Japanese tofu noodle soup

Total Time
53 min
15 min
38 min
This brothy soup is classic Japanese comfort food, savory and satisfying. To ensure the tofu browns nicely, you’ll need to press it before cooking it in the Dutch oven. Cut the tofu into cubes, which presses out the liquid more evenly, and place it between a few layers of paper towels. Place something heavy on top, like a cast-iron skillet or pizza stone, and press the tofu for at least 20 minutes. If the paper towels become wet, change them out. Miso is a rich, savory paste made from fermented soybeans. You can find miso paste and soba noodles in Asian markets or large supermarkets.


Dark sesame oil

2 tsp, Asian

Lite firm tofu

15 oz, or regular, drained and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes


2 medium clove(s), chopped

Ginger root

2 tsp, fresh, peeled and grated

Five-spice powder

¼ tsp, Chinese

Vegetable broth

6 cup(s), low-sodium


2 Tbsp, paste

Uncooked carrot(s)

2 medium, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Uncooked wheat soba noodles

4 oz

Cooked green cabbage

3 cup(s), shredded, finely shredded

Button mushrooms

¼ pound(s), brown, sliced


2 Tbsp, (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a nonstick Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, tossing frequently, until lightly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. With a draining spoon, transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside.
  2. Lower the heat to medium under the same Dutch oven. Add the garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add about 1⁄2 cup of the broth and the miso paste; bring to a boil, stirring constantly to blend in the miso paste. Add the remaining 51⁄2 cups broth and the carrots; return to a boil.
  3. Stir in the soba noodles; return to a boil and cook rapidly until the noodles and carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage, mushrooms, sake, and tofu; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Yields 1 1/3 cups per serving.