EASY MISO RAMEN (WITH TOFU, AVOCADO AND CHILE OIL)
BACK-TO-SCHOOL. Sigh. I cringe at those words when I hear them in ads and get-organized campaigns. Yes, routine is good for us, but I miss the Indian summers of my youth, when creating structure (like homework nooks and regular meal times) wasn’t my responsibility. It's taken us a full four weeks to get back into the groove, but I’ll admit, having two kids in schools that have an actual start time—with a school bell—has created an order we haven’t known in eight years.
There’s been another game changer, too: Greta is super excited to help with way more meal prep, packing lunches and even tackling a few dinners on her own. The first thing I taught her to make is homemade Miso Ramen, with white miso paste, quick-cook ramen noodles, tofu, avocado and fresh greens or veggies she can pick from our garden. It's a super win for me (a healthy dinner I don't have to cook) and a pride point for my girl, who feels great about making a hot meal even her dad will devour.
Ramen was a weekly regular when we lived in the city—I looked forward to those texts from Andras (pre-emoji days) that said nothing more than, Ramen tonight? which meant that we’d meet at the tiny noodle shop between our subway stop and home, slurping them up in a cozy booth, safe against the first cold nights of fall. I remember, exactly, the first time we took Greta there when she was a decent noodle-slurping age (maybe, three?) and how she sipped that luscious pork broth and twisted noodles on s spoon with so much joy and pride.
Sigh (again). City life. Food seemed to magically appear. Here in the stix we have to make nearly everything we eat, especially if we want that addictive mix of big flavor but low commitment—easy and inexpensive but still dynamite food. I didn’t think I could pull off the ramen of my dreams here at home, but it turns out it’s all about the broth and the toppings and so much easier than I would have imagined.
Starting with the same slim noodle packet from my college days, minus the flavor packet, I stirred together a simple miso broth (it’s all about the quality of your miso-see the link below) and loaded the bowl with tofu, avocado, sprouts, mushrooms and our favorite chile sauce. It’s woah-so-easy and bonkers good. Here’s how: