Veggie Noodles | WYPR

Veggie Noodles

Apr 11, 2017

Credit jessica mullen/flickr

April is, among other things, National Noodle Month, which gives us a chance to think outside the noodle box for a moment.  Whereas most pasta and noodles are made with the simplest ingredients, there are no rules saying you can't get a little more inventive.  Thanks to a nifty piece of hardware, we can easily turn vegetables like carrots and squash into something very closely resembling noodles.

The tool in question is a spiral vegetable slicer.  You pop a roughly cylindical vegetable into the mouth of the tool, twist and turn according to instructions, and a pile of tidy noodle shaped vegetables emerges.  The slices can be thin spaghetti style or broader fettuccine or anything in between. 

Some of these gadgets look like tiny kitchen lathes, and others are something like a tube with a cutting blade inside.  Regardless, they are inexpensive, ranging from as little as $10 up to about $40.

With your vegetable noodle maker in hand what can you do with it?  Well Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has an armful of ideas.

Click here for recipes. 

Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach & Mushrooms

Taken from


2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 strips center-cut bacon, chopped

1 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 5-ounce package baby spinach

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Using a spiral vegetable slicer or julienne vegetable peeler, cut sweet potatoes lengthwise into long, thin strands. You should have about 12 cups of “noodles” Cook the sweet potatoes in the boiling water, gently stirring once or twice, until just starting to soften but not completely tender, 1½ to 3 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water, then drain. Return the noodles to the pot, off the heat. Combine eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper and the reserved water in a bowl; pour over the noodles and gently toss with tongs until evenly coated.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetables to the noodles and toss to combine. Top with a generous grinding of pepper.

Pork & Turnip Miso Ramen


1½ pounds purple-top turnips, peeled

Using a spiral vegetable slicer or a julienne or regular vegetable peeler, cut turnips into long, thin strands. You should have about 10 cups of turnip "noodles."

Ramen Broth

Braised Pork

6 ounces mushrooms, sliced and roasted in the oven

6 cups baby spinach

Soft boiled eggs, cut in half

Bring the Ramen Broth to a simmer and add the mushrooms and turnip noodles. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the turnips soften slightly. Stir in the spinach, ladle into bowls and top with slices of pork and a soft boiled egg.  

Ramen Broth – David Chang

Two 3-by-6-inch pieces konbu

6 quarts water

2 cups dried shiitakes, rinsed

4 pounds chicken, either a whole bird or legs

5 pounds meaty pork bones

1 pound smoky bacon

1 bunch scallions

1 medium onion, cut in half

2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

Taré preferably, or kosher salt, soy sauce and mirin
Rinse the konbu under running water, then combine it with the water in an 8-quart stockpot. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat and turn off the heat. Let steep for 10 minutes.

Remove the konbu from the pot and add the shiitakes. Turn the heat back up to high and bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down so the liquid simmers gently. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are plumped and rehydrated and have lent the broth their color and aroma. Heat the oven to 400 F.
Remove the mushrooms from the pot with a spider or slotted spoon. Add the chicken to the pot. Keep the liquid at a gentle simmer. Skim and discard any froth, foam or fat that rises to the surface of the broth while the chicken is simmering, and replenish the water as necessary to keep the chicken covered. After about 1 hour, test the chicken: the meat should pull away from the bones easily.

While the chicken is simmering, put the pork bones on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and slide them into the oven to brown for an hour; turn them over after about 30 minutes to ensure even browning.
Remove the chicken from the pot and add the roasted bones to the broth, along with the bacon. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the broth at a steady simmer; skim the scum and replenish the water as needed. After 45 minutes, fish out the bacon and discard it. Then gently simmer the pork bones for 6 to 7 hours—as much time as your schedule allows. Stop adding water to replenish the pot after hour 5 or so.

Add the scallions, onion and carrots to the pot and simmer for the final 45 minutes.
Remove and discard the spent bones and vegetables. Pass the broth through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Finish the broth by seasoning it to taste with tare, start with 2 or 3 tablespoons per quart. Taste it and get it right. Under seasoned broth is a crime.

Braised Pork


1 – 3 lb piece of pork shoulder cut into ½ pound pieces

1¼ cups beef stock 

½ cup dark soy sauce

¼ cup mirin

juice and grated rind of 1 orange

2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 fresh, small red chillies

1 tablespoon grated dark palm sugar

star anise

1 cinnamon stick

Place the pork in a large oven proof casserole dish. Add stock, soy sauce, mirin, orange juice and rind, ginger, garlic, chillies, sugar and spices. Add just enough water to cover pork. Bring to the boil, lower heat, cover and simmer gently for 1½ hours, then remove lid and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the cooking juices. Remove and slice for Ramen.