Spicy Pumpkin Ramen (with or without chicken)

I love a good ramen noodle soup. I was so fortunate to live a block away from one of the best in NYC (love you, Minca) and honestly, my hubby and I struggle to find good ramen here in rural New Hampshire.

But what you cannot find – you MAKE, right?

This is a non-conventional ramen. Thai flavor inspired with lime and red curry… coconut milk and cilantro… this ramen has savory fall elements of butternut squash and pumpkin with a HEALTHY kick of ginger to boot.

It’s a fun one to make even thought it is not on the traditional side, and one that leaves your belly full, your heart happy and your sinuses clear (especially with the additional of any hot sauce at the end!)

This IS able to be adjusted to be meatless (just sub veggie broth and firm tofu and maybe double the shiitake!) so read on and EAT ON!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thigh (or breast), trimmed of fat
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced (can use paste as well)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and diced (can also use ginger paste)
  • 1 box (10 oz) of sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 hot red pepper (cayenne, fresno, thai… whichever your heat preference)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1-1.2 cups of butternut or other winter squash, cubed (kabocha or buttercup work well, too!
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree (DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY GET PUMKIN PIE FILLING!)
  • 14oz can of coconut milk (we prefer the full fat version and skim off some of the cream for finishing!)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (Better than Boullion is the jam!)
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • Ramen noodles (fresh, frozen or even from a packet)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven (5-7qt), add olive oil and heat over medium heat.
  2. add onion to pot and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent.
  3. Add in shiitake and chili, and saute for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in garlic and ginger and saute another 2 minutes
  5. Add in cubed squash and cook 1 minute
  6. Add in broth, coconut milk, chicken, curry paste, pinch of salt, pumpkin puree and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes)
  8. Remove thighs and shred.
  9. Return chicken to pot and continue to simmer for 5 minutes more
  10. Add in juice of 1 lime
  11. Taste and adjust salt or curry to taste
  12. Cook noodles SEPARATELY as directed (fresh cook quick in a rolling boil, dried or fried will take longer.)

Now we always cook our noodles separately so we maintain a brothy soup we can ladle over them. You CAN cook the noodles in the soup, but know that they will continue to absorb the soup (and leftovers might be more like a noodle bowl than soup!)

We finish with some chopped cilantro, Sriracha and squeeze of lime. (hubby also chops up another hot chili pepper and tops his with that…. lunacy, I say…)

We love this soup when the weather turns and the sniffles start. I hope you do, too!

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