• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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Vegetarian Ramen

I think I was about 14 when I first saw Tampopo, a Japanese “noodle Western” about a “cowboy” (truck driver) who helps a woman turn around her formerly unsuccessful noodle shop. The truly remarkable thing about this movie is it actually says a lot about the importance of food in Japanese culture. I became fascinated, as well as endlessly amused by it. Still today, I remember the scene where the old man teaches an eager young student the correct way to eat a bowl of ramen. I don’t follow his instruction, but I do love ramen, and today was the kind of rainy day that was just perfect for it.

Vegetarian Ramen

Served 1.
Leftover Potential: It would be super easy to double or triple this recipe to serve more people or to save for leftovers.

1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili paste
1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth

1 handful soba noodles
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup snap peas
1/4 cup water
4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
cilantro, roughly chopped, as needed for garnish

1. In a small pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat and cook the carrot, celery, and shallot until the shallots for about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a blender or food processor, and process to a paste.
2. Transfer the mixture back to the pot, and add the vegetable broth. Add the soba noodles. Simmer until the mixture develops good flavor and the noodles are tender, 8-10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes. Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened. Remove and set aside. Add the bell pepper and saute until softened, then set aside. Add the snap peas and saute with 1/4 cup water. Steam until the water has evaporated entirely. Set aside.
4. Spoon the finished broth into a bowl, and top with the garnishes. Serve immediately.

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2 Responses

  1. 1. This is a far cry from the revolting student ramen. I’m going to try it soon.
    2. Where are the noodles?
    3. I think you may have seen Tampopo at our house. Great movie. This makes me want to see it again.

  2. Ooops! Thanks for spotting my lack of noodles! I used a handful of soba noodles – adding them to the broth right before I let it simmer.

    I can’t remember where I saw it for the first time, but Willie and I proceeded to watch it many, many times after that!

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