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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Taylor

THAI COCONUT RAMEN - Soup up your immune system!

Updated: Aug 9, 2020


 

WHAT MAKES THIS RAMEN SO MAGICAL?


I’ve been craving my comfort foods a lot more these days. Although I don’t want just any old comfort food, I’m looking for one that is going to help my body fight off disease and infection instead of giving me regrets as it makes its way down my digestive tract (I’m talking to you, pizza). Here is one of my favorite feel-good comfort foods that warms the soul and the belly. What makes this Thai Coconut Ramen so special? Today we will take a super quick peek at 4 of the main ingredients.


Mushrooms are a powerhouse plant. They provide generous amounts of protein, minerals, vitamins, and several of those sometimes elusive, yet ever important, B vitamins. What’s most impressive is that mushrooms provide all 9 essential amino acids in large amounts (plus 8 more)!


Mushrooms have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, and are potent anti-tumor-growth agents. And based on both human and animal studies alike, that is just the starting point, there is a lot of exciting research developing regarding the healing powers of mushrooms.


Broccoli and Bok Choy are brimming with immune boosting Vitamin C and A. These noble plants have been shown to improve immune system function and protect against cancer with their abundant antioxidants. Both broccoli and bok choy contain carotenoids as well as sulforaphane.


Sulforaphane is a very special phytochemical found in cruciferous plants. It works on cancer in three formidable ways: 1. Protects DNA from damage, 2. Inhibits cancer cell growth, and 3. Inhibits various stages of cancer cell formation. Sulforaphane is “therefore able to prevent, delay, or reverse preneoplastic lesions, as well as to act on cancer cells as a therapeutic agent.”


Carotenoids have been shown to support the immune system, influence heart health, protect against free radical damage, and as the precursor to Vitamin A, is a key player in eye health, and is considered to increase health “by decreasing the risk of various diseases”. Not to mention, in consideration all of the extra screen time most of us are getting these days, this seems like a great inclusion in some of our meals.


Coconut milk will now come in and give all of those ingredients a big warm hug. We need a bit of healthy fats to be present in this meal to better absorb fat soluble vitamins and phytonutrients like the carotenoids, present in our soup’s ingredients. Some people are worried about the saturated fat in coconut milk, but this plant seed supplies mostly medium chain fatty acids along with its array of health-enhancing phytonutrients, which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Boasting Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, it even a little fiber. All and all, it does an immune system good.


There are other special ingredients in this recipe that are good for your heart and immune system, three of my favorite seasonings: ginger, onion, and of course, garlic, but we will save that for another day.



 

THAI COCONUT RAMEN


Serves 4-6

Gluten Free, Plant-Based, Sugar Free, Nut Free



Ingredients:

  • 8-10 oz package rice or buckwheat noodles

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1½ cup water

  • 1 lime (juice + zest if not using makrut lime leaves)

  • 3 makrut lime leaves (optional) *link to dried leaves if not in stores

  • 2 Tbsp Braggs or tamari

  • 1+ Tbsp sliced ginger (about 1-2 inches sliced)

  • ¼ tsp dried garlic (or 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic)

  • ¼ tsp dried onion (or 4+ tablespoons chopped fresh)

  • 1+ Tbsp sesame, coconut, or avocado oil

  • 2-3 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms (or a mixture of other types)

  • 1 ½ cups chopped baby broccoli

  • 2 cups chopped baby bok choy (about 1 med head or 2 small heads)

  • 2-3 tsp of hot sauce (more if desired)



Prep Work:

1. Start by boiling a large pot of water (about 4 quarts water) and cook noodles to package directions. Stir noodles frequently once in the water, to prevent sticking, add a little oil to the water. Once strained be sure to rinse well with cold water.


2. Slice ginger into thick slices. Add either 3 makrut lime leaves or peel zest of ½ lime into large peels (easier to strain out later) and place in small or medium sauce pot. Juice the lime and set aside (about 2 Tbsp). Chop garlic and onions unless you are using powered. I mince them together in a mini processor to save time.

Broth:

3. Add 1 can coconut milk, 1½ cup water, and 1 TBSP Braggs or Tamari, in the sauce pot with the ginger and lime zest. Bring to light boil, then reduce to a low simmer until ready to serve.


4. Slice 3+ cups shiitake mushrooms, chop 2 cups baby broccoli (including stems), and chop 2 cups baby bok choy (or other hardy green). I have been known to toss in kale.


5. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame, coconut, or avocado oil in wok or large skillet on med-high heat.


6. Add mushrooms to hot oil and saute for 6-8 mins (optional: using fresh chopped onion/garlic add towards the end of cooking mushrooms down, before adding in broccoli and greens. If using powdered, see step 9).


7. Add broccoli and saute for another 2-3 mins. It's best not to over cook your broccoli or greens to protect valuable nutrients.


8. Add bok choy, 1 tbsp of Braggs/tamari sauce.


9. Mix in ⅛ - ¼ tsp dried onion and garlic each, and saute an additional 2-3 mins, remove from heat.


Ready to serve:

1. Turn off heat on coconut ramen broth and strain out all broth seasonings.


2. Add lime juice (about 2 Tbsp) and hot sauce (1-2 tsp) and stir. Or add hot sauce to individual servings as desired.


3. Place a small serving of noodles and large serving of veggies in each bowl, and ladle in broth. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds, green onion, chopped cilantro or whatever suits your fancy.



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