Flavorful vegetarian versions of America's favorite one-dish meals: ramen, pho, bibimbap, dumplings, and burrito bowls
A restorative bowl of vegetarian ramen sent Lukas Volger on a quest to capture the full flavor of all the one-bowl meals that are the rage today—but in vegetarian form. With the bowl as organizer, the possibilities for improvisational meals full of seasonal produce and herbs are nearly endless.
Volger’s ramen explorations led him from a simple bowl of miso ramen to a glorious summer ramen with corn broth, tomatoes, and basil. From there, he went on to the Vietnamese noodle soup pho, with combinations like caramelized spring onions, peas, and baby bok choy. His edamame dumplings with mint are served in soup or over salad, while spicy carrot dumplings appear over toasted quinoa and kale for a rounded dinner. Imaginative grain bowls range from ratatouille polenta to black rice burrito with avocado. And unlike their meatier counterparts, these dishes can be made in little time and without great expense.
Volger also includes many tips, techniques, and indispensable base recipes perfected over years of cooking, including broths, handmade noodles, sauces, and garnishes.
Lukas Volger is a cookbook author, food writer, recipe developer, and editor. His most recent book is Start Simple: Eleven Everyday Ingredients for Countless Weeknight Meals, and he's cofounder and editorial director of Jarry, an award-winning semiannual queer food journal. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Photographs by Michael Harlan Turkell