bowl of miso ramen featuring chashu pork, marinated bok choy (ohitashi), and a marinated egg

“Tare” (tah-ray) is a concentrated flavor bomb that seasons the broth in ramen. While you can just add miso directly to the broth, I really enjoy the texture and color this tare lends to the soup, not to mention the flavor!

I prefer to use my 1+ year aged miso for this tare, for the simple reason that I generally don’t do miso ferments shorter than that! But any “color” miso, from white to red, will work just fine, just use the one you like!

The recipe features a Chinese spicy bean paste called doubanjian. If you haven’t heard of it, go find some at your local Asian market. I like the Pixian brand’s flavor, though it can be a bit chunky (and thus hard to dose out at 1/2 tsp increments) . Of course, you can always make your own, which I plan on doing sometime soon. Or skip it entirely, you decide!

My recipe is based on one from RecipeTin Japan, which has more information about tares in general and a full recipe for the ramen soup itself. This is just my go-to tare, the rest of the soup can vary so much it doesn’t make much sense to write it down—however, I have some suggestions in the recipe notes for broth and toppings. The amounts below can make about 4 bowls of soup.

1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp mirin
1/2 Tbsp shoyu
4 Tbsp miso
1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
1/2 tsp doubanjian

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients except for the sake and mirin.
  2. Put sake and mirin into a small pot over medium-low heat. Bring it just to a simmer to reduce the raw alcohol taste.
  3. Add the miso mixture. Whisk until hot and thickened slightly. Remove from the pot and set aside.

You can keep the tare in the fridge for at least a week, potentially longer if sealed well under some plastic wrap. But of course it is best when freshly made!

Place about 2 Tbsp of the tare at the bottom of a bowl, then ladle in the hot broth, around 2-3 cups. Stir well to combine, and the broth should take on a smooth, creamy look. Add fresh cooked noodles and your favorite ramen toppings.