This quick and easy Miso Noodles recipe is a satisfying vegetarian / vegan meal full of umami flavor! It is a Japanese-style dish made of tender noodles, green onion and perfectly seared shiitake mushrooms, edamame and bok choy in a deliciously creamy miso-based sauce. It will only take you 20 minutes from start to finish- perfect for busy weekdays!
When in need of quick yet flavorful comfort food, I often turn to my favorite noodles dishes like chicken Stroganoff, Instant Pot beef stroganoff or roasted vegetable pasta. They are easy to make yet deliver full-on comfort satisfaction.
But when I’m craving something more umami and rich Asian flavors, nothing beats these slightly spicy miso noodles. They’re a go-to weekday dish that is unbelievably easy yet super tasty. Plus it’s plant based and vegan but still satisfying!
It’s creamy like my soba noodles with peanut sauce recipe but this time, I used miso and tahini to make the sauce. The miso paste added tons of savory flavor that meshes beautifully with the creaminess of the tahini. And a drop of garlic chili sauce seals the deal. It is a wonderful mix of flavors that will make your tastebuds sing and tummies happy!
A nutritious vegan dish
This is a fully-loaded meal with plenty of carbohydrates to make you feel full and satisfied quickly but is still light on the stomach because of its high dietary fiber content. You will get a good amount of protein and vitamins from the edamame and mushrooms too.
I like garnishing this miso noodle recipe with more veggies like carrots, green onions, and radishes to keep it simple. You can use other vegetables that you like and improvise here. Not only do they add nutrition, crunch, color, texture, and flavor, but they also allow you to use up leftover veggies lurking in the fridge.
Aside from being super delicious and nutritious, this great recipe is also simple and customizable. The ingredient list consist of simple everyday ingredients, but I also added possible substitutions wherever possible to make it more approachable.
You should be able to find all of this at your standard larger grocery store without needing to visit specialty Asian food stores. Just look in the Asian food section and if you can’t find it there, everything is available online these days. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare:
- Noodles – I used udon noodles in the pictures but also tried the recipe with gluten free spaghetti and brown rice ramen noodles. Soba noodles, rice noodles, ramen, wheat pasta, or any type of noodle should work though. Just make sure to follow the package directions when cooking them and adjust cooking time as needed.
- Sesame oil– this fragrant, nutty oil is used for searing the veggies and then later on in the sauce too. I used regular sesame oil since that’s what I had on hand but using toasted sesame oil adds a lot of flavor for the sauce! If you don’t have sesame oil, use another oil with a higher smoke point like avocado oil.
- Shiitake mushrooms– I love how these absorb flavors like crazy and give the dish a meaty texture! You can also use baby portobellas or cremini as alternatives.
- Edamame beans – make sure to thaw first if frozen and pat them dry before searing. Searing cooks them and adds a little bit of char flavor to the outer layer, maintaining a tender center. Snap peas or green beans will also work as a substitution.
- Baby bok choy- If you do not have this, try using other greens like spinach, kale or or cabbage. If using larger bok choy, chop it up before adding to the pan.
For the miso sauce
- White miso paste– this is commonly found on the Asian foods aisle or in the natural foods refrigerated section in grocery stores. This is the most common type of miso and has a milder flavor compared to yellow or red miso paste but either of those can be used in this recipe instead. Not all miso is gluten free so get a gluten free miso paste or a chickpea miso if needed or preferred.
- Tahini– this is a flavorful paste made of ground sesame seeds. It gives the sauce a creamy nuttiness and thicker consistency. If you do not have this, you can use peanut butter.
- Low-sodium tamari or soy sauce – to amp up the savory and umami taste! Tamari can be used in place of soy sauce 1:1. If swapping with coconut aminos, you may need to season with salt at the end since it leans more toward the sweet side.
- Rice vinegar– a necessary splash of acidity to brighten the sauce. You can substitute apple cider vinegar if you need to.
- Mirin– this is a popular condiment used in Japanese cooking. It is a type of rice wine with a sweet and tangy flavor. Dry sherry or sweet marsala wine are great options to use if you cannot find mirin.
- Garlic chili sauce– use as little or as much as you prefer! Sriracha or chili powder is good too.
- Garlic – pre-minced jarred garlic is fine here.
- Same oil – you can use toasted or untoasted.
- Green onions – freshly chopped.
How to make miso noodles
This one dish meal is an easy on and easy to ace it on your first try. You can get the noodles ready while cooking the veggies to save time and have bowls of deliciously flavored noodles in no time!
- Make the miso sauce. In a medium bowl, add all the sauce ingredients then mix using a wire whisk. Set aside for later.
- Cook the noodles. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package directions. Cook them al dente so they won’t be overcooked and will absorb some of the sauce. Cooking times vary and some noodles take more or less time so read the instructions. Make sure to reserve some of the cooking water just in case you need it later.
- Sear the vegetables. On another burner, start heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add a teaspoon of sesame oil and then sear the mushrooms. Add a splash more sesame oil and then the edamame and bok choy to sear the veggies.
- Toss it all together! Add the cooked noodles and sauce mixture to the pan with the veggies. Use tongs to toss until everything is coated in sauce. Add a tablespoon or two of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed.
- Garnish and serve! Divide the noodles mixture into 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle with green onion, sesame seeds, chili crisp oil and any other garnishes you are using and enjoy!
Try these variations!
- Add more protein. I like topping the miso noodles with soft-boiled, poached, or sunny-side-up fried egg, marinated tofu cubes, or meat for more protein.
- Make it spicier. Top with toasted chili crisp oil, siracha, garlic chili sauce or other hot sauce to spice it up.
- Sweeten it up! You can add maple syrup or honey if you are not vegan.
- Make it gluten-free. Rice noodles, gluten free miso paste and tamari makes this dish gluten free.
- Add more crunch. Chopped-up peanuts or cashews would add a salty crunch to the dish.
- Use your favorite veggies. Swap out the veggies with whatever you prefer (broccoli, red pepper, bamboo shoots, napa cabbage, etc.). Just be sure to adjust the cook time if neededf.
- Do not wash or soak the mushrooms when cleaning because they will absorb water and will be difficult to sear. Instead, use a wet towel or paper towel to wipe them clean before slicing them into halves.
- Different noodles absorb different amounts of liquid. You can reserve some of the water the pasta cooked in before draining and add a small amount back in while tossing the pasta if it becomes too dry. I normally put a bowl or cup under the strainer to reserve a little bit of pasta water.
- Some noodles, like rice noodles, benefit from a quick cold water rinse as soon as they’re done cooking. This removes extra starch to keep the noodles from sticking.
- Remove the pan from heat right after you add the noodles and sauce. This will make sure it is still hot enough to heat up the sauce and give it a silky texture to bond with the noodles better.
- To prepare ahead of time, do not combine the pasta, veggies, and sauce yet. You can prepare the veggies and the sauce in advance and store them separately. Then make the noodles and sear the vegetables right before serving and toss it all together.
- Cook the noodles al dente – don’t over cook them! Cook until they’re just slightly under done. This will keep them from getting mushy and ensure they soak up the sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
This dish can easily be gluten free by using Tamari instead of soy sauce, gluten free miso paste and gluten free noodles such as rice noodles.
Miso paste is made of fermented soy beans and koji that adds a salty, robust umami flavor. Most miso is made in Japan and is used in many Japanese dishes, such as miso soup. It comes in white, yellow or red with white being the most mild and red being more pungent from being fermented longer.
Miso noodles are best served right after cooking, however, they are also tasty when eaten cold.
Storing leftover miso noodles
If there are leftovers, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Any longer than that and the sauce can start to separate and get watery. You can eat them chilled or warm them up in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop first.
While I love freezing some noodle dishes, this one does not freeze well. It may work if you use a basic wheat spaghetti or another longer cooking firmer noodle but rice noodles or ramen noodles are too delicate to reconstitute well upon defrosting.
- 1 large skillet or wok
- 1 strainer
- 1 pot
- 1 Wooden spoon or spatula of some kind for cooking the veggies
- 1 tongs or a pasta fork
- 8 oz dry noodles udon, rice noodles, ramen, spaghetti, soba or any noodles you prefer
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil divided
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms sliced in half or quartered if large
- 2 cups edamame beans thaw first if frozen
- 2 bunches baby bok choy bottom core cut off and leaves separated
- sesame seeds and other garnishes (sliced radish, julienned carrot, etc. – see notes for ideas)
- ¼ cup white miso paste
- 1/4 cup tahini can substitute peanut butter
- 3 Tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce or coconut aminos*
- 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- 1 Tablespoon garlic chili sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic about 2 medium cloves
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil toasted or untoasted
- 1/3 cup sliced green onion
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients with a wire whisk. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and on another burner, start heating a large sized skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the skillet is hot, add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and then mushrooms and cook, stirring only once or twice for 2-3 minutes to allow them to sear. Add remaining teaspoon sesame oil and then edamame and bok choy. Let cook for 3 minutes until veggies are well seared. Remove pan from heat.
- While vegetables are cooking in the skillet, cook noodles in pot of boiling water al dente according to package instructions (usually 3-5 minutes for soba noodles, longer for other types) and drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water from the noodles.*
- Add noodles and sauce to the pan with the mushrooms and bok choy. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water to the pan to thin out the sauce if it’s too thick and stir in. Add a small amount at a time until you get the desired consistency (normally 1-2 Tablespoons but will depend on how thick your tahini was and the absorbency of the noodles used).
- Use tongs to divide noodle mixture into 4 serving bowls. Top each one with a sprinkle of green onion, sesame seeds, chili crisp oil and any other garnishes you are using. Serve right away.
- Mushrooms: can sub regular or baby portobellos for shitake
- Rice vinegar: can sub apple cider vinegar or another vinegar with a tiny pinch of sugar.
- Noodles: substitute with rice noodles, ramen, spaghetti or whatever you prefer.
- Tamari: can swap soy sauce 1:1. If swapping for coconut aminos, you may need to add extra salt.
- Gluten free: Rice noodles and tamari make it GF. Make sure your miso is GF too because not all are.
- More protein: Top with soft boiled, poached or sunny side up fried egg, marinated tofu or meat for more protein.
- Spice: Top with toasted chili crisp oil, siracha or other hot sauce to spice it up.
- Reserving pasta water: I normally put a bowl or cup under the strainer to reserve the pasta water. If you forget, just use plain hot water.
- Remove the pan from heat right after you add the noodles and sauce. This will make sure it is still hot enough to heat up the sauce and will make it become silky and bond with the noodles better.
- Garnish ideas: sesame seeds, julienned carrot, more green onion, thinly sliced radish, red pepper, chopped up peanuts, a fried egg, chili crisp oil, and/or whatever else you prefer.
- Rinsing noodles: some noodles, like rice noodles, benefit from a quick cold water rinse as soon as they’re done cooking. This removes extra starch to keep the noodles from sticking.
- To prepare ahead of time: You can prepare the veggies and the sauce in advance and store them separately. Then make the noodles and sear the vegetables right before serving and toss it all together.
- Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.