Recipe Index

Fresh noodle soup in sesame miso broth

Serves 4 generously


This big, steaming sesame miso soup rich with silky tofu, tender spinach and chew noodles is mild, flavorful and totally worth scoring fresh wheat noodles from the Asian grocery store; read the label carefully to be sure you’re purchasing the variety made without eggs.


Tip: Handle silken tofu gently once it’s out of the box; to slice, simply run a knife through the block a few times but don’t separate the layers or else it will fall apart. Use a wide spatula to lift the entire block at once into the soup.


Tester notes: If anyone wants to try this with ramen noodles be my guest!




1 pound fresh thick wheat Asian noodles

3 tablespoons kosher salt

3 quarts cold water

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil



½ cup dried shitaki mushrooms 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into half moons

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 scallions, white and green sections divided and finely chopped

One 4 inch strip dried kombu seaweed

1 pound silken tofu, drained and sliced into 1 inch cubes

6 cups water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Korean red pepper powder

⅔ cup light miso paste

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

3 cups fresh spinach leaves, loosely packed

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds



1. In a large soup pot bring water and salt to a rolling boil; slide in fresh wheat noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender but still firm (al dente, if you will). Drain and rinse well with cold water, then toss with sesame oil. In a mixing bowl cover dried shiitaki mushrooms with 2 cups of boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove mushrooms, discard any hard stems and slice into very thin strips. Strain mushroom soaking liquid through a cheesecloth to remove any grit and set aside.


2. Fry the sliced onion and oil in the large soup pot for 4 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add garlic and chipped white parts of scallions and fry for another minute, then pour in the 6 cups of water and reserved mushroom cooking liquid. Add the kombu strip, increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and bring the soup to gentle simmer, then stir in sliced mushrooms, tofu, soy sauce, and red pepper powder. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.


3. Scoop the miso into a mixing bowl and on ladle 1 cup of hot broth. Use a rubber spatula to stir the broth into the miso to form a creamy smooth paste, then stir the miso mixture into the soup. Stir in the toasted sesame oil and spinach leaves and continue to simmer until the spinach is wilted and tender. Turn off the heat and keep the soup covered. Remove and discard the kombu strip before serving the soup.


4. Divide the noodles into large, deep serving bowls. Ladle the soup on top of the noodles, making sure to distribute plenty of tofu, spinach and mushrooms along with lots of broth in each bowl. Sprinkle each serving with sesame seeds and the chopped green tops of the scallions. Serve right away with both chopsticks and big wide soup spoons.