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Ginger-Miso Ramen

Ginger-Miso Ramen Recipe - One great thing about the winter squash kabocha (a.k.a. Japanese pumpkin) is that it doesn’t need to be peeled; the skin turns silky when cooked. Use peeled butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, or even sweet potato if you’re unable to find kabocha. While kabocha has legions of fans, cabbage is still an underappreciated gem of a vegetable, and a single head has a deceptively large yield. It’s also a treat in the winter, when the crop freeze crystallizes its sugars and makes for a delectably sweet harvest. Here it’s served in a rich, bright, gingery ramen broth and accompanied by a few savory slices of avocado. Substitute a soft-boiled egg for the avocado if you wish.

SERVES 4
Ginger-Miso Ramen Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces kabocha squash, seeded and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 2 quarts Vegetarian Dashi
  • 4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
  • 2 tablespoons light-colored miso paste
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces dried or 12 ounces fresh ramen noodles
  • Two 2-inch squares toasted nori
  • 1 avocado, quartered and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green, savoy, or Napa cabbage
  • Rayu, Chili Oil, or Chili-Bean Oil, for serving
  • Togarashi Blend, for serving

How to make Ginger-Miso Ramen

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the squash, and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Fish it out with a spider skimmer or slotted spoon and set aside. Return the water to the stove.
  2. Bring the dashi to a bare simmer in another saucepan.
  3. In a large glass or measuring cup, or the plastic cup that usually comes with an immersion blender, combine the scallions, oil, miso, ginger, vinegar, and a few ladlefuls of the dashi. Puree with an immersion blender. (Alternatively, puree in a blender.) Pour the mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the dashi and bring to a bare simmer. Add the salt and taste, adding more salt if necessary, and let stand, covered, over low heat until ready to assemble the ramen.
  4. Return the water to a boil. Add the noodles, in a strainer basket or the pasta insert that comes with your stockpot if you have one, and cook until tender, usually 4 to 7 minutes for dried (or according to the package instructions), or 60 to 90 seconds for fresh. Lift out the noodles, reserving the cooking water, and rinse the noodles thoroughly under cold running water in order to remove excess starch. Quickly dunk them back into the hot water to reheat. Divide among four bowls.
  5. Just before serving, wave the nori squares over the flame of a gas burner a few times, until the corners curl and they turn crisp, or roast under a broiler, flipping periodically. Slice into thin strips with a chef’s knife, or crumble with your fingers.
  6. Divide the squash, avocado, and cabbage over the noodles in each bowl. Ladle piping hot broth over each serving, garnish with the nori, and serve, passing the condiments of your choice at the table.