Kid-friendly Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles + Zucchini Zing Slaw + Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles + Zucchini Zing Slaw + Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes

Family Meal Plan: Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles + Zucchini Zing Slaw + Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes

Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles + Zucchini Zing Slaw + Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Oxana Denezhkina/Shutterstock.com
prep time
25 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles

East meets West in this fusion of Asian and Italian cuisines. We’ve paired soft, silky-smooth noodles and savory miso (MEE-soh)—hallmarks of Asian dishes—with two of Italy’s favorites: butter and Parmesan. The result? A dish rich in “umami”—the distinctive savory flavor hailed as the fifth basic taste!

Our Wacky Wok Miso Noodles recipe is delightfully straightforward, with fun tasks perfect for chefs of all ages! In just a few easy steps, you’ll boil, whisk, strain, stir, and sprinkle your way to a noodle dish that’s universally loved. And there you have it: a bowl of noodles that feels both refreshingly new and comfortingly familiar. 

I recommend serving the noodles with Zucchini Zing Slaw for a pop of color and crunch and Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes for an unexpected, healthful twist on a standard banana-yogurt milkshake.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
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Shopping List

  • FRESH OR FROZEN
  • 1/4 C white miso paste **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 fresh or frozen bananas
  • 1 lemon
  • DAIRY
  • 2 C yogurt **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/4 C grated or shredded Parmesan cheese **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 T butter **(see allergy subs below)**
  • PANTRY
  • 1 8-oz pkg linguine or spaghetti **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • HAVE ON HAND
  • 5 C water (to boil noodles and for shake)

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • juice :

    to extract or squeeze out the juice of a fruit or vegetable, like a lemon, orange, or carrot, often cutting open or peeling the fruit or veggie first to access its flesh.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • stir-fry :

    to cook meat, fish, or vegetables rapidly over high heat while stirring briskly—used in Asian cooking.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Citrus squeezer or juicer (optional)
  • Grater
  • Medium bowl
  • Paper towel
  • Small bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large pot
  • Wok or large sauté pan
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Colander or sieve
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Ingredients

Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles

  • 1 8-oz pkg linguine or spaghetti **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub rice noodles)**
  • 1/4 C grated or shredded Parmesan cheese **(Omit for DAIRY ALLERGY or sub dairy-free/nut-free Parmesan cheese shreds, like Daiya brand)**
  • 2 T white miso paste **(for GLUTEN/SOY ALLERGY sub coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt + 1/2 tsp of coconut aminos)**
  • 2 T butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter spread, like Earth Balance) brand**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Zucchini Zing Slaw

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 T white miso paste **(for GLUTEN/SESAME/SOY ALLERGY sub coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt)**
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes

  • 2 fresh or frozen bananas
  • 1 T white miso paste **(for GLUTEN/SOY ALLERGY sub 1 or 2 dashes coconut aminos)**
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 2 C yogurt (for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free yogurt)**
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Food Allergen Substitutions

Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles

  • Dairy: Omit Parmesan cheese, or substitute dairy-free/nut-free Parmesan cheese shreds, like Daiya brand.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute rice noodles for linguine or spaghetti. For 2 T white miso paste, substitute 2 T coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt + 1/2 tsp of coconut aminos.
  • Soy: For 2 T white miso paste, substitute 2 T coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt + 1/2 tsp of coconut aminos.

Zucchini Zing Slaw

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt for white miso paste.
  • Soy: Substitute coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt for white miso paste.

Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes

  • Gluten/Wheat: For 1 T white miso paste, substitute 1 or 2 dashes coconut aminos.
  • Soy: For 1 T white miso paste, substitute 1 or 2 dashes coconut aminos.
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut free yogurt for yogurt.

Instructions

Wacky Wok "Umami" Miso Noodles

1.
intro

"Konnichiwa! (KONE-neech-ee-wah) or "Hello" in Japanese! Miso (MEE-soh) originated in ancient Japan and has been a main staple in all sorts of Asian cooking ever since. This paste is made by fermenting soybeans and processing them into a paste. The result is the richest umami flavor you can imagine. Our recipe will combine creamy miso paste with delicate rice noodles for a flavor-packed stir-fry.

2.
boil + measure

Start by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. When the water is boiling, add 1 package of linguine or spaghetti. Cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, measure 2 tablespoon white miso paste, 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoon butter, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper in a small bowl and whisk.

3.
strain + stir fry

Strain the noodles using a colander or sieve, then pour them into a wok over medium high heat. Pour in the contents of the small bowl. Stir the noodles and miso sauce until well combined.

4.
stir + serve

After about 5 minutes of continuous stirring, remove from the heat and serve. "Tanoshimu!" (Tan-NO-shee-moo) or "Enjoy!" in Japanese.

Zucchini Zing Slaw

1.
grate + slice

Start off by grating 1 zucchini and 1 carrot into a medium bowl. Cover with a paper towel and then squeeze gently to remove a bit of the liquid in the bowl. Then, slice 1 bell pepper into long sticks (julienne) and add that to the bowl as well.

2.
measure + whisk

Next, measure 1 tablespoon white miso paste, 1/2 lemon, juiced, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper into a separate bowl. Whisk the ingredients until smooth.

3.
toss + serve

Toss the zucchini mixture with the miso dressing until all the veggies are well coated. Serve immediately or chill overnight. The slaw goes well with Wacky Wok Miso Noodles (see recipe).

Sweet Miso Sour Swirl Shakes

1.
juice

Juice 1/2 lemon into a blender.

2.
measure + blend

Measure and add 1 cup water, 2 cups yogurt, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon white miso paste, and 2 peeled bananas to the blender. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Taste to be sure the flavor is equally sweet and sour.

3.
pour + cheers

Pour the shake into cups and say a big "Cheers" in Japanese, "Kanpai!" (KAHN-pie).

Surprise Ingredient: Miso!

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Photo by jazz3311/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Miso (Mee-soh)!

"Konnichiwa! (KONE-neech-ee-wah) That's "Hello" in Japanese! I'm a fermented soybean paste with a peanut butter-like texture used as a seasoning in Japanese cooking. I can be salty, sweet, or savory, depending on how I'm made. You can find me in dips, sauces, soups, and noodle dishes. I'm even used to make pickles called "misozuke" (mee-soh-zoo-keh)!"

  • Fermented soybeans were probably introduced to Japan from China in the 7th century. The Japanese characters for "miso" were first seen in Japanese writing in the 8th century. 
  • Miso soup is a staple in Japanese cuisine. When served with rice, one side dish, and pickled vegetables, it was part of a basic meal during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) called "ichiju issai," meaning "one soup, one dish." Now miso soup is part of "ichiju sansai," or a meal with one soup and three dishes, including a main dish, two side dishes, and pickles. 
  • Miso is made by fermenting soybeans (and sometimes other beans or grains). In addition to the soybeans, most types use a starter called "koji," made from Aspergillus oryzae fungus, to start the process. Other ingredients may include water, salt, and grain, like barley. 
  • There are several varieties of miso depending on the ingredients and how long the soybeans are fermented. The most common are "shiro" (white), "shinshu" (yellow), "aka" (red), and "awase" (red and white) miso.
  • The miso fermented for the shortest time is "shiro miso," also called "white miso." Its color is white to light beige, and it is sweeter and milder than the other types. It is suitable for dishes where you want less intense flavor and can be used in dressings, marinades, and soups. It is sometimes used as a dairy replacement in recipes. 
  • The yellow or "shinshu" variety is another mild miso. It is yellow to light brown, is fermented a little longer, and uses more soybeans than white miso. It works well for glazes and soups.
  • "Aka miso" or "red miso" is fermented longer than white and yellow miso and uses a greater quantity of soybeans in the process. It tastes saltier and has a deep, vivid red to dark brown color. It works well in more robust dishes served in winter that require a stronger flavor. Red miso also works in marinades and adds flavor to heartier stews.
  • Another type of miso is "awase miso," a combination of white and red miso. It takes on the colors of the other two, making it more of a bronze shade. You can mix white and red miso to create your own flavor profile to add to other foods as you like. 
  • Miso paste should be stored tightly sealed in the refrigerator. It will last approximately nine months to one year. The darker varieties will last longer than the lighter ones.
  • Miso is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Soybeans include a complete form of protein, and the fermentation process helps the body to absorb nutrients better and improve digestion.
  • One ounce provides three grams of protein and seven grams of fiber. There are significant quantities of calcium, manganese, vitamin K, and fair amounts of B vitamins. 
  • Miso is high in salt, so you may want to avoid eating large quantities. 
  • Since miso is most often made with soybeans, if you have a soy allergy, try a soybean-free miso, such as those made from adzuki beans, chickpeas, farro (a type of wheat), or lima beans. 
  • Some varieties include barley, so if you have celiac disease or are allergic to gluten, check the labels and look for a gluten-free miso.

History of Noodles!

Photo by komokvm/Shutterstock.com
  • Who produced the original noodle? The Chinese, Arabs, and Italians have all made this claim, but the earliest record appears in a book written in China between 25 and 220 CE.
  • Noodles are a dominant food in many countries and have been for at least 2,000 years. In 2005, archaeologists discovered 4,000-year-old noodles inside a bowl buried under ten feet of sediment in northwest China. Scientists determined the 4,000-year-old, long yellow noodles were made from two kinds of millet native to China and demonstrated advanced cooking skills for that time.
  • Wherever noodles have originated, they have remained in demand for hundreds of years. Their long life is due to many things, including their being cheap, filling, nutritious, quick and easy to prepare, good to eat hot or cold, able to be dried and stored a long time, and easily transported.
  • In Chinese culture, the noodle is a symbol of long life. For that reason, noodles are traditionally served on birthdays and the Chinese New Year as an emblem of longevity. 
  • Shanghai-style noodles, thick Chinese noodles made with wheat flour and water, are Shanghai, China's gift to the wondrous world of noodles! A popular dish served at dumpling restaurants, Shanghai Fried Noodles consists of Shanghai-style noodles stir-fried with beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp, cabbage or bok choy, and onions. As in most Shanghainese cuisine, a soy sauce base is mandatory. There is no shortage of this dish, as customers can slurp it up at most restaurants in the city! 
  • The traditional Japanese diet, as in many Asian countries, includes rice at every meal. However, noodles brought from China have also become a vital part of Japanese cuisine as an alternative to rice. Typical noodles are "soba" noodles, thin brown noodles made from buckwheat, and "udon" noodles, thick wheat noodles served cold or hot with a soy and dashi broth. The Japanese also eat "ramen," a soup made with a Chinese-style wheat noodle, fish or meat stock, and soy sauce or miso flavorings. 
  • Noodles were also incorporated into the Japanese tea ceremony, and noodle-making was considered an art form. 
  • After World War II, noodles became even more critical in Japan when food shortages were rampant and dried foods like noodles were often the only available food item.  
  • Rice noodles are an alternative to wheat-based noodles. Also originating in China, they are made with rice flour and water and are common in East and Southeast Asian cuisines. They are available fresh, frozen, or dried in various shapes and thicknesses.
  • In almost every Asian culture that uses them, noodles are associated with well-being and long life and can be considered an Asian comfort food.

Let's Learn About Japan!

Photo by yamasan0708/Shutterstock.com
  • Japan is an East Asian island country with more than 6,800 islands! However, there are five main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu (called "Hondo" or "mainland"), Kyushu, Okinawa, and Shikoku. 
  • The country is governed by a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with an emperor, a prime minister, and a legislature. 
  • Japanese is the official language, with English becoming more widespread in business and education. 
  • Japan lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," contributing to its island geography. There are more than 111 active volcanoes, and Japan has the most earthquakes every year. Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain and volcano in Japan at 12,389.2 feet. 
  • Tokyo is Japan's capital and largest city. Japan's total area is 145,937 square miles, and its population is over 125.5 million. 
  • The Japanese word for Japan is "Nihon" or "Nippon." The Japanese or "kanji" characters used for its name mean "origin of the sun." This is the source of Japan's nickname, "Land of the Rising Sun." The red circle in the center of the Japanese flag represents the rising sun, or "circle of the sun." 
  • "Kanji" is a Japanese writing system that uses characters derived from Chinese writing. Each character represents a word or words. 
  • Ancient warriors of Japan were known as Samurai and were highly skilled swordsmen and fighters. 
  • Japan's national flower is the cherry blossom. The symbolism of the cherry blossom is abundant in Japan. The cherry blossom tree is also known as the Japanese cherry or "Sakura" (which means "cherry blossoms").
  • Haiku poetry originated in Japan. Haiku consists of just three lines, with the first line being 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the 3rd line 5 syllables. 
  • Shigeichi Negishi, a Japanese engineer, created the first karaoke-like machine in 1967, using 8-track tapes and booklets for the lyrics. However, he was not successful in distributing his "Sparko Box" machines. 
  • Then, in the early 1970s, a Japanese musician, Daisuke Inoue, marketed tape machines, taped music, and amplifiers to bars to accompany regular people who wanted to get up on stage and sing, and his karaoke business model took off. 
  • Japan produces the most robotics globally. The ASIMO is a human-like robot created by Japanese engineers of Honda Motor Company in 2000. The acronym stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility.
  • Sumo wrestling is Japan's national sport, and like sumo, other martial arts originated in Japan, including karate, judo, kendo, jujutsu, and aikido. Western sports such as baseball, basketball, and soccer are also popular.
  • Since the 8th century, Coming of Age Day has been a holiday to celebrate a young person reaching the age of maturity—20 years old in Japan. Their special day serves to encourage them as they realize their adulthood. 
  • The Japanese tea ceremony is considered a traditional art in Japan, and some practice it as a hobby to share with family and friends. Tea was brought to Japan from China in the 9th century by a Buddhist monk. It is said that the ritual of drinking green tea began as a way for the monks to keep awake during meditation.
  • Japan has about four million vending machines, the highest per capita worldwide. The machines sell everything from hotdogs to underwear and soup to umbrellas!
  • In addition to sushi, other Japanese dishes include "soba" (thin buckwheat noodles), "teriyaki" (broiled or grilled seafood or meat with a soy sauce glaze), "tempura" (battered and deep-fried seafood, meat, and veggies), and yakitori (skewered grilled chicken). 
  • Many kids and adults enjoy bento boxes, which are lunch boxes filled with sushi and other snacks. Bento boxes are an experience with texture, shapes, and flavors!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Japan?

  • Most school children in Japan wear uniforms, and their school breaks are shorter than in other countries. 
  • Kids have to learn 1,026 basic kanji characters by the time they finish sixth grade.
  • Parents and schools teach kids to respect their elders, teachers, and each other.
  • Primary school kids eat lunch together in their classrooms. A few students are assigned to get the lunches, serve them to their classmates, and return the dirty dishes to the school kitchen. Every student prepares themselves for lunch by cleaning their desks and washing their hands. In some schools they even put on a lunch uniform—a white garment and hat—to protect their clothes.
  • Some of the sports and martial arts kids participate in are baseball, soccer, swimming, judo, kendo, and karate.
  • School lunch may consist of rice or noodles, soup, fish or meat, fruit, salad, a cup of tea, and always a bottle or carton of milk.  
  • Two popular sweet treats kids in Japan like are "mochi," a molded cake made of rice, sugar, cornstarch, and water, sometimes with a sweet red bean filling, and "Pocky," a brand of chocolate-coated biscuit sticks.

The Yolk's On You

What did one soup lover say to another?

"I'm crazy pho noodle soup!"

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a pasta that is sick? 

Mac and Sneeze.

The Yolk's On You

What does a vegetable wear to the beach? 

A zoo-kini!

Lettuce Joke Around

What did one bowl of soup say to another bowl of soup? 

"You make miso happy!"

THYME for a Laugh

What would you get if you crossed pasta with a snake?

Spaghetti that wraps itself around a fork!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call a fake noodle? 

An impasta!

The Yolk's On You

What does an invisible man drink?

Evaporated milk!

The Yolk's On You

What did mama cow say to baby calf?

It’s pasture bedtime.

Lettuce Joke Around

What's Jar Jar Binks' favorite soup? 

Miso soup!

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