Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

This Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup is delicious, flavorful, and packed with umami. A rich mushroom broth meets tofu, veggies and udon noodles in a flavorful, heart-warming soup.

It’s nearly May, so you would think I’d be changing up my diet and swapping out warm comfort foods for lighter dishes. But not so, and for two reasons. First, we’ve had an unseasonably chilly spring and i’m still wearing my winter coat, and wearing your winter coat means it’s still soup weather. And second, even in the summer, I have a penchant for warm comfort foods like this Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup. I can’t help it that I work in a climate controlled environment that tricks my body into thinking it’s 68° all year round.
Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

I’m excited to share this recipe with you because it’s emblematic of my favorite cooking style: creating layers of flavors and textures to produce a flavor-popping, heart-warming dish. It also features two kinds of mushrooms, which is one of my favorite foods and is a delicious, healthy way to boost those irresistibly rich and savory umami flavors.

This recipe features a few specialty ingredients, which I think add a lot of flavor. I’ve included notes below on where you can find these ingredients and how to substitute them if necessary.

Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

Tips for making this Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

This recipe calls for pressing tofu to remove the excess water. That’s because I prefer firmer varieties of tofu. However, if you want to skip the step of pressing tofu, you can use soft or silken tofu.

These softer varieties of tofu are ready to eat once drained and are great in soup, though they are softer in texture than what you see in these photos.

Alternatively, you’re not a fan of the texture of barely cooked tofu (many are not) and prefer a crispier tofu, you can bake or pan-fry the tofu in a separate pan. You can find a recipe for crispy baked tofu in an earlier blog post (search “crispy tofu” in the blog post)

Kombu is dried sea kelp and can be found in most Asian grocery stores, online, or at specialty grocery stores such as Whole Foods. If you can’t find kombu, you can substitute wakame or dulse, which are also in seaweed family.

You can find dried mushrooms in most grocery stores or online, and while they can be a bit pricy, they add a world of flavor. If you can’t find dried mushrooms, here’s a guide on substituting fresh mushrooms for dried, reconstituted mushrooms.

You can find fresh lemongrass in Asian grocery stores and some specialty grocery stores such as Whole Foods. You might also find jarred, pre-cut lemongrass, which will work. If you can’t find lemongrass, I would just omit it since I don’t think there’s a good substitute that mimics the flavor of lemongrass.

Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

If you give this Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup, leave me a comment below with your feedback!

Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

Vegan, Nut-Free

Prep time: 25 minutes; Cook time: 35 minutes; Total time: 1 hr

Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) block of firm tofu

  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms or dried porcini mushrooms

  • 8 ounces mixed fresh mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (reserve stems and scraps)

  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, diced (extra scallions for garnish)

  • ½ cup cilantro leaves

  • 2 (4-inch) pieces of kombu

  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass stalks

  • 4 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or soy sauce

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 ounces dried Udon noodles

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 tablespoons white miso paste

  • Garnishes (optional): fresh scallions, thinly sliced; crushed red pepper flakes; sesame seeds; toasted sesame oil

Directions

  1. Press the tofu. Place the drained tofu on a cutting board lined with paper towels; place more paper towels on top of the tofu and weight them down with a heavy cookbook or a heavy skillet filled with a few cans of beans. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to remove excess water.

  2. Rehydrate the mushrooms. Place the dried mushrooms in a medium saucepan and cover with 6 cups of water. Let the mushrooms rest for 15 minutes until they have softened and rehydrated. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and leave the liquid in the saucepan. Slice the rehydrated mushrooms and set aside.

  3. To the mushroom liquid in the saucepan, add the reserved fresh mushroom stems and scraps only, scallions, cilantro, kombu pieces, ginger, and lemongrass. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce it to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

  4. After the mushroom broth has simmered, strain it through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids. Return the broth to the saucepan and stir in the soy sauce. Taste for seasonings and add a pinch or two of salt, as needed.

  5. While the broth is simmering, cook the udon noodles in a large soup pot or Dutch oven until the noodles are al dente. Drain the noodles and rinse well with cold water. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the dish.

  6. In the same pot used to cook the noodles, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook until fragrant but not yet browned, about 1 minute. Then add the sliced fresh mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes, until starting to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 1 more minute.

  7. To the pot, add the reserved mushroom broth and bring to a simmer. Add the rehydrated mushrooms, cooked Udon noodles and diced tofu, and then whisk in the miso paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the noodles are loosened and the tofu is heated through.

  8. Divide the noodle soup among 4 bowls and garnish with sliced scallions, crushed red pepper flakes, sesame seeds and sesame oil, if desired.

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20 comments on Vegan Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

  1. Lianne

    I made this the second time for a weekly meal prep. I cooked the broth separate and prepped fresh noodles throughout the week. Thanks It was so yummy to have fresh soup every day!

  2. Giselle C

    I love reading through your recipes and always find one (or more) that I have the ingredients to make it, or some semblance of the ingredients. I have udon noodles and would love to make a soup just so I can eat those noodles with chopsticks! Well, also because I love the broth Asian soups and have no culinary ability of my own with Asian spices other than Indian. However, it’s chilly here in So California and once again I’m going to not let missing a few ingredients stop me from trying! It may not be your exact recipe but I’ve learned a lesson here of how to make a mushroom broth for noodles. Thank you! 🌟

  3. Kay FC

    Made this today. Everything about it is perfection. Tofu came out crispy yet tender. Broth was amazingly flavorful and filling. I added black fungus and lily flower for some extra texture. Loved everything about it! Yum yum yum!

  4. Liz

    Title has misprint, says mushrooN. :)

  5. Tamie

    This soup is delicious. I just made it and love the broth. I am not a fan of tofu. Is there another protein you can recommend?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Tamie, so happy to hear you love the broth :) Do you like tempeh or have you tried it? It is fermented soy and has a nutty taste and much firmer texture than tofu. That would be best suggestion!
      I have a recipe for marinated and baked tempeh here, if you want to try that: https://www.rainbowplantlife.com/blog/low-fodmap-sesame-tempeh-rice-bowl

  6. Magda

    Soup looks amazing? I have a question: when do you add the other vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, etc? They are pictured but not mentioned in the recipe. Thanks!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Magda! I steamed the broccoli and cabbage separately, mostly because I wanted them to look crisp and vibrant for the picture :) You can add also them to the broth while it is simmering for about 5 minutes.

  7. Kaitlin Spencer

    I’ve been browsing your blog all night and loving all the photos. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes with us Nisha!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww you are so sweet! Thank you Kaitlin, I appreciate it!

  8. Bo

    Wow, Nisha this soup is an absolute show stopper! I’m in love with that steam! What a beauty! I loved reading your recipe notes too, thanks for the tips about which tofu to use. I am craving a bowl of your soup to warm me up on this drizzly day!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thanks for reading, Bo! I love this cozy and comforting soup too! Hope it’s warming up in the UK :)

  9. Katie Farris

    These photos are so pretty! How did you capture the steam so perfectly? You should do a photo tutorial on that. I love your work!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww thank you so much, Katie – you are so sweet! I actually don’t know that much about it because this was the first time I was able to capture it the way I wanted! The dark background surface definitely helped, along with a relatively fast shutter speed (at least 1/100) and a remote timer :)

  10. Noelle / Too Precious For Processed

    This is my kind of meal! Cold weather, warm weather, I just this beautiful bowl of goodness. Your photos are perfection Nisha :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      I agree – I crave this kind of food even in summer. Thank you for the lovely compliment, Noelle!

  11. Shelly Morton

    It’s still cold where I live so I get the need for some comfort food! I’ve had udon noodles only once at a restaurant but I remember liking them a lot. Can you buy them at regular grocery stores? Thanks!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hope it warms up soon for you! Yes, you can find udon noodles at most grocery stores, usually in the "ethnic" food aisle :)

  12. Natalie | Feasting on Fruit

    Before I even get to how enticing and cozy and yummy this beautiful soup is…THOSE STEAM SHOTS😍 Dark background ftw! This is totally my kinda comfort food, forget mac and cheese. I would crank up the AC in a heartbeat to eat this in the middle of August even just because all those savory flavors and of course noodles❤️ I love that you do it right too with the lemongrass and seaweed and fresh herbs/ginger. This is just perfect😋

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww so happy you like the steam shots! I was so pleased with how they came out (have tried different dishes with mixed results). Hahah it’s probably already summer in Florida but we’ve had cold weather so this has been the perfect comfort food (no A/C required). Thanks, Natalie!

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