Miso Soup

Anyone who eats Japanese food regularly will most probably be familiar with miso soup. Miso soup is consumed for breakfast and is also often part of lunch and dinner accompanied with rice and pickles. Miso soup has a cloudy texture and is mildly aromatic and accompanies most simple Japanese meals.

The colour and flavour of the miso soup varies according to the type of miso and other ingredients that are added to the soup in this recipe. I use a mixture of red and white for a strong flavour but for a milder version simply use white miso. Tofu is the most common accompaniment to miso soup but other ingredients vary according to the time of year and what is available some common additions are wakame, bok choy, mushrooms and even seafood.

It is important when preparing the soup to make sure it doesn't boil with the miso as this will ruin the cloudy texture of the soup.

Miso Soup

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes (plus time for preparing dashi 20 minutes or use instant dashi)

Ingredients

Miso Soup

  • 800ml dashi (see recipe)
  • 2 tbsp white miso (brown rice/gen mai)
  • 1 tbsp red miso
  • 50g fresh wakame or dried wakame reconstituted in water, tough stems cut out and shredded
  • 6 shitake mushrooms (dried mushrooms should be reconstituted in hot water), sliced finely
  • 150g silken tofu cut into small cubes
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped

Method

  1. Miso Soup: Bring the dashi to a steady simmer in a saucepan.
  2. Mix the miso in a bowl with 200ml of the hot dashi until blended.
  3. Reduce the temperature to low and stir in the miso so that it is well blended and cook it gently for 3 minutes, making sure it doesn't boil.
  4. To Serve: Distribute the tofu, wakame, spring onions and mushrooms among 4-6 bowls. Pour the hot soup over the tofu mixture and serve.