From Takashi's Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi and Harris Salat (Ten Speed Press, April 2009). Copyright © 2009 by Takashi Yagihaski and Harris Salat.

Serves 4

This is a simple recipe that combines wonderful, distinct flavors. Japanese black vinegar, also referred to as aged rice vinegar, is an artisanal product naturally brewed from rice with a complexity akin to a fine balsamic vinegar. The hot oil adds terrific flavor and great aroma, a perfect accent to this dish ñ but be very careful heating the oil.

Spicy Miso Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons sunchang kochujang (Korean miso spice)

  • 2 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce)

  • 1/4 cup kurosu (aged rice vinegar; or substitute with balsamic vinegar)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  • 4 cups bean sprouts

  • 4 (7-ounce) pieces frozen ramen noodles

  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions, both white and green parts

  • 16 sprigs cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced ginger

  • 1/2 cup dried sakura ebi (Japanese shrimp)

  • 2 tablespoons chili threads (available in Japanese and Asian stores)

  • 4 teaspoon spicy mustard (Asian hot mustard)

Spicy Oil:

  • 6 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons hot chile oil

1. To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

2. To assemble the dish, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the bean sprouts and cook for 10 seconds. Remove the sprouts from the water (but keep the pot of hot water) and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Return the water to a boil, add the noodles, and cook, following package instructions. Rinse the noodles under cold running water until they are cool, then drain well. Divide the noodles among 4 plates, arranging the noodles in a tall, compact pile.

4. Top each plate of noodles with the one-fourth of the bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, ginger sakura ebi, and chili threads. Add 1 teaspoon spicy mustard on the side of each plate and pour 2 tablespoons of the sauce over the top of the noodles.

5. To make the oil, combine the sesame oil and hot chili oil in a small bowl. Heat a sauté pan over high heat until very hot, then add the oil mixture, which will make "popping" sounds. Be careful not to get splattered by the hot oil. Remove the pan from the heat once the popping subsides and top each plate with 2 teaspoons of the oil, again being very careful. Mix well before eating.



Harris Salat has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Saveur, Gourmet and Salon. He is the co-author of three Japanese cookbooks, Takashi's Noodles, Japanese Hot Pots and The Japanese Grill, and blogs at "The Japanese Food Report."
Takashi Yagihashi is a chef, restaurateur and author. He was named Best Chef: Midwest in 2003 by the James Beard Foundation and one of America's 10 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine. He is the co-author of Takashi's Noodles.