WHAT IS MISO SOUP?
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup made with dashi (soup stock made with kombu or bonito flakes), miso paste, and various ingredients depending on seasonal recipes. While it’s usually served together with a salad as part of an appetizer in the US, miso soup comes with rice as part of the main meal in Japan. Miso soup may be the most famous Japanese dish of all time. Next to sushi, it’s what most people refer to whenever they say they crave Japanese food. Miso soup may be the most famous Japanese dish of all time. Next to sushi, it’s what most people refer to whenever they say they crave Japanese food.
Popular ingredients added to miso soup:
- Green onions (scallions)
- Seaweed (wakame)
- Deep-fried tofu pouches (aburaage)
- Shimeji mushrooms
- Kabocha squash
INGREDIENTS FOR MISO SOUP
- Onion: A large white or yellow onion, preferably sweet. Don’t be afraid to use a lot since it adds a lovely flavor to the soup. And once the onion slices are boiled, they are so tender they almost melt in your mouth.
- Water: Four cups of water or four cups of dashi if you are making it from scratch using bonito flakes or kombu.
- Dashi granules: One tablespoon is enough to add plenty of depth of flavor to the soup.
- Miso paste: Use red miso paste if you like your miso soup very and salty, white miso paste if you prefer a milder, gentler, and sweeter taste, and awase miso paste if you like it in between.
Ichimi togarashi (optional):
Optional but a must for myself! I always add a sprinkle to infuse a little heat to my soup.
HOW TO MAKE MISO SOUP
- Add 4 cups of water, onions and dashi granules to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the onions are tender.
- Place the miso paste in a colander and lower it into the pot until enough water covers the miso paste.
- Using chopsticks, swirl the paste until it completely dissolves into the soup.
I’ve gone through many brands and the only one I truly love is the Hikari Instant Awase Miso Soup. This one is perfectly balanced and comes with 4 different garnishes – seaweed, tofu, scallions, and deep-fried tofu pockets. This one is above average and beats most of the soups I’ve had in Japanese restaurants.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MISO SOUP
For a traditional Japanese meal, serve with this soup with a bowl of steamed white rice and:
- Japanese Pickles (tsukemono)
- Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza)
- Nasu Dengaku (Japanese broiled eggplant with sweet miso glaze)
- Baked Chicken Katsu
Japanese White Cream StewTurn the heat off and serve.
INSTANT MISO SOUPThere are so many brands of instant miso soup to choose from that it can be very confusing to pick one. You would think they would all taste similar but they couldn’t be more different in taste.
This miso soup will keep for three days, refrigerated in an airtight container.