Friday, October 31, 2014

Ginger Sesame Miso Noodle Bowl

My friend Amy Thacker has a really cool job.  She's a vacation planner for Disney!  And we aren't just talking about rides that go around and around, either!  Of course there are those... but there are also grown-up, all over the world vacations where everything is planned out for you!  Who knew working for the mouse could be that cool?!  Well recently, she made a serious looking noodle bowl that had me craving it for like a couple of weeks.  So I pretty much succumbed to the desire and got to work on creating one for me... because she lives too far for me to steal hers.   I cobbled together a couple of recipes I liked and came up with this one.  I had to!  It was pretty much a necessity, I rationalized to myself... because there's a ginger miso chicken noodle bowl that I love at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, but they are only there temporarily.  :(

This recipe all hinges on the ginger sesame miso dressing... well duhh!  And here's the thing - all you do is throw everything in the food processor (or blender) and blend it until it's smooth, creamy, and delicious.  There's nothing more complicated than that.  On the evening I made this, I had to leave to go pick up my 2nd oldest from marching band practice.  When we walked back into the house, he stuck his nose into the air and started sniffing... "Mmm what is THAT?!"  He went over to MY bowl, which I had to leave, and started eating out of it!  Whaaat?!  Oh no!  Make your OWN!!  I had everything ready, sort of buffet style for him to pick from.  Of course he made it like mine (secret mom smile), and there were various satisfied eating sounds during the eating process.  SCORE!!




Ingredients: Dressing (makes 3/4 cup dressing)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds + 1/2 tsp, divided
    • I mixed  half and half white and dark sesame seeds
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 lg garlic clove
Noodle Bowl "stuff" -
Feel free to add whatever components sound interesting!  Here's what I added to mine.
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Shredded carrots
  • Boiled thin spaghetti noodles
  • Shelled edamame
  • Grilled chicken (or protein of your choice)
  • Red bell pepper, sliced
  • Sliced almonds, toasted
  • Green onions/scallions, chopped
  • Cucumbers, seeded and diced
  • Crispy chow mein noodles
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
Step-by-Step:
For the dressing -  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  I added the 1/2 tsp extra sesame seeds after processing the dressing so you could see them.  That's it.  I find the dressing tastes best if you make it ahead of time and let it sit.  Even the day before if you want to.  It will separate into layers.  That's okay.  Just shake it up or stir it around before serving. 

For the noodle bowl -  Make your pasta, chop your veggies and set it all out buffet style.  Allow your guests or family to mix, match, and make their noodle bowls as interesting as they would like.  Feel free to add ingredients that seem interesting.  I like having the different textures and flavors at work here, so that's why I chose this combination of ingredients. 

*This dressing would work just as well over just noodles and chicken if you don't wish to add all the other fixings in there.  (If you wanted to go that route, you may want to add a little cornstarch and heat the dressing to make a noodle sauce.)  Or conversely, if you wanted to just have the grilled chicken and salad items without the noodles, you could go that direction.  But all together... this noodle bowl was a lot of fun!! 

1/3 cup rice vinegar + 1/4 cup canola oil

2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil + 1 Tbsp light brown sugar


2 tsp white miso paste + 1 Tbsp soy sauce 




1 Tbsp sesame seeds + 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (I just cut it into pieces)
1 large garlic clove



Lily is going to "make" the dressing now.  Like I always say, there's always something kids can help do in a recipe.  She is capable of a lot more than this, as you well know.  But if you have little kids just starting out in the kitchen, letting them press the "go" button is a great place to start!  
Just process until smooth.  
Now I'm going to add back another teaspoon of mixed sesame seeds to my processed dressing so that the seeds are visible.  My food processor does an excellent job of grinding everything up.  But I actually enjoy being able to see the sesame seeds.  So that's why I'm adding extra now.  

Salad Prep -
I'm going to toast these sliced almonds and boil my pasta.  If you want to use an "authentic" Asian pasta, go for it!  I grabbed some spaghetti noodles off of the shelf.  I figured that I went totally authentic on my dressing, so I've done my duty here!  HaHa!  We're going easy for the rest. 

Watch these guys.  They toast up quickly.  You don't want to turn your back on them.  I toast mine in a dry pan with nothing in it.  Move them around while they are toasting.
sliced almonds
Boil your pasta noodles according to your package directions.  Then you can drain them and eat them as you wish - cold or steaming hot!  Make sure you rinse them afterwards either way you decide to go, to get the starch off of them, so they won't stick together.  Either use cold water or really hot water. 
For the last few minutes, I'm going to throw my edamame in.  I'm going to throw about 1/2 cup in there.  I chose this amount for no particular reason.  But these were frozen.  I just wanted to heat them up.  These guys are delicious and add a TON of great protein to your noodle bowl.  You may have had them before in their shells in a Japanese restaurant.  Well these guys have already been shelled.  

While my pasta is cooking, I"m going to chop everything up.  I think there are only two of us that are going to be having the full deal tonight, so I'm chopping my amounts accordingly.  I think the little ones will probably just have noodles, chicken and the dressing.  But that's okay... That's what is great about something like this.  You can individualize them.  

So let's do this!
Chopped fresh baby spinach and shredded carrots...
Our hot noodles, hot edamame, strips of grilled chicken...

Roasted red bell peppers, toasted almonds slices, sliced green onions....

Seeded and diced cucumbers, and crunchy chow mein noodles!!  WOW!!!
Then just pour some of that AMAZING ginger sesame miso dressing over your noodle bowl, add an extra sprinkle of black sesame seeds and slurrrp!!!  So good!


I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!
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Korean BBQ Shish-Kabobs

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

German Chocolate Brownies

Black Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Minis

Cajun Corn Chowder


Written Method:




For the dressing -  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  I added the 1/2 tsp extra sesame seeds after processing the dressing so you could see them.  That's it.  I find the dressing tastes best if you make it ahead of time and let it sit.  Even the day before if you want to.  It will separate into layers.  That's okay.  Just shake it up or stir it around before serving.

For the noodle bowl -  Make your pasta, chop your veggies and set it all out buffet style.  Allow your guests or family to mix, match, and make their noodle bowls as interesting as they would like.  Feel free to add ingredients that seem interesting.  I like having the different textures and flavors at work here, so that's why I chose this combination of ingredients.

*This dressing would work just as well over just noodles and chicken if you don't wish to add all the other fixings in there.  (If you wanted to go that route, you may want to add a little cornstarch and heat the dressing to make a noodle sauce.)  Or conversely, if you wanted to just have the grilled chicken and salad items without the noodles, you could go that direction.  But all together... this noodle bowl was a lot of fun!! 





Eye Candy...




6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the mention, Julie! And as much I love to cook, I'm much better at planning Disney vacations so I'll stick to that and continue following your recipes so I'm assured my family will love the things I make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that any of my readers will be WELL taken care of if they use you for their Disney planning needs... as I've seen your detailed plans! :)

      Delete
  2. Thanks for coming and linking up at our Happy Holidays Link Party. We'd love to see you back next week starting Saturdays @7pm ET on The Midnight Baker from now until Christmas!
    Judy@ http://www.bakeatmidnite.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the invitation, Judith!

      Delete
  3. So what adjustments would I make for this to become soup?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm.... I'm sorry. From noodles and salad to a soup is a big adjustment. I'm not sure I have the answer to that one. I'll have to do a bit of research on that.

      Delete

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