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Bowl: Vegetarian Recipes for Ramen, Pho, Bibimbap, Dumplings, and Other One-Dish Meals Paperback – March 8, 2016
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From the Publisher
Spring Ramen with Snap Peas, Shaved Asparagus, and Lemon Zest from Bowl
This bowl features juicy sweet snap peas and the delicate, sharp flavor of shaved raw asparagus in a light broth that’s brightened with lemon zest and fresh ginger. It also incorporates a streamlined kombu-soaking step, so that the dashi doesn’t need to be prepared in advance.
1. 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.
2. In a tall glass or measuring cup, or 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Add the noodles to the boiling water, in a strainer basket or 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 four bowls.
6. 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.
7. 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.
- 8 ounces asparagus
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 plump garlic cloves, smashed
- 9 cups water
- Four 2-inch squares kombu
- 2 tablespoons light-colored miso paste
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 ounces sugar snap peas
- 8 ounces dried or 12 ounces fresh ramen noodles
- Two 2-inch squares toasted nori
- 4 large boiled eggs, molten or firm yolks
- 4 pinches of freshly grated lemon zest
- Freshly grated ginger, to taste
- 1 cup Frizzled Scallions
- Toasted sesame oil, for garnish
"Bibimbap fits into the current craze for bowls: grain bowls, ramen, pho and more. And I found my new favorite bibimbap recipe in a book that celebrates them all: 'Bowl,' by Lukas Volger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). Bonus: Volger’s recipes are all vegetarian." --The Washington post
"Whatever its magic, some of the best foods in the world come in bowls. In this cookbook, Lukas Volger explores vegetarian versions of the best bowl foods from around the globe. Chapters are divided into choice of carbohydrate: wheat noodles, rice and rice noodles, whole grains, etc. There are specific recipes in here, of course, but there are also enough individual sauce and topping recommendations for the adventurous cook to customize their bowls." --Epicurious on Bowl as one of THE 30 MOST EXCITING NEW SPRING COOKBOOKS
"Lukas Volger's new book, BOWL, brims with brilliant noodle-broth ideas. Cherry-pick the toppings you like, or follow the full recipes—either way, you'll be floored by just how delicious this dorm-room classic can be." --Oprah.com
"Prepare to get bowled over. 'Bowl,' a new cookbook by Lukas Volger, asserts that some of the best meals aren’t served on a plate." --amNewYork
"In his new cookbook "Bowl" ($25, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 256 pages), onetime Willamette University Student Lukas Volgersets out to create vegetarian versions of the Asian specialties, focusing on how using seasonal ingredients make these dishes more fresh and flavorful than their meaty counterparts." --The Oregonian
"A gorgeous new vegetarian cookbook by author and vegetarian guru Lukas Volger" --InStyle.com
"The latest cookbook from the author of Veggie Burgers Every Which Way and Vegetarian Entrees That Won't Leave You Hungry is all about one-dish vegetarian meals, from pho to burrito bowls." --Publishers Weekly in March Cookbooks Preview
★ "Remarking that David Chang's restaurant Momofuku didn't offer a vegetarian ramen until ten years after it opened, Volger (Veggie Burgers Every Which Way) devotes long overdue attention to popular Asian dishes that vegetarians are typically denied. Recipes such as vegetarian curry laksa, spicy tofu bibimbap, and kimchi dumplings can include subrecipes and advance prep work, but not more than similar titles require. Akin to Andrea Nguyen's The Banh Mi Cookbook, this title lends itself to a customized experience, in which readers can choose to make all recipe components (even noodles) from scratch, or swap some for store-bought items. Volger's flavor combinations, mostly nontraditional, are satisfyingly complex. VERDICT A go-to cookbook for Asian-inspired vegetarian soups, noodle bowls, and dumplings." --Starred review from Library Journal
"Lukas Volger is a master at creating attractive vegetarian and vegan meals that are put together with a light hand but that fill you up." --New York Times
"In Bowl, Lukas Volger (Veggie Burgers Every Which Way and Vegetarian Entrees that Won't Leave You Hungry) challenges the common association of ramen with cheap college fare by demonstrating how to create rich, satisfying vegetarian options. Bowl goes beyond ramen to include Vietnamese pho (with rice noodles and a heavy emphasis on vegetables), dumplings and Korean bibimbap (rice topped with pickled and fresh vegetables, protein and egg). Volger encourages home cooks to experiment freely, so he recommends the best equipment and shares where to find the most flavorful staples (like ginger, scallions, greens and herbs), noodles (ramen, rice and soba), sea vegetables (kombu, nori and wakame), soy sauce/tamari, miso and other condiments. "Basics and Components" covers not only how to make broth, but includes grain preparation and even how to boil and fry an egg. Each section begins with a very simple recipe for each type of dish and then incorporates the four seasons, "to support health and sustainability through produce-buying power" by choosing seasonal and local whenever possible. Spring Ramen highlights asparagus and snap peas, Smoky Summer Pho showcases eggplant, tomatoes and sweet peppers, and Winter Bibimbap celebrates sweet potatoes and kale. While some of the well-rounded one-dish meals may be challenging for novices, a section on grain bowls will be helpful for those nights when quick and easy is needed. Bowl covers a variety of palates and skill levels and shows how anything can be better in a bowl. --Kristen Galles from Book Club Classics
Discover: These recipes for "rich, cloudy miso-based broth engulfing a tangle of tender noodles" are crafted the vegetarian way." --Shelf Awareness
About the Author
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The book begins with a basic introduction which I loved -the stormy weather that called for a bowl of something warm and deeply satisfying; that dish being ramen; and the author conjures up a vivid image of the restaurant he eats at that night, and the tastes, textures and ingredients of that dish. It’s almost to the point that I wanted to stop right there and whip up a bowl on the spot. This is followed by a simple yet informative guide and ingredients that you might want to explore, and I loved the guide to dumpling wrappers, sea vegetables and condiments, some of which we new to me, and things I need to procure before cooking some of these dishes -though it is worth noting that this book does indeed use many straight forward items too.
The rest of the book features the recipes: Ramen and other wheat noodle bowls. Pho, bibimbap and other rice noodle and rice bowls. Grain bowls and dumpling bowls. The recipes differ widely in terms of simplicity or complexity, and ingredients; which means there is something for everyone – including the fact that this includes breakfast items such as a breakfast rice bowl with eggs, spinach and sweet potato, and savory oatmeal –taking oats and adding chard, garlic, eggs and chili oil. I began with the Cauliflower couscous bowl -cheating somewhat as I had to use a packed of grated Cauliflower “rice” from Trader Joes that was getting too close to expiring! It was really quite simple making a seed brittle to top a veggie laden dish!
It I could change one thing -and it’s a personal thing for me, so might not be a concern for others -I would have preferred some more photos. I think part of the allure of cooking, is seeing those pictures of competed meals and having some gauge of what I should be aiming for. Where there are photos such as the black rice burrito bowl and spring pho, they are stunning and inspiring; but a few more would have been nice. That said, the pages are taken up with more recipes and more detail which is always useful!
I have read a couple of other vegetarian one pot meal books and was left unimpressed. But this book is a keeper – its creative, with lots of really fun, flavorful options and even I , not the best in the kitchen, can attempt many of these!