Walnut Miso Noodles

A hearty noodle bowl recipe. Whole grain noodles and asparagus are tossed with a creamy, walnut-miso dressing plus a dollop of chile paste.

Walnut Miso Noodles

The markets here are full of color right now. Gold, red, and orange beets. Pink-fleshed pomelos. Tiny purple-streaked artichokes. Deep, dark leafy greens. This week I filled my basket with my favorite eggs, a loaf of whole wheat seed bread, fresh tofu, lots of leeks and spring onions, chard with electric-pink stems, and one bunch of pencil-thin asparagus. I bought a small bouquet of sunset-colored flowers with the change in my pocket and made my way home. A few of my finds when straight into my lunch, this hearty noodle bowl.
Walnut Miso Noodles in a Bowl
I made a quick, creamy walnut-miso dressing and used it to coat whole wheat noodles, plenty of sliced asparagus, leftover tofu, and a few other ingredients I had within reach. I was quite hungry or I might have taken the time to top off with a poached egg or two. Something I've done many times in the years since I first made this.

Ingredients for Noodle Bowls
The main components here are whole wheat noodles tossed in a walnut-miso dressing. To make this seasonal I added the asparagus, scallions, and a big dollop of warming chile paste. I tossed some leftover tofu on top as well. The noodles and dressing are the foundation here, play around with all the different ways you can finish off the bowl to make a balanced meal of it.

Two Bowls of Noodles on a Table
For example, in the past I’ve used vibrant chard leaves and stems (pictured below), and another version using caramelized onions, roasted squash, greens, and a bit of cheese. If you’re looking for a summer or early fall version try roasted tomatoes, basil, and roasted peppers.
Noodles in a Bowl with Chard

The Ingredients

Noodles: you can use a range of noodles here. My favorite for this recipe is this farro spaghetti but use whatever whole wheat, or whole grain pasta you like. Soba noodles are another good option!

Chard leaves

Toppings: Blanched (grilled or roasted) seasonal vegetables, herbs and scallions, something spicy (Calabrian chile paste, sesame chile paste, or sriracha), a poached egg, sliced avocado

Miso: Feel free to experiment with the type of miso you use in the dressing. I started off using a mild white miso paste, but now tend to use red miso.
Walnut Miso Noodles in a Bowl

Nuts: I nearly always use toasted walnuts here, but toasted cashew or almonds are also fair game if that’s what you have.

The name of the game here is flexibility. Once you have the pasta and dressing dialed in, really focus on making the vegetables and other toppings great. And if you like this recipe, here's where you can find many more pasta recipes

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Walnut Miso Noodles

5 from 3 votes

You'll likely have a bit of dressing leftover. It’s great tossed with roasted broccoli or any other hearty salad. To make this recipe vegan, substitute a vegan sweetener for the honey in the dressing.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 big pinches salt (optional), or to taste
  • 1/4 cup+ warm water
  • 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or linguini (or soba)
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly
  • Topping ideas: sliced green onions, chopped chard stems and leaves that have been cooked for a minute or two in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and salt (see photo), chopped fresh chives or scallions, toasted walnuts, spicy chile paste, poached egg
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In the meantime, to make the dressing, use a food processor, blender or hand blender to puree the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, lemon juice, and honey. Add the warm water a bit at a time until the dressing is the consistency of a heavy cream. Taste and add salt a bit if you think the dressing needs it. Set aside.
  3. Salt the pasta water generously and cook the pasta per package instructions, being careful to not overcook. About 10 seconds before you are going to drain the noodles, add the asparagus to the pot. Alternately, you can cook the asparagus separately and use a spider to remove and set aside. Drain and toss the pasta with about 1/2 the walnut-miso dressing.
  4. Toss the pasta well, adding more dressing if you like. Arrange in two bowls or on a platter. I finished off this version topped with the asparagus, sliced green onions, leftover tofu, toasted walnuts, and a good-sized dollop of Calabrian chile paste.
Notes

Serves 2 - 4

Serves
4
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 d
Total Time
18 mins
 
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Comments

Beautiful colors!

Hayley

I love the colors in these photos :) I'm so happy its spring!!!!!!

Nirvana

Really lovely post...your words and photos are so vivid! It's the middle of the night and I want to go shopping at a farmer's market right now. And the recipe sounds really delicious!

The Other Tiger

fantastic! It's a gift to be able to capture what you have in the photographs you take. They inspire us to try your ideas for ourselves. As a matter of fact, I'm going to try this tomorrow (only because it is too late at night to try it now)

inaodob

Everything I've seen here is just outright amazing. The food always sounds delicious and the photos make me want to stick a fork right into my monitor!

chris @ tacosalad

I have never seen anything like Bay Area farmers' markets in spring. This is my first year living here, and I walk through these markets wide-eyed, with overflowing bags under my arm. I never had asparagus that tasted like this - nor chard! This dish would be fantastic with the walnuts I picked up at the Old Oakland market last week. Ah - so many great reasons for living in Northern California!

Allison

Visiting your site never fails to excite me about what new recipe you will have thrown together next. I love that you're using Japanese ingredients and reinterpreting them Cali-style. Can't wait to try this fabulous-sounding miso-walnut dressing. Yum!

Claudia at Weird Vegetables

Delicioso. I was inspired by this recipe but I didn't have all the ingredients onhand, but it was still great. I had GF brown rice spaghetti, chickpea miso, peanut butter. I added equal parts chickpea miso and peanut butter to the pan, let it melt together, added garlic, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar and hot water. It made a nice creamy sauce. I definitely want to try it with walnut. I topped it with steamed spinach and edamame. It probably isn't as delicious and beautiful as yours but it tastes good to me! Thanks for the recipe, Hannah

Hannah Handpainted

Ooh this is my favorite kind of meal (especially since I love eating out of bowls), and the walnut miso dressing sounds out of this world delicious.

Jodye

Another fantastic recipe. Healthy. Simple and most importantly- Beautiful! As I don't do the wheat thing, brown rice or quinoa noodles would be a good option, though I think the nuts and miso and veggies would also be great over whole grains- a buckwheat millet mix, or maybe amaranth and brown rice. This is great!

Making Love In The Kitchen with Meghan

Looking at these pictures, reading this recipe: I want nothing more than to eat this. Thank you for a beautiful website!

Caro

Oh, delicious. I am definitely making this this weekend--I have been wondering what to serve a bevy of guests. This looks divine.

Anna

such beautiful colors & flavors!

veggievixen

Tasty! I hope this breaks me of my peanut noodle habit, a holdover from being a vegetarian with no kitchen skills. Can't wait to try it :)

wix

What fantastic photos! You have a way of making food look healthy and appealing!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

mmm, this looks delicious! Partly thanks to the beautiful photo I'm sure :) Will have to try this recipe, most definitely. I love soba noodles and never thought of adding asparagus to them. sounds great.

Katie

I love soba and am always looking for new ways besides the same old sesame oil-soy-rice wine combo. And even better that the base is comprised of pantry items

meleyna

Your pictures are beautiful. This looks yummy too, I love the walnut miso dressing idea.

Eliza from Eliza Domestica

yum!! I've always wanted to know ways to use beautiful stems of chard... this is the first such recipe I've encountered!

seraphine

yum.

meggan

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