A cooling and summer-perfect Tsukemen Recipe served with a deeply flavored spicy miso broth. These Japanese dipping noodles are ready in 22 minutes!
Spicy Miso Tsukemen (Dipping Noodles)
Our grumbling stomachs had us up at the crack of dawn. The jet lag was brutal. Every time we travel to Japan, we eat our way through the tiredness of the first few days! This trip, a couple of years ago, was no different. To combat fatigue, we devoured the melon pan (sweet bread shaped like a honeydew melon) that we picked up from Family Mart the night before and washed it down with small cans of strong, black Japanese iced coffee. Of course, our hunger returned a few short hours later – and Ben and I left my brother’s apartment in Tokyo to find real sustenance. Luckily, we didn’t have far to go. A few blocks away, just outside of the Asagaya JR (train) Station, we spotted a promising sight: A packed noodle bar with the beginnings of a line forming. From the looks of the sign, they were serving Tsukemen. Nice! We queued up and, a short time later, were sitting at the counter – beyond ready to dig in. Was it good? OMG, yes! The deeply flavored broth and springy noodles tasted amazing, and revitalized our road-weary bodies. In fact, we joked that tsukemen might just be the cure for jet lag!
Tsukemen are Japanese dipping noodles. Although usually served with ramen noodles, the main difference from the traditional ramen preparation is that, with tsukemen, the broth and noodles are served in separate bowls. To eat, just grab some noodles with your chopsticks, dip in the broth and slurp away! Tsukemen broth is usually much stronger and more concentrated than typical noodle soups because you aren’t meant to down it by the spoonful. Of course you can – but the flavor is typically too salty on its own. The flavor balance you achieve when dipping the noodles in the broth is just perfect though.
This spicy miso tsukemen recipe can be made hot or cold. Up to you. If you’re sweltering in the summer heat, it’s a fantastic light and cooling lunch. Just refrigerate the broth after preparing and be sure to rinse your noodles under cold water after boiling to stop the cooking process. And, if you don’t have the patience to wait for the broth to cool after cooking, you can always devour it while it’s hot. Added bonus when eating hot tsukemen: your noodles aren’t constantly in the hot broth – so they will remain al dente and springy for longer. The other option you have when making tsukemen is that you can use whatever noodle you prefer: ramen, somen, udon, etc. Heck, you could even use spaghetti if you’re craving a tsukemen fix and it’s the only noodle in the pantry. I used a green tea infused noodle for this recipe, but – really – the sky’s the limit!
Eating tsukemen always reminds me of that delicious and restorative late morning lunch a couple of years ago, just outside the Asagaya train station in Tokyo! And now, pretty much every time we travel to Japan, tsukemen is one of the first meals we have as soon as we put our suitcase down. The springy noodles and strong broth are a filling reminder that we have arrived in a land where it is almost impossible to find a bad meal – and is a harbinger of great eating to come!
Other simple, healthy and delicious Japanese recipes:
- Shrimp Ankake Donburi with Zucchini and Potatoes
- Japanese Cabbage Salad (Coleslaw)
- Cold Ramen Zoodles (Hiyashi Chuka)
- Vegetarian Chirashizushi
- Kani Salad – カニ サラダ
Did you like this Spicy Miso Tsukemen Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!
- 6 0z green tea noodles or other noodles of your choice such as ramen, udon or somen.
- For the dipping sauce:
- ½ tablespoon canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot (or a small onion), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons miso paste (I’m using awase miso)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon powdered chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon chili oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- toppings (optional):
- 2 scallions, chopped on the bias - or more to your liking
- 2 tablespoons bonito flakes - or more to your liking
- ichimi pepper to taste
- In a pot over medium heat, add canola oil, garlic, ginger and shallot and cook for 3-4 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Add miso paste and soy sauce and stir until miso turns into a soft paste.
- Add water, sugar and chicken stock, stir and bring to a boil.
- Lower to a strong simmer and leave uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add chili oil, sesame oil and sesame seeds.
- Transfer the sauce to a tupperware container and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Cook noodles according to direction on the package. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain well.
- Divide noodles among two plates or bowls.
- Divide tsukemen sauce among two other bowls and top with scallions, sesame seeds and bonito flakes. Serve.
Low in saturated fat
Low in sugar
High in manganese
The tsukemen sauce is good hot or cold so you don’t have to refrigerate it if you prefer it warm.