Pot noodles were created in Japan as a fast an easy way to eat, simply by adding boiling water to a cup of prepared dehydrated noodles and vegetables/meats. The prepared pot noodle have come a long way since their birth, with many nations creating and selling their own styles of prepared pot noodles and some varieties more or less healthy.
Although quick and filling, dehydrated pot noodles do not offer as much nutritional value as pot noodle recipes made at home.
Creating pot noodles at home is a fairly fast and easy way to serve up a nutrient rich and flavorful meal that can be packed along for lunches in a thermos, or frozen for a quick week night meal.
This recipe for vegetarian Asian style pot noodles takes influence from the flavors of Japan, using red miso paste (which can be substituted for any other kind of miso paste you may have on hand, or preferred), which is a nutritionally powerful flavoring element. Created by fermenting rice, soybeans or barley, miso paste is incredibly high in protein and fiber and is rich in vitamins and minerals. The use of miso in this pot noodle recipe adds an earthy and savory (umami) flavor to the broth.
Tofu is also a common ingredient in vegetarian recipes especially those with Asian inspired flavors. Tofu is a great protein element, and substitute for meat, as it is an excellent source of protein, iron and calcium.
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, combine broth/water, miso paste, ginger, garlic and chili paste and bring to a simmer. Just as soup base begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for about 10 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat vegetable or canola oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet.
Put bok choy stems in the same skillet as the mushrooms and add 2 T water. Over medium-high heat, steam bok choy stems until they are tender, stirring often about 4 minutes. Add bok choi and mushrooms to the pot noodle soup broth
Add noodles to the broth and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for about 4 minutes. Add the green part of the bok choy and the tofu and simmer, thoroughly heating bok choy for about 2 minutes.
Stir in grated carrots, lime juice (adding more if a more sour flavor is desired), soy sauce and sesame oil.
Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
Pour into soup bowls and garnish the vegetarian pot noodles with finely sliced green onions/scallions and chopped cilantro.
Serve with chopsticks and Asian soup spoons