As some of you know, I decided to do a vegan April. In reality, it was more of a mostly vegan April, but hey, it was a valiant effort! MokBar is one of the few ramen spots in NYC that offers a vegan ramen. I fell in love with their vegan ramen last year and was looking for an excuse to go back. Out of all the ramen restaurants in NYC, I believe MokBar offers the most vegan options, which includes appetizers. Yeah, no ramen lovers left behind!
Angela and I tried the anju Korean small plates this time around. There are three anju options that can be made vegan: tempura, dumplings, and banchan small plates. We ordered two dishes, which ended up being very filling! Both paired well with the soju ($6) with cucumber and orange peel. The only downside was how long it took for the anju to be ready.
The vegan Mushroom Tempura ($6) is made of pickled shiitake mushrooms. The batter is fairly light, letting the yummy pickled mushroom flavor shine. It’s topped with lots of scallions and chives. It comes with soy sauce for dipping, but I found it unnecessary as the tempura was already very flavorful on its own. It’s a pretty hefty dish for just $6.
MokBar has pork and vegan dumplings, and when we asked about the vegan option, our waiter told us that we could do half and half ($7). Angela’s Halmoni Dumplings were filled with ground pork, zucchini, cabbage, and kimchi.
My vegan Japchae Dumlings are the round ones you see next to the soy sauce. They’re filled with more of that tasty pickled shiitake, glass noodles, tofu, garlic, and chives. With the tofu and mushrooms, it had an almost meaty texture, and they were not too greasy. I could easily eat an entire plate of six all by myself.
Angela was originally planning on ordering the Spicy Tofu Ramen, but after the waiter mentioned that it was about a 9 on the spiciness scale, she switched to the Black Bean Ramen ($13). She ordered tofu as an extra topping ($2). That black bean sauce looks pretty spectacular, and I imagine it’s really good with the cucumber and daikon. I haven’t had pork belly in years, but it looks like it’ll get a lot of pork lovers excited.
I ordered the Vegan Miso Ramen ($13) again. A delightful kombu shiitake doenjang broth with tofu, crispy potato, and various veggies. That broth is far more refined and complex than most miso broths I’ve had, and the noodles are nice and bouncy. I plan to come back during the summer to try the cold ramen because there are two vegan cold ramen options!