Ramen Noodle Bowls with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Garlicky Sumac Roasted Asparagus (Gluten Free & Vegan Options)
Ok, I'll say it. Tahini is sort of overdone. But you know WHAT?!? Who gives a rats ass. Tahini is the the avocado of the nut & seed butter world. It's unfuckwithable.
I've been into tahini for a couple of years now. It adds creamy depth and complexity to dairy free dishes in a wholly unique way. I've been known to put it on and in just about everything. Soups, sauces, salad dressings, frostings, cookies, smoothies... arguably my love for sesame and tahini is what helped this lil ol blog space get off the ground. My first viral recipe, this berry bliss tahini smoothie bowl, was seriously lacking in some styling vibes. I didn't know what the hell I was doing with my camera. But for whatever reason you guys liked it a lot. And I thank you for that. I thank you, internets, for your tahini fetish.
The virgo in me is itching to reshoot that post. *eye twinge*
You know what else the internets loves the shit out of? Freaking RAMEN BOWLS. Internet loves ramen so hard. And no wonder. Ramen is the bees knees.
Ramen is comfort food. It reminds me of my dumb teenage years attempting to cook for myself. My brother and I were freaking fiends for the stuff. We always bought big ass packs of it when we went to the Navy commissary with my mom. She just sort of shrugged and was like "SIGH at least they're not doing drugs? Ok get the ramen." Yep, and I was even a nerd who didn't do drugs. Ramen + rereading Goblet of Fire on a Friday night. As you can probably guess I was a MEGA babe (braces, theater extracurriculars and all).
I remember prepping ramen bowls with wonder. Cooking the noodles, ripping open the silver msg-chemical pack, adding cut up veggies and some leftover chicken and hot sauce. All by myself. I was basically a genius.
Ok, here comes the sob story: fast forward to being 22 years old and gluten-free. Ramen ceased to be an option. Not that Top Raman was in my diet by the time I went GF. I had long ago eschewed that processed crap to the "eff-off-forever" section of my mind along with McDonalds and hot dogs.
But, you know, I was feeling sorry for myself. Not only could I not not eat my beloved bagels anymore. But no noodley goodness? No steamy savory slurps at midnight over girl-talks on the phone with my BFF? I had never even heard of fresh ramen at this point, at 22 years young. Virginia isn't exactly known for it's ramen culture. I was cursed to look at my pinterest feed full of ramen gloriousness in shame forever.
Lo and behold, mere months ago I found it... gluten free ramen! And it just so happens to be made with real food -- black rice, purple potato, millet... that sort of thing. Each ramen cake is a little pricey compared to the so-cheap-this-can't-really-be-food-ramen of my youth. I think it's worth it for the price tag, getting that perfect ramen-noodle texture. But if you prefer not to shell out the dough, you can go for any ol' rice noodle out there. Vermicelli aka glass noodles are cheap and breezy. Buckwheat noodles or brown rice pad thai noodles. Even zucchini noodles would be a good fit. (Obviously if you're not gluten sensitive go crazy with your wheat ramen!)
I made my ramen noodle bowls with a mix of black rice ramen and millet brown rice ramen from Lotus Foods. The sauce is super simple: just tahini, gochujang, water and salt. I used this brand of gochujang, which I found at Whole Foods. It's made with malt syrup, so it's not safe for celiacs. I personally didn't experience any problems from the malt syrup, as a gluten sensitive babe. But I did find this GF brand of gochujang during my research and it has stellar reviews.
Oh, and this asparagus is so damn good. There's no better time to inhale asparagus than early spring. I tossed a big bunch with coconut oil, garlic, sumac, salt and pepper and yowza! Roasted on high heat they are truly a veg to behold. Crisp, tender and packing a flavor punch!
Load up yer bowls, folks. It's ramen time!
Tahini Gochujang Ramen Bowls with Sumac Roasted Asparagus
Created by Renee on April 3, 2016
This ramen bowl is creamy, spicy and heavy on the veg. Perfectly spectacular while still perfectly easy. Ah, the glory of ramen bowls. If vegan, omit the egg. You might sub out a tofu scramble or roasted chickpeas. 👌 👌 👌 👌 👌 👌 👌 👌 👌
- Prep Time: 10m
- Cook Time: 20m
- Total Time: 20h
- Serves: 2
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, ends lopped off
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- generous cracking of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground sumac
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
Ramen & veg
- 2 cakes ramen noodles (I used gf millet and black rice ramen)
- 1/2 red pepper
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 thinly sliced heirloom tomato (or any other veg you prefer)
- 2 farm fresh eggs
Tahini Gochujang Sauce
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang (or sriracha)
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt + more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread the asparagus out on a large baking sheet. Toss the asparagus together with the coconut oil, pepper, salt, sumac and garlic. Shake the pan to spread the asparagus out evenly, then roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- While the asparagus is roasting, boil your ramen according to package instructions. Mine took about 4 minutes, total. Once cooked, strain the ramen. Add the ramen noodles to your serving bowls along with the pepper, scallions, and sliced tomato (or other veg, as you like).
- Soft boil your eggs for 6 1/2 minutes, then plunge the eggs in an ice bath for at least 30 seconds before peeling. Once peeled, add one whole egg to each bowl, slicing each egg in half right before serving. (Skip this step if vegan)
- For the sauce, add your tahini and gochujang to a mason jar or large measuring cup. Stir together with 1/4 cup water, up to 1/2 cup water total until you get a nice pourable consistency. Add salt, taste, and adjust seasoning as you like.
- Add your roasted asparagus to your serving bowls, smother each bowl with sauce, slice your soft boiled eggs open and dig in!