot, courgette, edamame, rice noodles, egg noodles, vermicelli, dumplings…
Mushroom Salt -
Handful of dried mushrooms
1 tsp rock salt
Blitz or pulse together in a high speed blender or coffee grinder until your desired texture is achieved - I like it still a bit crunchy so I blend for about 5 seconds.