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With this simple recipe, you can make ramen shop worthy Miso Ramen Broth even on a busy weeknight. An ultra simple dashi melds with fresh ginger and a blend of red and white miso pastes to infuse an incredible depth of flavor into every spoonful. From there, you have endless options for building your ultimate ramen bowl with this step-by-step guide.
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning that comes in many varieties (red miso paste and white miso paste are the most common). It's a thick, salty paste made from fermented soybeans with deeply complex flavors: sweet, savory (umami), and earthy, depending on the ingredients used and how they were fermented. It's the magic ingredient in this wildly flavorful broth.
Miso Ramen Broth Ingredients
- Water: ideally filtered water
- Dried Kombu: Look for this dried, eidble sea kelp / seaweed in an Asian market or in the Asian food section of many large supermarkets.
- Katsobushi: also called bonito flakes (simmered, smoked and fermented skipjack tuna)
- Pork Broth: ideally homemade Pork Bone Broth
- Chicken Broth: ideally homemade Chicken Broth
- Red Miso Paste / White Miso Paste: Look for this in Asian markets or the the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. A little goes a long way and the tubs have a long refrigerator life.
- Ginger: fresh ginger
There are several components to a bowl of ramen like the ones you'll find at ramen shops all over in Japan and, more recently, in the United States (and not the 10 for $1 variety a lot of us ate in college): stock, tare, noodles, and toppings / garnishes. First, let's talk about stock.
What is ramen broth made of?
Ramen broth is a combination of stock and tare. Stock is the foundation of ramen broth and comes from a combination of sources. Typically one or more varieties made from chicken, beef or pork bones long simmered in water combined with dashi.
Dashi is a broad name referring to a variety of fish stocks, but the most common is made from kombu (thick, dried sea kelp / seaweed) and katsuobushi (simmered, smoked and fermented skipjack tuna that is shaved and dried into paper thin flakes - also called bonito flakes). Dried shiitake mushrooms are also a common addition as are dried sardines called niboshi. There are instant varieties of dashi (like hondashi), but they often contain preservatives and MSG.
Tare is the bold layer of seasoning in a ramen bowl with an endless variety of optional ingredients including miso, mirin, soy sauce, salt and vinegar.
Weeknight Easy with a Simplified Method
Many miso ramen recipes direct you to make a large quantity of dashi, which lasts just a few days in the refrigerator and, at most, a few months in the freezer. But the ingredients to make dashi will keep for a long time in your pantry, if stored in a well sealed container in a cool dry place. Opened bonito flakes for 6 months to 1 year and dried seaweed / kelp even longer, when stored properly.
This simplified method is weeknight easy because it includes all of the miso ramen broth elements at once: the meat broths, the dashi and the tare ingredients. So that you can make just enough Miso Ramen Broth (or Shoyu Ramen Broth) for one meal or double or triple the recipe if you want leftovers. And it's easy to adjust the flavors to suit your tastes and to keep all of the recipe ingredients on hand to make a fresh batch whenever a craving strikes.
What You'll Need to Make a Miso Ramen Bowl
Broth: You'll need dashi (see recipe in this post) and two types of broth, which you can buy at the grocery store or, better yet, make your own with these easy recipes: Homemade Chicken Broth and Pork Bone Broth (you could also use Beef Bone Broth). You'll also need both red and white miso pastes and fresh ginger.
Ramen Noodles: Ideally, Homemade Ramen Noodles, but you can also buy them either fresh or dried. You'll want 4 to 5-ounces of fresh noodles or 2 ½ to 3-ounces of dried per serving.
Toppings: Your options here are endless and include meats, vegetables, eggs, and finishing touches like seasoned oils and sprinkles for added spice and crunch! \
Chashu Pork is a quintessential ramen topping and very easy to make. With this recipe, there is no rolling required and just 10 minutes of prep.
Soy Sauce Eggs require just 4 everyday ingredients and 5 minutes of prep. They need several hours to marinate, and are even better after pickling overnight, so plan on making them a day in advance.
Vegetables - Steamed, Blanched or Stir-Fried, mix and match to suit what sounds good or what you have on hand: chopped spring onions or green onions, spinach, bean sprouts, fresh corn kernels, snap peas or snow peas, mushrooms, chard, bok choy, broccoli or cauliflower, carrots
Finishing Touches: For Spicy Miso Ramen, add 2 tablespoons of chili oil or more to taste. You can also drizzle with toasted sesame oil, add strips of nori, and/or sprinkled with sesame seeds, furikake or togarashi seasonings.
How to Build a Ramen Bowl
- Have bowls ready to fill, ideally somewhere warm.
- Cook and/or heat desired toppings (vegetables and meats) so they're ready to add to the bowl and have garnishes prepared and eggs peeled and cut in half if using.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for the noodles (you can also use this to blanch vegetables if you like).
- While the noodle water comes to boil, heat broth in a separate pan to simmer.
- Drop fresh ramen noodles into boiling water to cook for 2 minutes (dried ramen noodles for 4 minutes).
- Ladle broth into bowls (~12 ounces / 1 ½-cups per bowl).
- Drain noodles well and divide among bowls.
- Arrange hot garnishes like Chashu Pork and cooked vegetables near the side of the bowl and nestle in egg halves.
- Drizzle with seasoned oil around the bowl if using.
- Finish with sprinkled seasonings, finely sliced green onion and/or nori if desired and serve immediately.
How to Make Miso Ramen Broth
Combine water and kombu in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat and stir in bonito flakes; let stand 5 minutes. Strain out and discard solids.
Return liquid (dashi) to saucepan and add ginger and pork and chicken broths. Place white and red miso pastes in a mesh sieve and use the back of a spoon to work it into the broth (a handy trick for dissolving it quickly). Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Serve or let cool and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.
Miso Ramen Broth
- 2 cups water
- ¼ ounce dried kombu 7g (recipe note #2)
- ¼ ounce dried bonito flakes 7g, or a lightly rounded, loosely filled ½ cup dry measure (also called shaved katsobushi - recipe note #2)
- 2 cups pork broth low-sodium, ideally homemade Pork Bone Broth
- 2 cups chicken broth low-sodium, ideally homemade Chicken Broth
- 3 tablespoons red miso paste or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons white miso paste or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- In a medium saucepan, combine cold water and kombu; bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in bonito flakes; let stand 5 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out and discard solids (or reserve for a second use).
- Return liquid (dashi) to saucepan and add pork broth, chicken broth and ginger. Add both miso pastes to a sieve and set just below the surface of the broth; use the back of a spoon to work the miso through the sieve, dispersing it into the broth. Cook and stir over medium heat, until mixture comes to a simmer. Serve immediately (see post for assembling a miso ramen bowl) or cool and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.