Bok Choy Ramen (Fresh Food Fridays)

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A baby oak buried in the garden, arthritis now planted happily in Soil Food™. Spring has sprung!

Happy Friday and (almost) Spring everybody! Here in beautiful Gainesville we can forget those frigid winter days and nights, and and now look ahead to lots of sunshine and showers to bring us beautiful spring flowers. The official first day of Spring will be this Sunday evening, when the Vernal (or March/Northward/Spring) Equinox occurs. This year is the earliest arrival of Spring since 1896, when the sun moves across the celestial equator, shining onto the Northern Hemisphere, allowing the autumn season to set on the rest of the world.

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Our Soil Food is essential for any garden, or as a compost catalyst.

Daylight savings time has also begun, which means we’re springing forward into longer sunny days. Some people prefer the earlier sunset, but daylight savings time has been around since the turn of the century, to encourage energy conservation and more productive days. More sunshine means a greater bounty of Spring produce and more time to garden, and that’s okay with me! For you urban gardeners out there, tis the season to feed your plants before they can feed you food. Our Soil Food™ compost is the medicine your garden needs before the spring showers start to wash away your soil’s nutrients. Try our locally produced and natural compost for your garden and close the loop! You’d be surprised how unnatural and many garden amendments and potting soils actually are. Check out our garden products here!

Since spring is here, so are the greens. My first Swallowtail CSA share after the spring turnover was incredible. Everything was fresh picked, crisp and beautiful. I received lots of greens, but since it’s been forever since I’ve had it, this week’s green is Bok Choy, one of the season’s healthiest greens you can get your hands on. This superfood from the asian cabbage family is full of antioxidants, tons of fiber, and has 100% of your necessary vitamin A per serving. If you eat this a few times a week your body will be no doubt thanking you.

When I think of greens like bok choy, cabbage, kale and kohlrabi, I think soup, stir fry, and salads. Since it’s best to eat the thick bok choy stems cooked, I love to slice the leaves and stems to include in a hearty vegetable ramen soup. This recipe also includes kale and mushrooms, but the rest of the ingredients under soup toppings are optional and depend on your taste. This recipe is inspired by Vietnamese Pho and Japanese Ramen soups, so depending on your preferences, add or subtract whatever toppings you’d like!

I found some great organic ramen noodles at a local oriental market on 34th Street, as well as fresh bamboo sprouts, and seaweed. However, you can find fresh sprouts, mushrooms, green onion, and all other fresh ingredients at the farmer’s markets, and places like Ward’s market and Citizen’s Co-op. Shop local, eat local, and support our valuable urban food system, because it supports you!

IMG_0671What you’ll need (for 2 servings):

3-4 chopped bok choy leaves
½-¾ cup chopped kale
3-4 sliced mushrooms
3-4 oz. Japanese Ramen Noodles
2 ½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 Tbsp. soy sauce (2 in each bowl)
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. Fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp. Sunflower oil
½ tsp. sesame oil

 

Soup Toppings:
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
½ cup bamboo shoots or sprouts
1 six minute egg sliced in half
Nori (dried seaweed)
2 lime wedges
Sauces (Hoisin, sriracha, etc.)
Cilantro or Thai Basil on the stems for steeping flavor, then remove.

Step 1: Wash all your veggies very well. Remove the compostables from your veggies, such as kale ribs, the very base of bok choy stems, or funky mushroom stems. Compost all that green gold into your green bucket! Slice and chop away.

Step 2: Bring a quart of water to a rolling boil for a 6 minute egg. Let the egg sit out so it gets down to room temperature, before boiling it for exactly six minutes. You want to get the perfect consistency. Remove the egg from the water and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Peel carefully and save for topping the soup. Don’t forget to compost those eggshells, those equal lots of calcium in our compost!
(Note: The eggs is optional if you aren’t a fan of gooey eggs, but boiled eggs work just as well.)

Step 3: Add the olive oil and sesame oil to a skillet over medium-high heat, add the crushed red pepper, grated ginger, bok choy, kale and mushrooms. Saute veggies for 2-3 minutes until they are wilted, remove from heat.

IMG_0672Step 3: Bring the broth to a boil, and cook the noodles according to their instructions in the broth, usually four minutes.

Step 4: When finished, fill bowls with noodles (use thongs), broth, and soy sauce & stir. Add in the sauteed vegetables, and all the toppings. Serve right away before the noodles get too soft, and enjoy your hearty, seasonal vegetable ramen!

To learn more about bike-powered food waste diversion in Gainesville, FL, click here.

Thanks for reading,
Krissy Olson

About the Author

Krissy studies Sustainability in the Built Environment at the University of Florida. Her love for organic gardening and support for local food systems grew through her studies and Community Supported Agriculture. Krissy is the Community Outreach Coordinator at Gainesville Compost.