Asian Primavera Noodle Bowl Recipe - Woodmans Restaurant

Chef Ned Grieg at Woodman’s in the Essex Room shows how to make a delectable Asian primavera noodle bowl in this podcast that is both appealing and satisfying. Read more to learn how to make this easy and colorful dish at home for your next meal or get together.

John Maher:  Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Chef Ned Grieg. Executive Chef at Woodman’s in the Essex Room in Essex, Massachusetts. We’re doing a series of podcasts on spring recipes. Today we’re talking about Chef Ned’s Asian Primavera Noodle Bowl recipe. Welcome, Ned!

Ned Grieg:  Good afternoon, John!

John:  This sounds really interesting. Tell me a little bit about this recipe, Ned.

How to Prepare Your Ingredients

Ned:  OK. An Asian food, full of flavor, all your vegetables and your ingredients are usually bright and very colorful. The biggest part about making this is having “mise en place,” [or] getting everything ready before you need to cook it.

John:  Doing all your chopping and all of your measuring things out, all that.

Ned:  Exactly. It cooks very, very fast. You definitely want to make sure everything is prepared in advance.

John:  You don’t want to have to be chopping something while something else is cooking, because it might burn before you have a chance to get it in there.

Ned:  That’s one thing about it. There’s a little bit of preparation involved. It’s like if you’re making your own Chinese food at home. You have all these cups of different things that you would add to your wok at a particular time when you make it. That’s the same principle when you make this Asian Noodle Bowl recipe. What makes it Asian is instead of using regular noodles, though you certainly could use vermicelli or linguini made out of egg pasta, this is made out of rice noodles. When you get rice noodles, don’t think that you can just put them in a bowl and pour a hot sauce over the top of them and the noodles are going to cook, it doesn’t work that way. You need to still blanch those noodles off and then chill them down quickly, otherwise they will stick together. First thing you do is you’re going to get a rolling pot of water. I prefer the vermicelli rice noodles, because you make them up into nice little balls and put them in the bottom of your bowl when you decide to serve the culinary offering,

John:  OK.

Ned:  And it looks pretty. Then, all the vegetables have to be prepared next. It’s just like cooking Chinese food. You want to thinly slice your vegetables, your carrots, your celery, your broccoli and the stems. You want to make sure that all the ingredients that you’re going to be putting into your vegetable broth can all cook about the same amount of time, all at the same time. That’s important to do that. Other things that we put in here were some Shiitake mushrooms, some snow peas. We like bok choy because it just gives it a nice leafy substance. All your leafy greens, as most people know by now, are just so nutrient rich. It’s phenomenal, it’s one of those special things that your body really enjoys.

John:  Right, it used to just be lettuce was all you had. Now you have all this kale and all these different types of greens.

Ned:  Kale is good, bok choy, napa cabbage. The highest nutritional leafy green of all, believe it or not, is collard greens. Unfortunately, if you go down south, they cook it forever with the ham hock and it doesn’t look pretty. It sure does taste good! If you take the rib out of it, where it’s really thick and fibrous and just use a leafy greens, within five minutes it makes a lovely little vegetable that you can put in your arsenal for the next time you have guests over for dinner. What’s also nice about this particular recipe is that it’s dairy free. The coconut milk makes it look like it’s milky but it’s not. The coconut milk enhances the flavor. There is red Thai curry paste, just go carefully on that. If you buy the little jars at Hannaford’s or at Shaw’s, that one’s not too strong and they add a little bit more sugar to it. The ones that I buy and I’ve used them, they’re like five times more powerful and potent. When you’re putting that into your coconut broth and your vegetables, you want to make sure you just put a little bit in the beginning until you realize how intense the flavor is for you.

John:  Yeah, good advice.

How to Cook Your Noodles & Vegetables

Ned:  You have your rice noodles cooked off and then you can put them in the bowls just before you serve it. You can use the wok to make this, quite frankly, or a good heavy bottom saucepot. You’ve got to put some sesame oil, some ground up ginger, some ground up garlic. You’re going to let that cook until it turns translucent. There’s a culinary term, they call it “sweating vegetables off in your scents.” Then, you’re going to add your carrots, your celery, and all your other vegetables that you have, you can mix and match. As soon as they look like they’re covered and starting to steam a little bit, add your coconut milk and your vegetable broth and a little pinch of brown sugar. You don’t need to put the sugar in. It just seems to bring the flavors together. Once it comes to a quick simmer, you can add your Thai curry paste to it, just be careful you don’t add too much because it will ruin the whole meal. Then, all of a sudden, that’s done. You’re going to ladle that over the top of your rice noodles that were already cooked off. They’re not really hot, but when you heat it with this broth, it looks beautiful. Then you’re going to sprinkle with a little bit of chopped up cilantro. It’s a vegetarian meal. If you want to kick it up another notch, you can do a piece of pan seared salmon that you can cradle on top of it, which we’ve done for luncheons before.

John:  Add a little bit of an extra piece to it and make it a little bit more of a meal.

Ned:  That’s right. We use as…my wife and I make this when we do meatless Mondays. We also cheat sometimes and put salmon on ours. It’s really delicious. It’s amazing how much the flavor of the Shiitake mushrooms comes through. I made this with fresh baby carrots before, fresh baby corn. You can mix and match your vegetables. It’s just important to make sure that you do thinly slice them, otherwise you will be eating chunks of things that are undercooked and other things that are overcooked.

John:  Yeah. Great advice. It sounds like a really good recipe and something that I think I’d like to try at home.

Ned:  Yay!

John:  Thanks for speaking to me today, Ned. I appreciate it.

Ned:  You’re welcome, John! Enjoy the Asian Primaversa Noodle Bowl recipe everyone!

John:  For more information you can visit Woodman’s at or the Essex Room at Make sure you tune in next time for the last of our podcasts on spring recipes.


Note: this recipe is intended for catering and measurements may need to be scaled down for individual or family use.

Asian Primavera Noodle Bowl


Quantity & Unit Of Measure

Ned’s Notes

Dry Rice Noodles

5 ½ Pounds

I Like The Vermicelli

Sesame Oil

1 Cup

Fresh Ginger

1 Cup

Fresh Garlic

Fresh Ginger

1 Cup

Coarsely Chopped

Coconut Milk

8 13.5 Ounce Cans


Vegetable Broth

3 Quarts


Thai Red Curry Paste

8 Tablespoons

More If You Wish!

Brown Sugar

8 Ounces

Loosely Packed


2 Pounds

Cleaned & Thinly Sliced


2 Pounds

Cleaned & Thinly Sliced On The Bias

Snow Peas

2 Pounds

Whole Or Thinly Sliced

Shitake Mushrooms

1 Pound

Cleaned & Thinly Sliced


2 Heads

nipped Into Teaspoon Size Pieces

Boc Choi

1 Head


Pepper: Red

2 Individual

Cleaned & Thinly Sliced

Pepper: Green

2 Individual

Cleaned & Thinly Sliced

Pepper: Yellow

2 Individual

Cleaned & Thinly Sliced


2 Bunches

Cleaned & Thinly Sliced


4 Bunches

Coarsely Chopped


  1. Cook Rice Noodles Al Dente In A Large Pot Of Boiling Water: 3-5 Minutes.
  2. Drain & Rinse Under Cold Water Till Completely Cooled: This Will Prevent From Sticking Together.
  3. Divide Into 50 “Balls” & Place On A Sheet Tray For Now.
  4. Cover With Parchment Paper Misted With Water; Asset Aside In A 200*F. Oven.
  5. In A 3-4 Gallon Stock Pot Combine Sesame Oil, Ginger & Garlic.
  6. Simmer Over Medium Heat Till Amber Brown.
  7. Add The Next 4 Ingredients & Bring To A Simmer.
  8. Add The Remaining 10 Ingredients & Simmer For 2-3 Minutes.
  9. Add Cilantro & Ladle 5 Ounces Into Bowls.
  10. Add Noodles & Enjoy!
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