Miso Polenta with Ramen Toppings

Miso Polenta with Ramen Toppings

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The final miso polenta with ramen toppings. Back when I was on the restriction phase of the low fodmap diet I tried making polenta for the first time. This was a challenge to myself to branch out from the rice I was eating multiple times a day. The first polenta I made was simple – water, cornmeal, butter, and parmesan cheese – but it was so easy and so good I was hooked.

After eating it a couple times with more “traditional” toppings of mushrooms, asparagus, or sausage I started to brainstorm some fun other ideas to hype it up. The first idea that came to mind was to use miso rather than just salt to flavor the polenta. I love miso. I love miso with butter even more. I also love ramen and haven’t had it in a very long time (not eating gluten for 6 weeks + local ramen shops not being open). The combination of these two thoughts led me to this recipe – miso ramen broth inspired polenta with ramen toppings!

If you make this recipe all in one day, much like ramen, it will take a while to do. I think it took me about two hours. Worry not! You can make EVERY component ahead of time, including the polenta! Everything heats up very easily or can be served cold. Of course you can always change up the tops to match your favorite ramen toppings as well! The toppings I used are some “traditional” miso ramen toppings.

If you want to make this recipe low fodmap friendly, do not add the garlic to the corn or the whites of the scallion to the char siu. That easy!!!

Final miso polenta with ramen toppings

Miso “Ramen” Polenta

Directly below is what is required to assemble one bowl.
If you follow all the recipes you will make enough polenta, char siu, and corn to make 4 bowls.

¾ cup of miso polenta
5 to 6 pieces of char siu
¼ cup garlic butter corn
sliced green scallion
over easy, sauna, hard boiled, or poached egg
pickled ginger
marinated bamboo shoots

The recipes for the miso polenta (and the dashi I use in it), char siu, and garlic butter corn are below. To assemble the full dish put polenta in the bottom of a wide bowl then add ingredients however you want to the top! No real rhyme or reason to it, just have fun.

Char Siu

Recipe modified from Japanese Farm Food

1 lb pork belly
1 tablespoon neutral oil (corn, canola, etc)
2 scallion whites – split in half
1 inch ginger – cut in large pieces
½ cup sake
2 tablespoons mirin
4 tablespoons soy sauce
(if going gluten free make the soy sauce gluten free)

  1. Cut pork belly into sections big enough to fit into saucepan.Ingredients for char siu: pork belly, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
  2. Heat cast iron skillet to just below smoke point. Add oil.Brown the pork belly on each side.
  3. Brown all the sides of the pork belly.
  4. Add sake, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, and scallion whites to saucepan. Add in browned pork belly. If the pork belly isn’t completely covered add enough water to cover it.On the left is the browned pork belly in the liquid. On the right water is added to cover it and ginger and scallions are added as well.
  5. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook with top off for 15 minutes then flip the pork over. Cook an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Continue to cook down the liquid until you are either 1. ready to eat the pork or 2. the liquid cooks almost all the way down. I cooked mine for an hour. This is about how long it took for the liquid to cook down for me as well.
  7. Remove pork from liquid and prepare for use.
    Note: I highly suggest you keep the liquid and use it as a sauce with the char siu. It is super porky and delicious.

Garlic Butter Corn

1 cup corn
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Heat up cast iron skillet to close to smoke point.
  2. Add corn straight to skillet. Let sit for 5 minutes or until charred on one side.
  3. Stir and let sit for another few minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and add in garlic and butter. Stir for 30 seconds then transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

Dashi (stock)

Recipe modified from Japanese Farm Food

Two 6×3 inch long kombu sheets
3 cups water
1 packet/1 handful Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)

  1. Put kombu sheets in a jar or other sealable container. Add 3 cups of water and seal. Set container on counter for over night to 24 hours.Pour water over the kombu and let it sit for 24 hours to add a great umami flavor.
  2. Remove kombu and place liquid in small saucepan. Bring liquid to a light simmer.This is what the kombu water looks like after the kombu has soaked for 24 hours.
  3. Add katsuobushi simmer for 7 minutes then remove from heat for 10 minutes. Strain out katsuobushi.
  4. Put finished dashi in a sealable container in the fridge until ready to use.

Miso Polenta

Modified from The Kitchn

1 cup dashi1You don’t have to make your own dashi. You can buy packets/jars at Japanese and Asian supermarkets (the only one close I have is H Mart – a korean one – and they have it). I had to look really hard for one without msg in it though. For this recipe you can also use just water but you loose some of that “tastes like miso soup” flavor.
3 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons miso2You can use whatever miso type you prefer. I used shiro (white) miso but you can use aka (red) or shinshu (yellow) if you prefer it will just change the color and flavor slightly.
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
white pepper to taste

  1. Place 1 cup of pre-made dashi, 3 cups of water, and salt in a large saucepan. Remove 4 tablespoons of mixture and put in small bowl and set aside. Bring the liquid in the saucepan to a boil.
  2. Once the liquid is boiling, slowly add in cornmeal a little at time, stirring as fast as you can to prevent clumps. Turn down to a low simmer.
  3. Keep stirring until the cornmeal thickens. I stir about 5 minutes.
  4. Put top on the saucepan and let cook for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Repeat steps 4. & 5.
  7. Continue to cook until polenta reaches desired thickness. I prefer cooking for about 35 minutes total.
  8. In the small bowl that was set aside add 3 tablespoons of miso. Stir until miso is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
  9. Add miso mixture, butter, parmesan cheese, and white pepper to the polenta and stir until fully incorporated.
  10. Dish out into bowls, add toppings and serve!

This polenta is just hands down delicious. You can put so many different toppings on it and it is amazing. We ate the leftovers for brunch on Sunday with asparagus, kale, mushrooms, char siu, and an egg and it was so freaking good. Have fun and experiment with it. If you find a topping combination you particularly like with it let me know!Miso polenta works great with all sorts of toppings - here it is with asparagus, mushrooms, kale, fried egg and left over char siu.


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