Introduction: Vegan Rainbow Ramen in a Bowl of Gold

About: A chemical engineer turned human rights defender who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen.

Eat the rainbow.

That's common advice from nutritionists as a reminder to eat a diverse range of fruits and vegetables. Produce of each color contains certain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, so by eating fruits and vegetables of all colors, we can ensure that our bodies are getting the broad range of nutrients that they need for optimal health.

I've taken this advice as a challenge and try to incorporate as many colors of fruits and vegetables as possible into each meal - or combination of meals over the course of the day. In this Instructable, I share one of my favorite plant-based recipes that's packed with flavor and that I've adapted to include the rainbow. Best yet, it's served in its very own pot of gold - a tasty turmeric, ginger, and garlic broth.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients & Equipment

The following quantities will make 2 servings.

For the golden broth:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 900ml low-salt vegetable stock (I use 1.8 Kallo stock cubes and dissolve them in 900ml boiling water.)
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos (I like Rayner's. You can substitute soy sauce, but consider reducing the amount of salt to compensate for the higher sodium content.)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin

For the noodles:

  • 2 buckwheat ramen noodle cakes (I like King Soba. You can substitute standard ramen noodles; however, buckwheat adds extra protein - and is gluten-free - which is why it's my pick.)
  • Water, for cooking

For the rainbow vegetable toppings:

  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 large orange carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup frozen yellow corn
  • 20 frozen green beans
  • 8-10 florets purple broccoli, long stems removed
  • 1/3 cup red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup dried sea vegetables, soaked per package instructions (I like Clearspring Arame.)

Consider substituting yellow/green bell peppers, pak choi, yellow/purple carrots, green/purple mangetout, or button mushrooms. A great thing about this dish is that it's very versatile and can be adjusted depending on what vegetables you have on hand!

For garnish:

  • 2 green onions


  • Knife and cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle
  • Medium saucepan
  • Fork
  • Strainer
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spatula
  • Plate
  • 2 large soup bowls for serving

Step 2: Prepare Golden Broth

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add chopped onion, stir with wooden spoon, and cook until translucent (about 4-6 minutes).
  3. Add garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth, coconut aminos, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes while preparing the noodles and vegetables.

Step 3: Prepare Noodles

  1. Fill a medium saucepan 3/4 full of water.
  2. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add noodle cakes to boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Do not use any flavoring that is included with the ramen.
  4. If you have opted for buckwheat ramen, be sure to run the cooked, strained noodles under cold water to finish. This helps to keep them from clumping.

Step 4: Prepare Fresh & Frozen Vegetables

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan.
  2. Sauté the carrots until tender, for about 2-3 minutes. Use a wooden spatula to move the cooked carrots from the frying pan to a plate.
  3. Repeat step 2, sautéing each vegetable separately: purple broccoli, red peppers, green beans, red cabbage, and corn. You may need to replenish the olive oil in the frying pan in between vegetables. I added an additional 1 tsp of oil after every two vegetables.

Note: There is no need to defrost the green beans and corn before sautéing, but if you wish, let them sit in a bowl of room temperature water for 5-10 minutes before cooking.

Step 5: Assemble Rainbow Ramen Bowls

  1. Once the noodles are cooked and strained, divide them into two separate bowls.
  2. Use a ladle to pour the golden broth over the noodles in each bowl.
  3. Top with the sautéed vegetables and seaweed. (Note: When I made this, I added the vegetables before the broth. The onions, ginger and garlic in the broth clumped at the top of the bowl. For a better consistency, I suggest adding the broth before the vegetables.)
  4. Garnish with green onions.

Serve and enjoy your nutritious, flavorful rainbow!

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