DIY Instant Noodles With Vegetables and Miso-Sesame Broth

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

DIY Instant Noodles With Vegetables and Miso-Sesame Broth

DIY instant noodles made with fresh ingredients. Just add boiling water, and you've got lunch. [Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt. Video: Natalie Holt]

This vegan pot of instant noodles, flavored with miso and sesame and loaded with fresh vegetables, can be made ahead and taken to work. Just add boiling water, seal it up for three minutes, add the fresh scallions and pickled ginger from the separate flavor packet, and you've got a hot lunch ready.

Why It Works

  • All the convenience of a package of instant noodles, but with better ingredients and better flavor.
  • By keeping the final flavorings separate from the rest of the ingredients, you can stir them into the hot soup for bright, fresh, layered flavor.
  • Yield:Makes 4 pots of noodles
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:18 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 8 teaspoons miso paste
  • 8 teaspoons (40ml) high-quality vegetable base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) tahini
  • 4 teaspoons (20ml) soy sauce
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 2 cups roughly torn fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 small nests rice noodles or precooked ramen or Italian pasta (see note)
  • 1 cup minced fresh scallions
  • 1/2 cup pickled ginger


  1. 1.

    Divide fresh ginger, miso, vegetable base, tahini, and soy sauce between 4 resealable glass jars. Add 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup mushrooms, 1/2 cup spinach leaves, and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds to each jar. Add 1 portion noodles to each jar. Divide scallions and ginger between 4 small zipper-lock bags and seal bags, squeezing out all air. Tuck bags into jars and seal. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

  2. 2.

    When ready to serve, remove scallion/ginger packet and add boiling water to top of jar. Seal jar and let sit 3 minutes. Open jar, stir in scallions and ginger, and serve.