The second recipe in the series that I’ve partnered with Fisher & Paykel to create is deeply satisfying and perfect for this time of year. I have to admit that I’m getting a little sick of winter now. I’m a good sport about it for June and most of July but right about now, every year, I’m ready to ditch the layers and see some serious sunshine again. Honestly, enough with all the rain already! I do realise I live in the wrong city to be so bitter about all the rain but if I didn’t talk incessantly about the weather I wouldn’t be a good Aucklander would I?
One thing that always brings me joy (obviously) is great food. The right meal can lift your spirits and deliver what your body is craving. I adore broth based dishes in winter. When the chill of the day has entered my bones and refuses to budge, a big bowl of vegetables and broth will always chase it away.
You’ll remember from my last that I took their ‘What’s your cooking style’ quiz and I was deemed ‘The Magician’ - someone who likes to play around with ingredients and find a unique spin on a dish.
This week I’m crafting ramen. I’ve replaced traditional wheat noodles with zucchini ‘noodles’ that have been cut using a spiraliser. I love that they deliver that twirl-around-my-spoon satisfaction, have a hearty dose of green goodness and still feel light.
The miso roasted eggplant has a caramelly sweetness and rich umami flavour that has me eating most of it out of the roasting dish before it makes it to the table. Don’t you love the way that eggplant becomes meltingly tender when cooked - it’s the best.
The last bit of magic in this dish is getting the perfect soft boiled eggs to top it with. You want to hit that sweet spot where the yolk has cooked around the edges but is still gorgeously runny. I find 5 minutes to be the perfect time for this. I remove the eggs from the boiling water, run them under cold water and then peel. After that I’ve got 5-10 minutes up my sleeve (if I need it) while I get the rest of the meal together. Only halve the eggs when you’re absolutely ready to serve so they don’t cool down too much or dry out on top. The perfect soft egg is the little bit of wow that catches the eye first when the dish is served.
At the end of a long day of recipe testing and shooting for my cookbook, this has everything I’m looking for in a meal.
Have you done the ‘What’s your cooking style?’ quiz yet? It’s great and at the end you get some neat appliance and recipe inspiration.
Have a wonderful week. Stay warm. Get cooking. Kelly xox
Zucchini noodle ramen w/ miso roasted eggplant.
1 eggplant - cut into 3 cm chunks
3 tablespoons oil for roasting
2 free range eggs
2 tablespoons white miso paste
½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari
1 teaspoon maple syrup or rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
Ramen stock & vegetables
750mls stock (you can use homemade bone broth or good-quality bought vegetable or chicken stock)
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons tamari
½ head broccoli – cut into florets
1 medium carrot – cut into ribbons using a julienne peeler
1 spring onion - sliced
4 button mushrooms sliced
3 zucchini – trimmed and cut into ‘noodles’ using a spiraliser
To serve: additional sliced spring onion, chilli powder, black and white sesame seeds
Whisk together the miso paste, rice wine vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, oil and water until smooth. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons of oil and bake for 30 minutes, flipping at least once. Toss with the miso marinade and roast for a further 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use.
Lower the eggs into a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water before peeling.
Combine the vegetable stock, ginger, rice wine vinegar and tamari. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the spring onion, broccoli, carrot and mushrooms and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Put the zucchini ‘noodles’ into the hot stock for 1 minute before removing the saucepan from the heat. Divide the vegetables and noodles between 2 bowls. Cut eggs in half and place on top. Add eggplant and serve immediately.
Garnish with additional sliced spring onions, chilli powder and sesame seeds.