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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

veggie noodle bowl

Veggie Noodle Bowl

since embracing the whole foods lifestyle, as well as going dairy-free, there have been very few things i miss. if anything, more things have been added to my list of favorite foods to eat: kale, beet greens, and sorrel to name a few. it is amazing how long i lived my life without lentils and garbonzo beans. it's funny tho, i never thought i'd ever give up certain foods, like cheese, milk, and notably: instant packaged noodles.

i have a long history with this product. while most kids were enjoying a glass of milk with cookies after school, my snack of preference was a bowl of instant noodles. i am not sure how i managed to do it, but dinner would be around 6pm or so, and yet i would have a massive bowl of the stuff just a few short hours prior. there is no way i could do that now. on weekends, again, most kids had sandwiches + chips, or pizza. not i. i had a bowl of this stuff. reading the ingredients list on these packages, even the "healthy" alternatives, is a revelation. the amount of sodium, carbs, and random stuff is mind boggling. sadly, this is not something i can consume without feeling awful, physically and emotionally, after. (get me drunk enough, and that's a different story)

this is my ode to my former instant noodle lifestyle. not so instant, but still full of flavor and thankfully, with much healthier ingredients. depending on the season and available ingredients, i could see the addition of various varieties of lettuce, mushrooms, or dark greens. this can easily be vegetarian using just water or veggie stock. it's just quick enough to whip up for a late night snack reminiscent of childhood/adolescent noshings.

Veggie Noodle Bowl

Veggie Noodle Bowl

package of organic somen noodles (japanese wheat noodles)

spice paste
3 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
small handful peanuts (and in thinking about it, a generous Tablespoon of peanut butter would be fine)
5 green (or red) Thai chilies
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 inch cube ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

For the soup
cooking oil
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 block of firm organic tofu, cubed/cut into bite size pieces
2 zucchinis, sliced/cut into bite size pieces
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
1 cup or chicken stock which is what i used
2 TBL fish sauce, to taste
1 tsp chili paste

cook up the noodles according to package instructions.

grind ingredients for spice paste in processor, or use a mortar and pestle, or you can just rough chop them all on cutting board until a crude paste develops. in a pot or large saucepan, heat up oil, a few tablespoons is fine. when hot, add in the paste and saute until fragrant. add in the kaffir lime leaves. add in the coconut milk + stock (or water) and bring to boil. stir in the chili paste, tofu and zucchini. season with fish sauce, starting out with 2 tablespoons and add more if needed. when zucchini are tender to desired doneness, about 10 minutes on low heat, assemble bowls with cooked noodles and ladle in soup. garnish with green onions.

additional noodle posts of note:


  1. I was just the same with instant noodles in my youth. I can still consume my weight in just about any sort of food, but when I read the ingredient list? Too much - even for me! I'm loving your noodle tribute. And I'm on it...

  2. Homemade "instant" noodles are WAY better than the packaged stuff anyway. (I always loved instant ramen noodles without the flavor packet. Heck, though, I always loved instant ramen noodles dry. So maybe I'm weird.)

  3. Love the recipe, am terrified to try making the spice on my own but its definitely worth a shot.

  4. Gorgeous photos Lan, and a delicious looking bowl of noodles! I once loved instant noodles as they were almost my staple food throughout the uni years.

  5. I used to love instant noodles when i was younger. We would actually request for that for lunch, and get picky when my mum actually makes proper freshly-prepared noodle soup. Now I'm starting to appreciate the taste (and love) in a bowl of homemade noodle soup. This vegge noodle bowl looks delicious(:

  6. Just found your blog today and I'm loving it! Great pics and awesome recipe. Keep in touch.

  7. I so agree about all the preservatives ESP MSG in instant noodles ESP. Ramen. Plus all carbs which makes me sleepy. Lovely ideas for variations & nice shot!

  8. movita, it does break my heart to see all the STUFF to make one dish taste the way it does... that cannot be good.

    meister, i like instant ramen noodles dry as well, the crunch is satisfying.

    vinita, oh it's so easy, i promise.

    jaime, thank you! i think instant noodles is a staple for all college kids, it's cheap and filling! :)

    shu han, yes, the appreciation of putting something so healthy and good! that is what it's all about.

    red_shallot, thank you so much, visit again.

    eleanor hoh, exactly, the carbs would put me to sleep now too!

  9. I love ramen. I can't quit it. But your veggie bowl looks a hundred times better!