'Savory-to-death' ramen for comfort food on a budget [Recipe]


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Cold weather demands comfort food, and as the chilly weather paves the way for winter, what better way to prepare than to amass an arsenal of savory soup recipes? Soup keeps you warm, doesn’t have to take a whole lot of time or effort, and can be prepared on the cheap — no breaking the bank here!

Jason Whitner, a chef in the Washington, D.C., area, shared his recipe for "Savory to Death Ramen," a soup that takes him back to cold winters in Northern Japan, and which he says is perfect during a blizzard.


Ingredients for broth

  • 10 cups vegetable stock (either pre-made, or vegetable bouillon cubes)
  • 1 piece dried Kombu seaweed
  • 1cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1.5 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced (you can use crimini as well)
  • 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoon white miso paste
  • A pinch of salt and pepper



In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once it has thinned out and shimmers, add onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper.

Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and carrots start to brown. (You want those veggies to caramelize — that’s your flavor).

Add mushrooms and another pinch of salt. Let mushrooms sear until they get a nice golden-brown sear on them.

Reduce heat to low, add stock, tamari, miso and Kombu. Use a scraper to make sure you get all the little browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 1 hour.



  • 1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, cut in half and sliced into quarter-inch or c-shaped slices)
  • 3 carrots, peeled, cut in half and sliced into quarter-inch strips (mandolin works well)
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
  • 2 cups kale, torn into bite-size pieces, discarding woody stem pieces
  • 2 pounds fresh ramen noodles
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Hijiki seaweed, to garnish
  • 4 eggs, optional



One at a time, grill or dry-sear the acorn squash, carrots and mushrooms. You only want to cook the vegetables for a few minutes. (You want them to be about halfway cooked; otherwise they’ll be mushy.) Again, you want the vegetables to get a nice sear on them for more flavor. Set veggies aside.

Strain broth, discard broth vegetables. Return to stockpot. Bring to boil. Put half a pound of noodles in a bowl, add some of the grilled vegetables and some kale. Add 2 cups of boiling broth to the bowl, crack the egg in right away (the egg will poach in the broth), and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Garnish with green onions and hijiki. Add a little Sriracha if you like.

Serves 4


Jason Whitner is a chef in the Washington, D.C., area. He always loved cooking, both for himself and especially for others, so he figured he might as well get paid for it. He's worked in fine dining and small cafes, and his love of comfort foods is almost an obsession.