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How to make vegan friendly ramen!

I am unashamedly obsessed with Japan and Japanese culture.

The country seems to offer a space for everyone in whatever their interests without judgement. From the creative to the reserved traditionalist, to the sporty and even those who would spend their entire day locked away in their home; Japan caters to everyone.

I love how the country is simultaneously a pioneer in inovation and creativity whilst always holding on to and celebrating their traditional values and history.

But what I love the most (aside from their gaming industry and sometimes odd English translations) is their cuisine.

From sushi to soba, ramen to rice balls; I love it all.

One of my absolute favourite dishes is ramen.

Given the month (Veganuary), and purely out of my own interest and passion for the cuisine, I wanted to try and create a vegan friendly ramen dish.

Ramen is atypically non-vegan, with the broth and toppings both being usually meat / fish based which made this challenge all the more interesting.

What is ramen?

Ramen (/ˈrɑːmən/) (拉麺, ラーメン) tranlates literally to "pulled noodles" and is now more popularly known as a Japanese noodle soup dish.

Thought to have originated in China (as the noodles frequently used in the recipe are Chinese wheat noodles) it made it's way to Japan in the late 1800s were it was embraced and taken on a life of it's own.

The popularity of ramen exploded upon the creation of instant noodles and has now become a cultural phenomenon on a global scale.

Named the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century, instant ramen allowed anyone to make an approximation of this dish simply by adding boiling water.

Just a little bit of background on what's become one of our nation's favourite hangover cures!