Look no further than my Miso Noodles for a warm bowl of savory noodle soup goodness! It is an iconic Japanese dish with a soup base full of warming flavors from umami to salty and sweet. It is commonly referred to as “ramen” and is best served with vegetables and lean protein to be a complete meal!
Miso is a fermented bean paste that is best known for its use in Japanese cuisine. The salty, umami flavor it imparts in any dish has made it a trendy ingredient in Western cooking. It is traditionally used in soups and noodle dishes and is definitely the star of my Miso Noodles. To learn a bit more on the history and culinary decadence of miso check out my post on Tomato Corn Salad & Miso Dressing.
Since miso is fermented, it is full of beneficial bacteria making my Miso Noodles a probiotic dish! I am using white miso in this recipe because it is the easiest to find and has the most mild flavor. It is made from fermented soybeans and rice. Although it is referred to as “white miso” the color is more light brown/beige.
Other common varieties are red miso and yellow miso, which can be used alternatively if they are what you have on hand. Yellow miso is typically made from soybeans and barley and has a mild, earthy flavor. Red miso is mostly soybeans and is typically fermented the longest giving it a pungent, robust flavor that is ideal for braising and marinades.
It’s All About the Sauce
What sets my Miso Noodles apart from the ubiquitous instant ramen packets, is the sodium overly salty flavor packet is replaced with a rich, savory sauce! My Miso Noodles is a lower sodium, healthier alternative. The soy sauce and miso are salty, the honey gives it sweetness and the ginger gives a zesty and spicy flavor. An unusual addition to my Miso Noodles is most definitely the tahini sauce. I always use Soom Tahini because of the extra cream texture that requires minimal stirring and is made in Philadelphia, PA.
Tahini is ground sesame seeds with a similar texture to miso. It has a nutty flavor that gives a creamy flavor thanks to the high oil content of sesame seeds. Given that tahini is made from seeds it is suitable for most dietary restrictions. It has the heartiness of peanut butter, and the decadence of butter.
When mixing the sauce, mix all the ingredients except the water. Then, slowly add the water in, noting that at first it will tighten up into a paste––this is caused by the tahini. Slowly, keep adding the water until it turns into a sauce. The flavor will be concentrated and strong, but once it is mixed in with the ramen noodles it will mellow out.
Ramen is a wheat based noodle with a yellow tinge that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. The speediest option to make my Miso Noodles using instant ramen noodles, which are cooked and then dehydrated and require only adding boiling water. The downside is that they have preservatives and artificial ingredients. Alternatively, you can use an uncooked ramen noodles that needs to be simmered for about 8-10 minutes.
My Miso Noodles are delicious with just the noodles and miso sauce, but get even better with a few additional ingredients. For me, the dish needs a lean protein and vegetables. The classic and easiest to prepare protein would be soft-boiled eggs. To get that perfectly jammy yolk center, check out my tutorial on How to Boil an Egg. Adding sautéed chicken or shrimp would also be delicious.
When adding vegetables, I think about crunchy texture and vibrant colors. Persian cucumbers and carrots add that desired crunch. With the cucumbers I will cut them on a bias to add some nice angles and the carrots I will use a vegetable peeler to add as ribbons. Scallions are a classic addition to noodle soups, and add an oniony flavor and a green pop of color. Another green vegetable that is popular is bok choy. Enjoy!
All About Miso – Article. FineCooking. August 2014. https://www.finecooking.com/article/all-about-miso. Accessed October 10, 2020.
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup water
- 1 package 10-ounce traditional ramen noodles
- Sautéed shrimp or chicken
- Soft-boiled eggs
- 1 persian cucumber diced
- 1 carrot grated
- 2 scallions sliced thin
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Chile oil
- In a bowl, mix tahini, oil, miso, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic and whisk together. Slowly add water, continuing to whisk. Set aside.
- Cook ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add noodles to bowl with sauce mixture and toss together.
- Split into 2 bowls and serve with optional toppings.