comfort in a bowl: 2 vegan noodle recipes to make this weekend
vegan noodle dishes that embrace the warm flavors of fall
Published Oct 21, 2016 5:00 AM
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by Regan Stephens Saying goodbye to summer was hard — until next year, long weekends, road trips to the beach, frosé. Sure, we’ll take solace in crisp weather, fall fashion, and comfort food. But instead of heavy dishes that require a nap afterward, we’re craving a warm bowl of noodles, made with fresh, animal-free ingredients.
Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, chefs and owners of Philadelphia restaurants V Street and Vedge, specialize in incredible food that also happens to be vegan. Vedge is known as one of the best vegan restaurants in the country, serving inventive, vegetable-based dishes in a classically elegant setting. At V Street, Landau and Jacoby are whipping up dishes inspired by global street foods. Their latest cookbook, V STREET: 100 Globe-Hopping Plates on the Cutting Edge of Vegetable Cooking, was released this October, with deliciously comforting recipes including snacks (szechuan soft pretzels, jerk-spiced cashews,) plates (pho French dip, trumpet mushroom shawarma,) and — perfect for fall — bowls.
So clear your Sunday afternoon and gather up the ingredients for one of V Street’s signature vegan bowls. Spicy Dan Dan Noodles are the perfect foil for late Saturday nights (plus they make top notch leftovers) while the classic V Street Ramen, made with shiitake broth, is full of rich depth that we swear has healing powers to fight off the common cold. Or the post-summer blues.
DAN DAN NOODLES WITH SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
One of the original street foods of the world, this amazing Szechuan dish was once served by vendors walking around with a stick across their shoulders. On one end hung a pot with some hot broth and on the other end was a pot with the noodles. It eventually evolved into one of the spicier Szechuan offerings, and then on its arrival to the States the spices were tamed to please more palates. We’ve kept our V Street version of this dish pretty spicy. If you can’t hang, then by all means cut back on the sauce. We use fresh ramen noodles here, but any noodle you choose (even spaghetti!) will work just fine if cooked properly.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon black vinegar 1/4 cup sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon minced ginger 1 teaspoon five-spice powder 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced into 1/4-inch- thin strips Dan Dan Sauce (see below) 24 ounces fresh ramen noodles (substitute 16 ounces dry noodles of choice) 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green parts only)
Directions: 1 Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the black vinegar, sesame oil, white pepper, garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. 2 Toss the mushrooms in the vinaigrette and place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes or until crispy on the edges. 3 Warm the dan dan sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. 4 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. When tender, drain them immediately and add to the dan dan sauce, tossing gently to coat evenly. 5 Transfer the noodles to serving bowls and top with the shiitake caps and scallions.
DAN DAN SAUCE
Makes 2 cups
Ingredients: 1/4 cup sriracha 1/4 cup tahini 1/4 cup tamari 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1/4 teaspoon chile oil 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns 1 small pickled chile with oil, optional 1/4 teaspoon sugar 3/4 cup vegetable stock
Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Always stir before using.
V STREET RAMEN
Serves 4 to 6
A good ramen bowl is a work of art. Much like pho helps define Vietnamese cuisine, ramen is an integral part of Japanese cooking with regional differences and personal preferences yielding a huge range of interpretations of this simple noodle and broth dish. Ours begins with our Shiitake Dashi, enriched with the condensed sweet-and-salty punch of canned corn juice, a strange but effective tip we picked up from a ramen shop we visited in D.C. This creates a wonderful mouthfeel in the broth—the perfect canvas for all your inventive creativity.
Ingredients: 4 cups Shiitake Dashi 1 teaspoon tamari 2 teaspoons white miso paste 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon minced ginger 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon mirin 2 teaspoons canned corn juice, optional 24 ounces fresh ramen noodles (substitute 16 ounces dry noodles) Vegetables: charred broccoli and grilled bok choy or grilled shiitake mushroom caps, pickled cucumber, shredded cabbage and baked tofu (as shown) Slivered nori and scallions (green parts only) for garnish
Directions: 1 Combine all of the ingredients except the noodles, vegetables, and garnishes in a large saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm. 2 Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare the ramen noodles according to packagedirections. Drain. 3 Divide the ramen noodles among the serving bowls, then ladle in the broth. Arrange the additional vegetables on top of the noodles. Garnish with the nori and scallions.
Makes 2 quarts
Dashi is the foundation of Japanese cuisine. Unfortunately for vegetarians it is made with powdered fish and seaweed, which gives it its powerful umami punch. We have created (and perfected over years) a version of dashi that doesn’t sacrifice any umami whatsoever by using dried shiitakes and kombu seaweed. Like Japanese food itself, it is so very simple and clean; in fact, we often sip it like tea on cold Philly winter days. It’s great as is but feel free to add ginger, leeks, or celery to give it an extra dimension. To really go over the top, try adding grilled onions for a rich, smoky kick.
Ingredients: 11/2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms 2 ounces kombu (about 2 to 3 sheets) 1/4 cup tamari
Directions: 1 Combine all of the ingredients with 2 quarts water in a medium stockpot over high heat and bring to aboil. 2 Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. 3 Remove from the heat and let steep for 5 minutes. 4 Strain out the solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
From V Street by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. Copyright © 2016 by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.