Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DIY Miso Ginger Veggie Pot Noodles

Last Saturday, the New England Revolution played their MLS home opener against the Montreal Impact. Technically, it is now Spring. This is what a Saturday morning "Spring" run looked like in Boston:

Yup. As of March 21st, we've piled up 110.3 inches of snow in Boston this winter, with absolutely no sign of Spring in sight. 

Needless to say, a warm, belly-filling meal was a must for our first shivery afternoon of the 2015 season in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium. I've been eyeing DIY Pot Noodles since a friend gifted me Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg over a year ago. If you're in the market for a vegetarian cookbook, it's a great one.

The concept of instant pot noodles is so simple, I can't believe I haven't tried it before: Pile up your soup ingredients in a jar, omitting any liquid. When you're ready to serve, pour boiling water into the jar, seal it for three minutes, and Ta-Da! Hot fresh soup! In the case of the wayward tailgater, all this took was boiling a tea kettle filled with water on my grill. All the convenience of instant Cup Noodles, except with infinitely better ingredients and flavor. 

Note: I recommend using very thin, quick-cooking noodles. I went with Annie Chun's Maifun Brown Rice Noodles. They were fully cooked after resting in the hot water for only 3 minutes. 

This recipe is based on a variation from the River Cottage Veg recipe created by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats. I followed the recipe almost exactly, making only two additions. I added a block of lite firm tofu (pressed and diced) to make the soup more filling and was considerably more generous with my vegetable portions than suggested. Because I love spinach. 

On to the recipe!

DIY Miso Ginger Veggie Pot Noodles

Recipe by adapted, slightly, from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats
Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 8 tsp miso paste
  • 8 tsp vegetable base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 4 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 4 oz shitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups roughly torn fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 14 oz block firm tofu
  • 4 oz quick cooking rice noodles (see note in original post)
  • 1 cup fresh green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pickled ginger (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Drain tofu. Wrap it in a few layers of paper towel and place between two plates. Lay 1 or 2 heavy cookbooks on top of plates to press liquid from tofu for at least 15 minutes. (Alternatively, if you own a tofu press, go ahead and use that.) Dice the tofu.
  2. Divide grated ginger, miso paste, vegetable base, tahini, sesame seeds, soy sauce, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, tofu and noodles evenly between 4 resealable glass jars. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide green onions and pickled ginger between 4 small zipper-lock bags and seal bags, squeezing out all of the air. Tuck a bag into the top of each jar and seal lids. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  4. When you're ready to serve your pot noodles, remove green onion/ginger packet and add boiling water the jar until noodles are fully covered. Seal the jar and let sit 2-3 minutes. Open jar, stir in scallions and ginger, and serve.

Let me know if you decide to try the recipe or discover any delicious variations. Here's to hoping this weekend I don't need to keep hand warmers in my pockets during the Revs match!

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