PlantLab culinary has a March contest and I submitted the above – ramen noodles in a miso pesto made with spinach, cilantro, white miso paste, sesame oil, lemon and garlic with some toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
If you haven’t seen my previous posts ranting about my fanaticism over chef Matthew Kenney and his restaurants, cookbook, blog, culinary school, and overall lifestyle – then check out my review of LA’s Plant Food + Wine, and two other recipes I submitted (here and here) for the PlantLab culinary monthly contests (the contests are via Instagram so check them out @plantlabculinary and see mine at @sydlyisaacs).
For the month of March, the theme was “green” for St. Patrick’s day and this recipe immediately sprang into my mind. It’s not original – I found it in Bon Appetit magazine a little bit ago and this was a perfect excuse to try it out and damn – it was GOOD. So so good. I did not expect it to turn out so well because I just do not always have high confidence in my recipe-following capabilities. But to keep it vegan for this contest I swapped in nondairy butter instead of the standard butter that is listed in the recipe. 12/10 would recommend trying it out for yourself.
Pro-tip: Pair it with a warm cup of genmaicha green tea.
The nuttiness of the genmaicha with the toasted sesame seeds and the sesame oil is phenomenal. Besides, like with wine pairings, what grows together goes together and genmaicha is a Japanese tea so it’s perfect for this Japanese inspired dish. This all is very easy to pull together – the only tricky thing was finding white miso paste at the generic grocery store so definitely be sure to go to Whole Foods or something similar to shop for ingredients. Otherwise, it takes just as long as making the pasta! The pesto can be blended up while the water is boiling. I really embraced the Asian vibe here between the Japanese inspired dish, my chopsticks I recently bought in Malaysia, and the tea cup that is part of a set my aunt bought for me when she was in China. And let’s be real – the west elm plate was likely made in Taiwan or something. Amazing lunch and fingers crossed I win the contest this time…