Korean Lentil and Zucchini Bolognese
with noodles / pickled cucumbers
Smarts #1: Make a double batch of Lentil and Zucchini Bolognese tonight and the leftovers will become an easy, fast base for Thursday night's soup.
Smarts #2: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.
- Zucchini - 1 1/2 lbs, chopped
- Carrots - 8 oz, diced
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Stock, low-sodium vegetable - 1 cup
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1/2 cup
- Gochujang - 2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Lentils, cooked - 3 cups (use pre-cooked lentils or if cooking from dried, use half the amount of dried and prepare according to package directions)
- Water - 1 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 2 tsp
- Noodles, ramen - 8 oz, if using Instant Ramen, discard flavor packets (sub any type of Asian noodle like soba or dried udon or use dried spaghetti)
- Cucumbers - 8 oz, sliced
- Vinegar, rice - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 2 tsp
- Sesame seeds, white (opt) - 1 tsp
- Noodles - (Note: If prepping right before cooking, do the rest of the prep steps and get sauce simmering before cooking noodles.) Cook noodles according to package directions. If making ahead, toss the noodles with some oil to help prevent them from sticking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Zucchini / Carrots / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make sauce - Combine garlic, stock, soy sauce, Gochujang, and brown sugar. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cucumbers - Slice cucumbers. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make pickles - (Note: The longer ahead you make the pickles, the more tart and “pickle-y” they’ll be. You can also wait and toss this together 30 minutes before serving if you’d like them to retain their crunch and just be lightly dressed.) Whisk together vinegar and sugar. Combine cucumbers and sesame seeds in a small bowl or jar. Pour liquid over top. (It’s okay if the cucumbers aren’t completely submerged in liquid, but you want them mostly covered. Add some more rice vinegar if needed.) (Can be done up to 3 days ahead.)
- Heat a wok or Dutch oven with oil over medium heat. Add carrots and saute for 1 minute to get carrots started cooking.
- To carrots, add zucchini and lentils and saute until zucchini starts to soften, ~2 minutes.
- Pour sauce over zucchini / lentils and stir to combine everything. Bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
- While sauce simmers, whisk together water and cornstarch.
- Pour water / cornstarch mixture into zucchini / lentils and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until sauce thickens.
- Drain liquid off pickles (discard liquid) and season the pickles with some salt.
- If noodles were made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Serve Korean bolognese (reserve half for Thursday) over noodles with pickles on the side. Enjoy!
Not sure what I did wrong, but the sauce was very watery and the smell/flavor almost made me sick to my stomach. I was able to make it mostly edible with hot sauce, peanuts, and cilantro, but I won't be making this again. Gave it two because I love the pickles!1 Helpful
This was super quick and really tasty. I used some noodles I already had on hand which were probably a little too thick, and I didn’t get to make the pickles because my grocery delivery was missing the cucumber - but I’ll definitely make this again to try as written!0 Helpful
I liked the flavor a lot but I wish it had been more saucy so it wasn’t just meat on dry noodles. I might try leaving the cornstarch out next time0 Helpful
I accidentally used reg soy sauce, and it made the dish a little salty in my opinion. Other than that it was a crowd pleaser! Even for my picky husband!!0 Helpful
Made the recipe as is. Loved the flavors and the soup made with the leftovers was really good.0 Helpful
Kid’s favourite, such a tasty meal for little effort.0 Helpful