Miso SoupJump to Recipe
When you go to a Japanese restaurant, the first thing you order is probably miso soup. Did you know you can make it right at home and enjoy it anytime though? Try this easy, vegan miso soup recipe!
What is Miso Soup?
If you’ve ever gone out for sushi or any type of Japanese cuisine, you’ve heard of miso soup. Many entrees are served with a complimentary bowl as an appetizer.
For those who don’t know, miso soup is made of broth with a soybean paste. Traditionally, the broth is a dashi broth. Dashi is made from fish and kelp and produces a clear soup. This clear, and unassuming broth is infused with distinct umami (savoury) flavour, adding richness and depth to any dish.
This miso soup recipe uses a vegetable broth instead but you can always use dashi for a more authentic traditional miso soup.
Miso soup also has many optional ingredients too. Tofu and seaweed are the most common ingredients but you also add in crispy onions, mushrooms or seafood. You can buy dried wakame seaweed at your local Asian grocery store.
The ingredient that gives miso soup it’s distinct flavour is also where it gets its name, miso paste. It’s a type of fermented soybean paste that comes in a variety of flavours based on how it is fermented. It’s one of Japan’s staple ingredients.
White miso paste is the most popular paste used for miso soup. It has a lighter and slightly sweeter taste than other types of miso paste. Red miso is fermented longer which gives it a richer and more mature flavour. It can also be used in this miso soup recipe.
The miso paste is what gives this miso soup recipe its reputation for being the base of a balanced meal. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, vitamin K, zinc and copper. Miso paste also contains a special bacteria that’s great for your gut like all other fermented foods. Just note that miso is very salty. If you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to ask your doctor before adding large quantities to your diet.
Miso Soup Recipe in Japanese Culture
Over three-quarters of people in Japan consume miso soup at least once a day. Miso soup and white rice make up the central dishes of a traditional Japanese breakfast. It also complements any dish served at lunch or dinner.
The origins of this dish can be traced back to ancient times. It became popular during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) with samurais who started the custom of having miso soup with everyday meals.
In more recent times, instant miso soup was introduced which made it an easily-preparable and accessible meal. All you need to do is add hot water, just like making tea! This makes it very popular at workplaces or in school cafeterias.
The best type is definitely a homemade miso soup recipe. Regardless of how it’s made or served, miso soup is the heart of Japanese food culture. Try making it yourself with this recipe tonight!
Miso Soup Recipe
- 4 cups vegetable broth, (dashi for more traditional recipe)
- 3 tsp dried wakame seaweed
- 3-4 tbsp white miso paste
- 2 stalks green onion
- 1 package silken/soft tofu
- Add the vegetable broth into a pot and bring it to a low simmer.
- In the meantime, carefully cut the tofu into small cubes and chop the green onions.
- Then add the miso paste into a small bowl and add in a little hot water. Whisk the miso paste with the water until it becomes smooth. This will make sure it doesn’t clump when you add it to the broth.
- Add the chopped green onions into the broth. Cook them for 5 minutes and then add the dried wakame seaweed.
- Let the soup simmer for another 3 minutes before turning off the heat and adding the miso paste mixture and cubed tofu. Gently stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust the flavour by adding more miso paste or salt if needed. Miso soup is best served warm. Enjoy!