You do not need to be a vegetarian to love this miso ramen. When combined with a miso taré, the dashi in this recipe delivers richness and satisfying flavor with minimal effort. Just gather a few pieces of kombu, a handful of dried shiitakes, and slice up a couple ‘coins’ of ginger (put away that peeler!), and steep in boiled water for up to an hour. Spend some time at the supermarket picking out a quality miso with a flavor profile you’re looking for—sweet, or salty—and you’ve won half the battle.
You’ll benefit from living near a Japanese or Korean market (such as the chain H-Mart) where you can acquire fresh ramen noodles. We’ve made this recipe with a couple noodle varieties, and fresh Sun noodles are our favorite substitution here.
Some comments we have on this recipe:
- if you don’t have roasted sesame oil, peanut or roasted peanut oil will work fine as a substitute
- strain the tofu before roasting under a heavy plate or bowl (extra credit: weigh down the plate or bowl with potatoes) to remove some of the liquid from the tofu, this will help when you are roasting the beancurd
- kale is delicious, but other greens like chinese spinach are great, too—experiment!
- have shichimi togarashi on-hand for sprinkling (you should have it whether you make this soup or not); bonjon suggests togarashi, which is strictly red pepper, but the shichimi version has bits of dried seaweed, ginger, and roasted orange peel for a more complex flavor and incredibly pleasing sweet heat
- we found that the tofu and shiitake mushrooms needed more than 10 minutes in the oven to evaporate excess liquid and get them nicely roasted
- it took 15 minutes in the refrigerated section at my local H-Mart to choose from a selection of more than 20 types of miso before landing on an Enjuku Koji Miso by Hikari Miso