What Japanese meal would be complete without miso soup? Sure, you could make it from prepackaged stock but it’s more fun to do it from scratch!
Miso Soup From Scratch
Updated 3 Dec 2009
Originally posted 10 March 2007
My son loves miso soup almost as much as he loves Mac and Cheese. Whenever we are at a Japanese restaurant, it’s so easy to feed him. Get him a bowl of miso soup and a bowl of rice. He would take that bowl of rice and proceed to dunk it all into the bowl of miso soup, treating it almost like rice soup! Then, in less than 10 minutes, he would’ve slurped up the whole bowl and many times, would ask us to get him another one. We always watched in bemusement because it’s so simple and so cheap (compared to our love for sushi which costs a gazillion times more!) to make. Happily I’ve learned to recreate miso soup at home for him.
Miso Soup-er Easy
And miso soup is so easy to make! Not only that, it’s fast. It’s not like making chinese bone soups which require hours of simmering for it to taste really good. Miso soup requires only a dashi to make. And dashi is not something you simmer for long. It’s a quick cook which yields a yummy soup. Of course, you could go the easier route by using instant dashi packs or even instant miso soup packs but do give this a try. The flavors, when making your own, are more subtle and will contain less MSG than the instant ones.
Once you have the dashi made, it’s just a simple process of prepping some tofu, green onions and wakame seaweed. Then a few spoonfuls of miso and – tada – miso soup! One good trick I’ve learned from watching my friend make miso soup is when adding the miso paste, place it into a strainer and rub the miso paste in the soup base through the strainer. This will prevent clumps of miso paste from sinking to the bottom of your pot and also strains out the larger bits of beans that makes the soup gritty.
Another lesson I learned is to never bring your miso soup to a hard boil. It should just barely come to a boil before lowering the heat to a simmer. This preserves the flavors of the soup without making them harsh.
Give it a go if you’ve never made miso soup from scratch!
Miso Soup Recipe
adapted from The Japanese Kitchen by Hiroko Shimbo
Shiro (White) Miso Paste for Miso Soup
6oz soft tofu, cut into cubes (more if you like your miso soup to have more tofu)
2 Tbsp wakame seaweed, soaked in some water to soften
Wakame Seaweed for Miso Soup
2 stalks of green onions, sliced thin
1. Heat up dashi to near boil.
2. Add miso paste and mix till dissolved in dashi. Use a small strainer to mix the miso paste into the dashi.
3. Bring to simmer. Add tofu, wakame that has been softened and green onions. Serve immediately.
Miso Soup From Scratch