Sometimes you get a very specific craving for a dish and it might not exist yet or make any sense but you really want it. So what do you do?
Hack it, of course!
There’s been no secrets here regarding my love of Asian food and my even greater love of the almighty noodle. I’ve made Gochujang Spiced Vegan Chicken, Mushrooms & Rice, Vegan Meatball Coconut Curry & Noodles, and even Asian Fusion Risotto. One of my favorite vegan Asian recipes, and most popular, is the Sushi Salad Bowl, so I guess you could say I’m a bit obsessed.
Obsessed and proud of it, thank you very much.
But that all brings me to the point of today’s post and recipe. I had a craving for Bolognese but I also wanted Ramen noodles so I wondered to myself, how can I achieve combining these two things while keeping it healthy and vegan and delicious. My first step was to hit up the ol’ Google Machine to see what kind of ingredient substitutions I needed to make for the Bolognese ingredients.
My second step? Making sure I had those substitutions or something close to it so that I could make it NOW. This is the result. *Gong Gong*.
I don’t know, I felt like the Law & Order gongs were appropriate right here, or maybe I’m just stoked that the OG Law & Order is back on television. 🙂
So I’m going to tell you right off the bat that the ingredients list is intimidating but only at first glance. Stick with me and you won’t be disappointed.
Step 1: Gather your ingredients
Step 2: Chop vegetables in uniform size.
You can opt for big hunks, diced, sliced, matchsticks or whatever shape & size you prefer, just try to keep them uniform so you don’t have soggy onions and crunchy bell peppers. I did a rough chop of the onions and bell peppers while dicing the ginger and mincing the garlic since I chose to make this an oil-free vegan recipe.
When the liquid starts to produce steam it is hot enough to add in your first ingredients.
Step 4: Add ginger and garlic
Stir regularly to prevent the garlic from burning and the ginger from sticking. Do this for no longer than 3 minutes before adding the next ingredients.
Tip: This is why prep work is so important. You don’t want to still have to do more chopping in the three minutes it’ll take the garlic and ginger to turn your kitchen into a spice paradise.
Step 5: Add onions, chili & bell peppers
Season with salt and black pepper. Cook five to seven minutes, or until the veggies have reached your preferred level of done-ness.
Step 6: Reduce heat to medium and add your vegan mince of choice
Sometimes I’ll cook my vegan meat alternatives on their own because they have a tendency to get a little soggy if left too long in sauces and other liquids. But here I added them with everything else so I could use the fat contained in the mince to help deglaze the pan.
Step 7: Add Gochugang or whatever hot pepper paste you have with tomato paste
This will replace tomato paste in traditional Bolognese but if you don’t have any hot pepper paste at all, try adding some type of hot sauce or pepper flakes to your tomato paste? I haven’t tried it here but I do it sometimes to give my pasta sauce a kick in the booty.
The skillet will start to get a little sticky so scrape it up and then add the Chinese black vinegar to help deglaze the pan.
Step 8: Add crush tomatoes, fresh or canned will be fine
Stir in the tomatoes and add any other seasoning you want here. I used cumin, garam masala, hot paprika, turmeric and granulated garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer to allow the sauce to thicken, about 10 minutes.
Step 9: Cook Ramen noodles about 3 minutes
Leave the seasoning pack out and just salt the water. The standard cooking time is about 3 minutes so don’t go over that because you’ll add the noodles to the sauce or pour the sauce on top.
Step 10: Sprinkle with vegan parm and…ENJOY!!!
The vegan parmesan was a last minute add just for photos, that’s why it doesn’t appear in the list of ingredients, but it was 7 grams of vegan parm, brand ParVeggio.