Brace yourselves. For deliciousness.
Oh my goodness. I don’t think I’ve been this excited to tell you about a recipe in a long time. Not to knock any of the other recipes I’ve shared recently, but this one has been making me weak in the knees ever since I tested it out a few weeks ago. It’s something special, for sure.
As we know, pumpkin season is here. With October in full swing, it’s time we all get on board, right? While I usually prefer butternut squash over pumpkin, I DO love pumpkin in savory dishes. In fact, I prefer savory pumpkin dishes over sweet almost all the time. Pumpkin pie, for instance, just doesn’t do it for me.
Savory pumpkin soups and pastas, though? They TOTALLY do it for me. And you may have noticed my obsession with ramen (see here, here, and here). I can’t get enough of the noodly coziness, especially now that the weather seems to have finally taken a turn toward fall. I’ll be ramen-ing it up all over the place this winter. I already know it.
Now, when I was developing this recipe, I knew pumpkin and ramen were both going to be involved. I wanted the broth to be spiced and savory and just a touch sweet, so I went in the direction of Vietnamese pho flavorings. The spices have a natural affinity for pumpkin anyway, so it just made sense. And pho might just be one of the most delicious versions of comfort food yet (if you haven’t tried it at home yet, see here and here for some inspiration. You will NOT be sorry).
To finish the long-simmering and deeply spiced and savory broth, I drizzled in some toasted sesame oil and a generous glug of the newly reformulated clean-label NAKANO® organic natural rice vinegar. Have you tried this vinegar yet? It’s great.
Not only does it add amazing flavor and pleasant acidity, but it is free of sodium and added sugar, all while being organic. In fact, the entire line of NAKANO® rice vinegars that carry the reformulated clean label have no more than six simple ingredients, with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or ingredients, all without high-fructose corn syrup.
The original NAKANO® rice vinegar that I used in this recipe also has no fat and is low in calories, making it a healthier swap for many of your favorite condiments. Splash it on in place of heavy sour cream or butter on family-favorite sides like baked potatoes for a tangy and delicious organic flavor boost.
I adore it and have been using it nonstop. For this particular recipe, the NAKANO® rice vinegar is used to season the broth, poach the eggs, AND as an optional serving garnish. I love when dishes that cook for a long time have a list-minute zing of acidic flavor or freshness added. Both the vinegar and a spritz of fresh lime juice do the trick for me here. The vinegar just “makes” it.
I love it so much, in fact, that I’ve partnered up with the people at NAKANO® to share the goodness with you all!
NAKANO® will give away a suite of the reformulated rice vinegars (check them all out here), as well as a copy of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner’s book “The Flexitarian Diet” FOR FREE. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post by 5 PM EST on Friday, October 14, 2016. I’ll choose a winner at random!
Don’t miss out on this incredible product OR this amazing spiced pumpkin ramen recipe. They were made for one another!
Pho-Spiced Pumpkin Ramen
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
For the Broth:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
- ⅓ cup fresh ginger, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass (I use lemongrass paste – it’s in the produce section)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 Thai chile pepper, left whole (can sub with a serrano or jalapeño)
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
- 1 (15-oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon NAKANO® rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Juice of 1 lime
For the Roasted Pumpkin:
- 1 small sugar pumpkin or butternut squash
- Canola oil
- Salt and pepper
- The broth
- The roasted pumpkin/squash
- 3 packages dried ramen noodles (discard the included seasoning packets)
- 4 eggs
- Splash of NAKANO® rice vinegar
- Scallions and fresh cilantro, chopped
- Red onion, finely diced
- Red pepper flakes or hot sauce
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Lime wedges
For the Broth:
- Place a pot over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once it’s melted, add the onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar and cardamom and stir to combine.
- Add in the Thai chile pepper and broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Place a strainer over a large bowl or second pot. Pour the broth through the strainer and discard the aromatics (onion, ginger, garlic, whole spices). Place the pot of broth back on the stove over medium heat.
- Stir the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil into the broth, stirring well to combine. Simmer for 10 more minutes, taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the lime juice.
- Keep warm until you are ready to serve. The broth can be made a few days ahead and stored in the fridge until you are ready for it. It also freezes really well.
For the Roasted Pumpkin:
- While the broth is simmering, preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Carefully cut the outer skin off of the pumpkin with a sharp knife. Cut out the stem and seeds as well (discard the seeds or roast them for other uses).
- Dice the peeled pumpkin into bite-sized chunks and place on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle the pumpkin with oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until softened and caramelized in spots.
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Add the ramen noodles and cook for a couple minutes or until tender. Remove from the water (do not discard the pot of water – we’re using it to poach the eggs next), rinse well under cool water, and set aside.
- To the same pot of simmering water, add a splash of rice vinegar. Crack the eggs carefully into the simmering water, swirling the water around them gently with a slotted spoon to help them keep their shape. Poach the eggs to desired doneness (I usually do 3 minutes) and then remove from the water using the slotted spoon. Set the cooked eggs gently on a plate lined with paper towels to help drain off any excess water.
- To assemble, divide the noodles and roasted pumpkin between serving bowls. Ladle over the hot broth and garnish each bowl with a poached egg, chopped herbs/scallions, red onion, sesame seeds, lime wedges, and red pepper flakes/hot sauce (to taste). Serve immediately.
[This post is brought to you by NAKANO®. Thank you all so much for reading and supporting the blog! You have no idea how much it means to me.]
UPDATE AS OF 10/14, 5 PM EST: THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED AT RANDOM AND WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. Thanks everyone for your participation!
This sounds awesome! I don’t cook often with vinegar, but their basil/oregano and mango sounds interesting 🙂
Thanks, Cara! Yes, those flavors sound awesome to me, too!
Liz Gray says
I’m definitely going to try this recipe–my mouth is watering! I’ve never heard of Nagano vinegar but will look for it next time I’m at the store. Thanks!
Thanks, Liz! My store carries it in the Asian section – it’s fantastic! I highly recommend it.
Judy Tyler says
This recipe sounds perfect for the change of weather. I have used rice vinegar in a number of dishes, now I have one more to try!
Thanks, Judy! I hope you do try this one – it is incredible!
I just love the ingridients for the doup. Will definately make it when I return home.
This recipe sounds delish. Will make it as soon as I return home.
Thank you, Wilhelmina! I hope you do!
Karen Gray says
This is such a lovely blog. The photographs make me want to prepare and consume this pumpkin pho and I’m not much of a cook.
Thanks so much, Karen! That means a lot!
This sounds fabulous! I too love cooking with rice wine vinegar and the spices in your broth conjure up an exotic aroma. Love the comments about the lime juice at the end –
Sj Dc says
The recipe looks so so delicious! Thank you for the giveaway!
Diana Day says
The recipe sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it. Gorgeous photos, BTW!
Thanks so much, Diana!
Linda Mercer says
I am going to try this recipe over my upcoming fall break! I can’t wait to try it as I too love all of these ingredients! Thanks for the post! The vinegars sound incredible too!!
Thanks so much, Linda! I hope you enjoy it!
Milly Rawlings says
This recipe sounds and looks wonderful. Nagano Rice Vinegar is a delicious addition to this recipe. My family loves the flavor of different kinds of vinegars and would love to try Pho-Spiced Pumpkin Ramen.
Thanks so much, Milly! I hope you try it – it’s a killer recipe!
Lauren Hinds says
I love cooking with vinegars but have always been to cheap to buy the flavored variety. Would love to try them all!
Barbara Share says
I love how you mix ingredients for special ways to create delicious dishes. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe; because it takes me out of my “comfort zone” which my family truly appreciates! . Being in the kitchen and using your recipes is fun and inventive! Nagano Rice vinegar is a staple in my pantry, glad you are using it in this recipe!
Suzann Hash says
Wow, this sounds terrific, love pho, anything using roasted squash /pumpkin and especially the rice vinegar. Nagano seasoned rice vinegar is my go to salad dressing. We will be having this soon.
Mmm this looks delicious. I haven’t tried many vinegars when I cool but I’d love to try this out
Thanks for the recipe. I really appreciate all the details (& great photography, too). This time of year, I can’t help but crave some pumpkin and winter squash variations, and using NAKANO® rice vinegar and the other ingredients sounds wonderful. I am looking forward to trying it soon.
Harriet Beckerman says
The photos make me want to savor this dish and the directions look clear. My next soup recipe does r sure!
I can’t believe how beautiful these pictures are. If the recipe comes out half as good as this looks my tastebuds are in for one heck of a treat. Great job and keep the recipes coming!
Looks amazing, as always Molly! We’re going to try Wednesday! Keep up the great recipes!!
🙂 Hope you and the boys enjoy it!
This looks great and I love the Idea of the Vinegar as the last minute zing. I will be looking for Nakano Vinegar in the stores especially when I see they are Low Sodium, sugar-free and organic. I will be making this soon !!!
Mark Fleming says
Sounds good, can’t wait to try it!
Natalie Lydzinski says
Molly @ Spices in My DNA says
This looks SO amazing! I’m with you on the pumpkin in savory dishes. I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie either. Will definitely be making this soon!!
CD McLean says
I just tried the whole 30 and they opened my eyes to added sugar where it shouldn’t be. Having a vinegar without sugar sounds amazing and your recipe sounds fantastic as well. I’ve been meaning to add your blog to my list of places to read and now I will. Thank you so much for this contest and the recipe!!
Looks so delish! As usual!
This looks AMAZING! I love all of your recipes and love trying them! So proud of you!
I love soup and this recipe looks incredible. I never thought about adding a splash of vinegar, but will have to try it.
heather s says
This looks delicious! I am looking for new recipes to spice things up
I already love rice vinegar, but I’ve never tried this brand (or flavored one’s – who knew?). Very cool. This recipe looks amazing! Thanks!
Ellen Takas says
Martha sent me information about the vinegar so I went to look at your blog. It’s great! The layout is clean and attractive, the recipes are interesting, the photography is beautifully done and your voice comes through in the text. I’m very impressed and so is Jim, of course. Love, Ellen
Sandy Gray says
Molly — I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years and have loved every one of the dishes I’ve tried. Thanks for sharing this fabulous soup recipe, I will definitely give it a go. I am not familiar with the vinegar you used, but will look for it at my grocers here in Canada. Bring on those fall recipes!
Thanks so much, Sandy!
Wow this recipe looks amazing, I make Pho at home all the time and this is a recipe I must try. I also love using rice vinegar in recipes I have a great cook book that uses it in a lot of recipes.
Thanks, Annamarie! Pho is a winter staple at our house as well. Nothing beats it on a cold winter evening!
Rochelle Sady says
Looks so good. May I ask why you rinse the noodles?
Thanks, Rochelle! I find that dried ramen noodles can get kind of slimy if you cook them and then just let them sit. Rinsing helps take off the extra starch that can give them that slimy/sticky feeling. It’s just a texture thing. If you are lucky enough to find fresh ramen noodles (I never can), then you can probably skip the rinsing step.
Jennifer Kurman says
YUM! I LOVE Asian inspired recipes but always feel too intimidated to make them at home…sooo, let me know when the dinner party is 😉 I also love that the vinegar line is “clean.”
Thanks! Yes, Asian dishes can be intimidating, but I think the key is just to have a well-stocked pantry. The ingredients last forever. I’d be happy to make this for you sometime! 🙂
Reggie Ursettie says
This looks amazing!
this looks amazing
Thanks so much, Judith!
Can I invite myself to your house for dinner?!
I think you’ve outdone yourself on this one! It not only looks beautiful but I’m sure tastes incredible as well.
Don’t you always, Mother Dearest? 🙂 Love you and thank you!
So excited to try this.
Thanks, Leo! I hope you enjoy it!
Rachel ricci says
I start drooling reading your blogs. You have quite a talent!! I’ll have to start expaninding my cooking repertoire… and pho is a new obsession lol
Thanks, Rachel! I’ll make it for you and Dan sometime. Dinner date in!
Nancy Troxler says
yummy! could you mail me some? It sure looks better than the bagged lunches you took to the Folk School!
Thanks, Nancy! I have fond memories of those bagged lunches. 🙂
This looks so yummy!
I cannot wait to try this recipe! And your photos are spectacular….so glad I discovered this blog!
Thanks so much, Toni! I’m glad you found it as well. 🙂
Linda Vizi says
Perfect for a crisp fall night! Looking forward to making it!
Thanks, Linda! I hope you enjoy it!
Kim O says
I love cooking and this would be awesome to win
I’m impressed with this great cooking information very authentic! Should be part of SOBE Food festival Next year.
Nando loves Nakano! Dan, thanks for recommending me to this site. Give props to the wife. Wish you all the best.
Thanks so much!
Looks so amazing!! I would love to make this
pauline siringo says
I picked up fresh ramen to make something else but that will have to wait.I need to have your Pho asap it sounds great and no meat another plus. Looks awesome!
Also thanks for info on the vingear
Thank you, Pauline! I hope you love it as much as we did!
Allison Altman says
Pumpkin and ramen! Hooray! I have a pregnant ramen loving friend that will love this!
Thanks, Allison! I hope she does!
Love you. haha.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway! Your kind words mean the world to me. A winner has been selected and notified at this point. If you weren’t selected this time, I hope you’ll come back for the next giveaway down the road! Truly, thank you all so much. This was such a wonderful response!
I stumbled across this recipe on Foodgawker and made it tonight for my husband and myself. It was absolutely amazing – one of the best recipes I’ve tried in a long time. We both devoured it. It’s a perfect mix of flavors – I will be making this again for sure!
This makes me so happy, Morgan! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!
This pho sounds amazing! I plan on making it this weekend.
Thanks so much, Jan!
This is the best soup that a ever taste!!! I think I can eat it all day long for the rest of my life. Seriously, the broth really smell so good and I will certainly do this recipe several time. Thank’s a lot!!
Wow, so glad you loved it as much as I did! Thanks!