Spring Ramen Recipe
Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and set the top parts aside. Combine the tough asparagus ends, mushrooms, garlic and water in a stockpot, or saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the kombu, remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain out and discard the solids and return the broth to the stockpot.
In a tall glass, or a measuring cup or in the plastic cup that usually comes with an immersion blender, combine the miso and a ladleful of the hot broth. Puree thoroughly with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, puree in a blender.) Pour the mixture into the stockpot with the rest of the broth and bring to a bare simmer. Add the salt and taste, adding more salt as necessary. Keep covered over low heat until ready to serve.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus spears into ribbons. It's easiest to do this by laying them flat on a cutting board, and using a Y peeler.
Bring another saucepan of salted water to boil and prepare an ice bath. Remove the fibrous strings from the snap peas: Pinch one end and pull along the straight edge of the pea as if it's a zipper. Once the water comes to a boil, add the snap peas and blanch for 90 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peas to the ice bath. Reserve the boiling water.
Add the noodles to the boiling water in a strainer basket or in the pasta insert that comes with your stockpot, if you have one, and cook until tender, usually 4 to 7 minutes for dried;or, according to the package instructions; or, 60 to 90 seconds for fresh. Lift out the noodles, reserving the cooking water and rinse the noodles thoroughly under cold running water in order to remove excess starch. Quickly dunk them back into the hot water to reheat. Divide among 4 bowls.
Just before serving, wave the nori squares over the flame of a gas burner a few times, until the corners curl and they turn crisp; or, roast under a broiler, flipping periodically. Slice into thin strips with a chef 's knife, or crumble with your fingers.
Arrange the shaved asparagus, snap peas and egg halves, if using, over the noodles in each bowl. Add a pinch of lemon zest and a scant teaspoon of ginger pulp, or a few gratings of ginger, to each bowl, then cover with the piping-hot broth. Divide the frizzled scallions on top, garnish each serving with a few drops of sesame oil and the nori and serve immediately.
Text excerpted from BOWL © 2016, by Lukas Volger. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.