In the cold, rainy (or snowy) days of January, there’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of noodles. If I could, I’d eat at the excellent ramen places around town, but that’s not always an option. And so, I’ve made these cheater bowls that are big on flavor but light on time.
The base: vegetable puree
If you haven’t noticed by now, the concept of a vegetable puree is a workhorse in my dinners. The puree can turn into sauces, add creaminess to risottos, and in this case, help to make a silky broth for noodles.
I’ve used sweet potatoes for this particular recipe. Still, I’ve also used acorn squash (delightful and slightly earthy), butternut squash, carrot, or even beet (that color!) Depending on what else you’re making in a given week, swap out for whatever makes the most sense.
Noodles for days
I hesitated to call this a strict ramen bowl because I have extreme respect for the craft that goes into the ramen restaurants. And so, I go loose with the noodles. Bigger noodles are better, in my opinion.
Ramen, udon, or soba noodles have all worked in my bowls. If you can get fresh noodles, it takes this recipe to a ten. This is entirely optional, though. I usually buy noodles from the grocery store aisle.
For starters, make this vegan by swapping out the egg for your favorite way to make tofu. I like crispy pieces to top the bowl, but anyway, you want is fine.
In terms of greens, go wild. You can do microgreens, spinach, or fresh kale. You can also add cooked greens to the noodles!
A creamy noodle bowl using sweet potatoes for a silky broth, paired with miso, ginger, and garlic. Easily vegan by swapping out the egg!
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger Ginger
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 to 4 cups vegetable broth, for thinning
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 ounces udon or ramen noodles
1 tablespoon miso
2 jammy eggs
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 cup arugula
- Heat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil followed by the minced garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute, until fragrant. Add in the sweet potatoes followed by 2 cups of broth. Cover and let the sweet potatoes cook until really tender; 10 to 15 minutes (depending on how large your cubes are).
- Transfer the cooked sweet potatoes and liquid to a blender then add in the soy sauce and puree until smooth, adding more broth as needed. Transfer the sweet potato mixture back to the pan and add even more broth until the sweet potatoes resemble a think soup.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer and add the noodles. Cook, stirring often until the noodles are cooked. Stir in the miso. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Divide the ramen into two large bowls. Top with eggs, arugula, and toasted sesame seeds.
As noted above, swap the sweet potatoes out for any kind of vegetable puree.