Fall Miso Ramen

It's the hardest time of the year to get dressed. Layer up in the morning and brace yourself for a damp cold, then die of heat by the middle of the afternoon.

But the air smells oh-so-good, fall sweaters are cozy, and I've been missing ramen.

This is actually an all season dish and can be changed up with different vegetables based on what's available. I would also skip the coconut milk in the warmer months... but now, when there's no guilt about staying wrapped up in a blanket on the couch in the evening, this comforting version is exactly what I want to eat.

I made this version with shaved raw beets and corn, plus a bit of smoked trout. I've also used smoked tofu, any leftover meat in the fridge, and all sorts of different veggies... I've yet to meet a variation I didn't like.

You won't regret making a double or triple batch of the soup base and chili oil to have on hand for quick lunches and dinners. It's actually an awesome office lunch option too; sub in instant noodles and pack everything together in tupperware. Add boiling water and eat while your co-workers look on with envy.

Miso Ramen

Ingredients

360 grams ramen noodles (4 individual servings)

6 teaspoons miso paste
2 teaspoons chicken or vegetable stock
4 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons gochujang (or other chili paste)
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
4 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons soya sauce

1/4 cup olive or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (or more if you like it spicy)

1 cup coconut milk

Assorted veggies (shredded beets, carrots, corn, beans, kimchi, cabbage, etc...) 
Protein of choice (egg, leftover meat, tofu, tempeh)


Directions

Mix everything in the list from miso paste to soya sauce in a jar. Feel free to double or triple this and keep some stored in the fridge for future use.

Make chili oil by heating oil with turmeric and chili just until it becomes fragrant. Take it off the heat and let sit until ready to use. Again, feel free to make extra and store for future use.

Prep all of your toppings by cutting into small pieces. If you're using more hearty vegetables like broccoli or beans, throw them in with the noodles during the last minute of cooking and strain all together. Otherwise, leave raw.

Cook your noodles according to the package. I like Hime Brand Ramen noodles because they're delicious and only take 4 minutes to cook, but pretty much anything will work here - udon, rice noodles... even instant noodles if you're at work and only have a kettle on hand!

Drain your noodles. While they sit in the strainer heat the miso mixture with 2 cups of water and the coconut milk.

Assemble. Divide noodles between four bowls first, then ladle over broth and top with veggies and protein. Drizzle a little chili oil over each one and garnish as you please (cilantro, sesame seeds, and furikake are all delicious).