UMAMI IN A BOWL // Mushroom kelp ramen

The transition from winter to spring is a really important time to keep your immune system flourishing. New growth breeds new pollens and for many of us this can be a health challenge. The seasonal shift also brings warmer weather, but it is still relatively cool and not quite the time to dip into the raw and chilled summer fare. Light dishes with warm undertones are to me the perfect way to transition.

What's even better is if the foods are highly immune boosting and have adaptogen ingredients, quite literally helping us “adapt“ to the new season. This is one reason that we love using Dark Horse pantry items. Not only do they taste delicious and add a much-needed boost of umami to whatever you use them in, they are also chock-full of high-quality herbs and adaptogens that help sustain you on a fundamental level.

One of my favorite items that they make is the Umami Bouillon. A unique mix of mushrooms, seaweeds, leeks, and tomatoes. The flavor is rich and savory and can be used in place of any traditional stock. I have used this in everything from spaghetti sauces, stir fry, tacos, and soup. It adds depth of flavor to whatever you put it in.

By far one of my favorite ways to use it is in a light and satisfying miso broth. Along from the richness of flavor and nourishing benefits of the bouillon, the miso adds its own nutritional value and balance to the broth. The other hero ingredient here is kelp noodles. Learning to prepare kelp noodles so that they are soft – never crunchy- is a game changer. Of course, you don’t have to use kelp noodles, and buckwheat soba or any other noodle would suffice, but I like using kelp this time of year because it does reflect the lightness of the season while still feeling like a warming cup of noodles!

Umami Bouillon Broth //

3 tbsp Dark Horse Umami Bouillon
3 tbsp Chickpea Miso (or white Miso)
Splash of Tamari (optional)
5 cups water

Whisk Umami Bouillon, Miso, and 2 cups of water together so that everything emulsifies. Add this mixture to the remaining water and keep on medium heat. The broth should be hot, but not boiling.

Kelp Noodles //

1 bag of Kelp Noodles, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp baking soda
2 cups boiling water

Sprinkle lemon juice and baking soda on the kelp noodles and mix with your hands. You will feel the noodles start to soften immediately.

Add 2 cups boiling water and allow the noodles to soak for 5-7 minutes. You don't want them to soak too long, or they will get soft. Taste for texture! Rinse, and drain.

Mushrooms //

1 lb mixed mushrooms, we used shiitake and oyster
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp lemon juice

Heat oil in a pan, and sauté mushrooms for a few minutes until they start to get golden brown. Add tamari and lemon juice to the mushrooms, you can add a few splashes of water to keep things moving. Give them the taste test! If you like them, they are ready. They should be slightly al dente.

Garnish //

1 cup Shredded carrots
Handful of cilantro
Sesame seeds (optional)
Sliced green onion (optional)

Pour broth over noodles and mushrooms. Garnish as preferred. Serves 2.

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