1. Begin by soaking the mushrooms and wakame in 6 cups hot water for a minimum of 1 hour in a large soup pot.
2. Pour through colander or strainer and return liquid to soup pot, saving mushrooms and wakame separately.
3. Cut the mushroom stems off and discard, then slice the mushroom caps and return to the large pot with liquid.
4. Cut the wakame into thin strips and return to pot with liquid.
5. Put pot over medium heat and bring up to just under a boil, then turn to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile in separate pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil and add ramen noodles; turn heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until noodles are tender.
7. Once the noodles are tender, add noodles only (not unabsorbed water) to the shiitake-wakame pot, then stir in the scallions, bamboo shoots, and green peppers.
8. Simmer together over very low heat for 3 minutes.
9. Serve in large bowls. If desired, cut a hard cooked egg in half and set half on top of soup in each bowl.
You'll find lots of ramen noodle soup variations, but this is a traditional Japanese style using seaweed (wakame)and shiitake mushrooms, making it very earthy and a lot more special.
Of course you can substitute other mushrooms if you can't get shiitake mushrooms, but the flavor won't be the same. If you can't get seaweed (wakame) try a different green-leafy vegetable cut into thin strips. Kale is a vegetable that holds up well. But try to make it with the traditional ingredients first if you can. You'll find a new favorite if you do!