Smoky Noodles

A while back, we fired up the smoker and one of the items we smoked was a package of beef short ribs. I like to slow roast them a bit first so they are super tender when they come off the smoker, which they were. In fact, one of the reasons I had them there to begin with was a hankering for a meal like this:

About half the ribs we smoked were taken off the bone and sliced into strip that found their way into noodle bowls. Those of you who've been following along here have noticed that I really love noodle bowls. They are all about expressing yourself. Flavor combinations, textures, and beautiful bowls are what they are all about. Feeling like you want something with a lot of crunch? Raw sliced onions, peppers, and radishes might be your thing. Wanting a taste of autumn? Add roasted squash, shredded Brussels sprouts, and sliced sweet potato. Not a fan of meat? Omit it. Love meat? Double it up. What's your favorite kind of noodle? Make that. If you want to add a little kick to your bowl, add a bit of sriracha or your favorite hot sauce. Sweeter? Try teriyaki or duck sauce. You get the idea.

I took the liquid from slow roasting the ribs and added that to my miso broth. The result was a heartier broth that really accentuated the ribs in the bowl. I also grabbed a bunch of vegetables from our CSA box because why wouldn't I include amazing fresh vegetables? Even the lemongrass in the broth was from the box. As is always the case, I recommend you pick and choose ingredients and assembly practices according to your own tastes and what you have in your kitchen. Make this one yours and enjoy it!

Short Rib Noodle Bowls

  • 4 c. water
  • 3-4 T. miso paste
  • 1 (3-inch) stalk lemongrass, sliced
  • 1 lb. short ribs — prepared in your preferred manner, bones removed, and sliced into thin strips
  • 8 oz. spaghetti noodles or other long noodles, prepared using package instructions
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Thinly sliced red pepper
  • Steamed broccoli flowerets
  • Cubed, roasted butternut squash
  • Thinly sliced radish
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving

In a medium pot, combine the water, miso paste (choose your favorite variety), and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When the miso is dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. If you happen to have any cooking liquid from preparing the ribs, you can add that to the pot when you reach the simmering stage.

Meanwhile, slice the ribs, prepare the noodles, and assemble the remaining ingredients into a buffet line. Allow your guests to grab a bowl (you'll want to use large bowl that allow for generous portions) and assemble their own noodle bowls.

Some tips for assembling noodle bowls: I like to add fresh greens to the bottom of my bowl and then layer hot noodles over them. Then I keep adding ingredients over the noodle to create a delicious, beautiful palette. When I am happy with the results, I add broth to the top of everything. If I feel like having my noodle bowl more like a soup, I add more broth. Less broth leaves it more like a fork/chopstick meal. Most often, I find a happy medium and use both chopsticks and a spoon. Enjoy!

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes