Miso Ramen with Sesame Tofu (or Chicken)

March 14, 2024


In recent weeks, I’ve noticed a definite change in the air. The angle of light has shifted, and the sun feels gentler on my skin. As another summer season draws to a close, my garden is slowing down. This year, the transition feels rather abrupt, partly due to my neglect over the past few months. The garden struggled, and I struggled to keep up. I share this because even with the best plans and intentions, things don’t always go as planned. Nonetheless, it’s a good time of year to start afresh. This weekend, I plan to tidy up, remove spent plants and prepare the garden beds for winter and spring crops. Onwards and upwards—I’m ready for the slower pace of the cooler months.

Today, I’m sharing a soup recipe that seamlessly ushers in this new season of shorter days and brisker nights. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner option, particularly as I adore ‘soup dinners’. This recipe is both warming and simple to prepare. If you haven’t yet added a jar of miso to your condiment selection, this delicious soup might just convince you to do so. Miso can be used in soups, to flavour dressings, as a marinade, and even in sweet recipes like salted caramel sauce.

The magic in this flavorful soup lies in miso’s umami taste. Umami, one of the five recognized tastes alongside sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, can best be described as soulfully savoury, and it’s wonderfully addictive. You can find miso at supermarkets and specialty food stores. My personal favorite is Urban Hippie Miso, traditionally prepared and locally made in Whakatū Nelson.

More Autumn Meals on Homegrown Kitchen

Miso Ramen with Sesame Tofu (or Chicken)

I fell in love with ramen noodle soup when I visited Japan some years ago. Served in large bowls accompanied by a ladle-like wooden spoon, it was an effort to get to the bottom of the bowl. This version is not overly authentic but includes traditional flavour components and is light and speedy for a weeknight meal. Miso is a fermented food that contains beneficial bacteria and enzymes (when unpasteurised) that are destroyed once boiled. To keep them lively remove the soup from the heat before stirring through the thinned miso to taste.
Servings 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


Sesame Tofu (or Chicken)

  • 300 g firm tofu, cut into 2cm cubes (or use boneless chicken thigh or breast)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Ramen Soup

  • 2 litres (8 cups) vegetable stock or water
  • 4 cm knob of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, squashed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 broccoli head (about 300g), cut into florets
  • 200 g ramen noodles (or rice noodles for gluten-free)
  • about 4 tbsp good-quality miso paste
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 medium-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds for serving


  • Preheat the oven 200C (fan 180C). (*Alternatively, panfry the tofu in a frying pan.)
  • First, make the sesame tofu. In a bowl, toss the cubed tofu (or chicken) with the soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil and sesame seeds to evenly coat. Spread in a single layer in an oven dish. Roast for 10 minutes then flip the tofu and roast for a further 5-10 minutes until golden and caramelised. Scoop into a serving bowl and keep warm. *I like to oven-bake the tofu when I have the oven on for other cooking - bread, roast vegetables etc. Alternatively, panfry the tofu in a frying pan until golden then scatter with sesame seeds.
  • While the tofu is cooking, prepare the ramen soup base. In a large saucepan, bring the stock or water to a gentle simmer. Add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, spring onion and broccoli. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the noodles and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until the broccoli is tender and the noodles are al dente. Remove from the heat and use a ladle to scoop about 1 cup of the broth into a mixing jug. Add 4 tablespoons of miso paste to the jug and use a fork to mix well until the miso has dissolved into the liquid. Pour back into the soup, add the rice vinegar and gently stir.
  • Check the flavour, adding extra vinegar or thinned miso - repeating the dissolving process, if needed.
  • Serve immediately topped with sesame tofu and halved boiled eggs. Garnish with sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Join the Conversation

  1. This sounds exactly like what is needed on this rainy day, Nicola! And I have pretty much everything in the fridge so thank you for sorting out my dinner tonight! I was wondering what to do with my jar of miso. 🙂

    1. That is the best type of recipe. When you have everything on hand and it matches the mood/weather. Enjoy!

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