Unlike traditional Japanese recipes for tonkotsu or shoyu ramen, which can take hours or days to prepare, this spicy miso ramen recipe can be made on the fly at home, at a vacation rental, or even deskside with just a few ingredients from the local grocery store. You won’t even need a large pot since we’ve included microwave instructions. The trick is to infuse the broth with as much flavor as possible—miso paste, the liquid from a jar of kimchi, and spicy black bean paste all deliver.
You can use red or white miso paste here or a combination. White miso will create a sweeter broth, while red miso will make for a heartier, bolder bowl of ramen. You can also use the juice from any jar of kimchi, which will bring a surge of brightness to the miso broth. No kimchi in the fridge? Grate in some fresh ginger and add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes for a different, but still delicious, vibe.
You will need instant noodles for this easy recipe, and while you could use any packet of instant ramen and just toss the flavoring sachet aside, you could also stock up on plain noodles. As for other mix-ins, grab that leftover roast chicken, soy-sauce-glazed shiitake mushrooms, garlicky steamed bok choy, or whatever else you find lingering in your fridge. A host of garnishes will give the noodle soup even more heft. Add a soft-boiled egg and some bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, or green onions; toast some nori and crumble it over top; pile on some crispy shallots; or drizzle in some sesame oil, chili oil, and/or sriracha.
For a vegetarian soup with a totally homemade ramen broth, check out our I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Vegetarian Ramen—or for another use for those instant noodles, check out this crunchy, refreshing ramen noodle salad.