Miso soup is one of the most popular Japanese recipes. This umami packed soup is often served at sushi restaurants in the West, but you can find it at most restaurants. In fact, according to The Book of Tofu & Miso by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi, 75% of Japanese people consume miso soup at least once per day!
Miso soup, along with suimono, is one of the two basic soups in Japanese cuisine. Both start with a base of dashi broth which is another must-know recipe for those who want to get into Japanese cooking.
How To Make Authentic Miso Soup At Home
All miso soup recipes start with dashi broth. You can use an instant dashi or a scratch version, but I obviously highly recommend the latter. The rest of the ingredients are simple; there are only four of them!
Miso Soup Ingredients
- 1 liter Dashi – I highly recommend making dashi from scratch, but if you cannot then find a good quality instant dashi at a Japanese market.
- 3 tbsp Miso Paste – You can use any type of miso paste when making miso soup, but the flavors will vary. I am using shiromiso, or white miso, which is the most commonly used type.
- 1 tbsp Wakame – Wakame is an edible seaweed native to the northern Pacific ocean. It is often sold in the dry format, but not to worry; it rehydrates extremely well!
- 2 tbsp Green Onion – slice the green onion into small rounds, and feel free to increase the amount if you like!
- 150 grams Silken Tofu – Called kinugoshi-dōfu in Japan, this soft tofu is the most delicate variety. It has many culinary uses, but it is always in a good quality miso soup.
Homemade Dashi Recipe
The best awase dashi only requires three ingredients. It is the cooking method one needs to get right so the final stock is delicious and packed with rich umami flavor.
- 1 liter Water – this is 1000 ml or four cups.
- 1 piece Kombu – kombu is an edible seaweed that you can find at every Japanese market, or order online. Used kombu is also a part of plenty of other recipes like tsukudani.
- 1 cup Katsuobushi – katsuobushi is commonly called bonito flake in English. It is used in plenty of Japanese recipes as a garnish, such as atop okonomiyaki or as a seasoning in furikake.
To start making this delicious and savory soup stock you have to follow a few simple steps. Step 1 is to place the kombu and water in a pot and slowly bring to a boil. Start with the lowest flame and gently raise it over the next 15 minutes. The instant the water begins to boil turn off the heat and remove the seaweed.
Next add in the katsuobushi, or bonito flakes, and give the pot a stir. Turn the heat on the highest setting. Once the water begins to boil turn off the heat completely and let sit for 10 minutes. Finally strain the dashi through a fine mesh sieve. The dashi can be immediately used, or stored for later.
If you want to store this stock for later let it cool to room temperature and then place it in a sealable container in the refrigerator. To reheat dashi you want to bring it up to right before a boil. It is important to never let the liquid boil as that will ruin the flavor.
Next: Making Miso Soup
Pour your dashi into a pan on low heat. As the liquid slowly heats up add in the miso paste and whisk until combined. You NEVER want to boil the soup as it will ruin the delicacy of the miso paste. Instead take the soup off the heat as soon as you see bubbles.
While the dashi and miso paste is heating up you can chop your green onions. These are also called spring onions or scallions and they add a great light onion flavor to the soup.
Add the wakame, tofu, and green onion to the pan and let it ‘cook’ for one minute. Then turn off the heat and ladle into bowls to serve. Miso soup should be eaten right away as that is when it is at its best.
Other Miso Soup Ingredients
- Mushrooms like nameko or shiitake
- Starches such as potato and taro
- Shrimp, fish, clams, and other seafood
- Pork (when pork is added the soup is called tonjiru)
- 1 Pan
Miso Soup Ingredients
- 1 liter Dashi I highly recommend making dashi from scratch but if you cannot then find a good quality instant dashi at a Japanese market.
- 3 tbsp Miso Paste You can use any type of miso paste when making miso soup but the flavors will vary. I am using shiromiso, or white miso, which is the most commonly used type.
- 1 tbsp Wakame Wakame is an edible seaweed native to the northern Pacific ocean. It is often sold in the dry format but not to worry; it rehydrates extremely well!
- 2 tbsp Green Onion slice the green onion into small rounds and feel free to increase the amount if you like!
- 150 grams Silken Tofu Called kinugoshi-dōfu in Japan this soft tofu is the most delicate variety. It has many culinary uses, but it is always in a good quality miso soup.
Homemade Dashi Ingredients
- 1 liter Water
- 1 cup Bonito Flake aka katsuobushi
- 1 sheet Kombu
To Make Homemade Dashi
- In a pot add the water and the kombu cut into strips. Set on the lowest heat setting and slowly raise it over 15 minutes until boiling. The second it begins to boil turn off the heat and remove the kombu.
- Add in the fish flakes and bring back to a boil. Once it is boiling turn off the heat and let the dashi sit for 10 minutes. Then strain out into a jar using a fine mesh sieve.
- Add the dashi to a pan and put on low heat to warm up.
- Chop the green onion and cube the tofu.
- Whisk the miso paste into the dashi, then add the tofu, green onion, and wakame seaweed. Let cook for one minute and then turn off the heat.
- Ladle into bowls and serve.