Easy Miso Soup Recipe

miso photo

Miso soup is the traditional Japanese soup most of us enjoy before sushi.  And even though it is probably the best-tasting soup in the world, miso soup is incredibly easy to make.  There are only a couple of things you’ll need to know when making miso soup.

The soup stock used is called dashi.  Dashi is made from a mix of dried bonito and kelp (sometimes containing dried sardines and/or dried mushrooms).  You can find it in powder or granule form at most Asian markets, or you can order it online.  Some people prefer to make this from scratch, while others leave it out of their miso soup altogether.  If you are making vegetarian miso soup, you’ll want to omit the dashi.  Otherwise, leave it in.  Dashi is a key flavor in good miso soup.

That cloudy stuff in the soup is the miso.  It is made from fermented soybeans and either rice or barley.  Miso paste is available in white (also called shiromiso), yellow, red, brown, and other oddly dark varieties.  All are fine for making miso soup, but they’re not all the same.  The darker varieties tend to be stronger flavored and more salty than the lighter ones.  In sushi bars, white miso is typically used.  If this is your first time making miso soup at home, use white miso paste.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons dashi granules
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste
  • 2 green onions, cut diagonally into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thin
  • 1 (8 ounce) package silken tofu, cubed

What you’ll do:

  • Combine dashi granules and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the miso paste. Stir until the miso paste and dashi get to know each other.  Yum.
  • Add the green onions and mushrooms and simmer for a few minutes – just enough so that they’re hot and happy.
  • Add the tofu and heat for just a minute.
  • Serve and enjoy!

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Is it OK to drink miso soup everyday?

Yes, it is generally considered safe and healthy to drink miso soup every day, as it is a nutrient-dense and low-calorie food. However, it is important to choose low-sodium miso paste and avoid adding too much salt to limit excessive sodium intake, which can lead to health issues. People with certain health conditions may need to limit their intake of miso soup or consult with a healthcare professional before adding it to their diet.

What is the best container for making miso?

The best container for making miso is a ceramic crock or jar specifically designed for fermenting miso. It should be large enough to hold the amount of miso you plan to make, have a lid that fits snugly, and regulate temperature and humidity during fermentation. Other popular options include Japanese-style ceramic crocks and modern airtight plastic containers with built-in airlocks. Ultimately, the best container depends on personal preference, budget, and the size of your miso-making project.

Why can’t you put miso in boiling water?

Miso should not be put in boiling water as high temperatures can destroy the beneficial bacteria and enzymes in the miso paste. Miso should be dissolved in warm water at a temperature between 105°F to 115°F (40°C to 46°C) to preserve its live cultures and flavor.

Why does my miso smell like alcohol?

If your miso smells like alcohol, it may be over-fermented or spoiled. Over-fermentation can cause the miso to develop a strong alcoholic smell and taste, indicating that the fermentation process has gone too far. Spoiled miso can also have an alcohol-like smell due to the growth of harmful bacteria or yeast. It is best to discard any miso that smells or tastes off to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.

How do you use miso without killing bacteria?

To use miso without killing the beneficial bacteria, it is important to avoid exposing it to high temperatures for an extended period. Miso should be dissolved in warm (not boiling) water or added to hot dishes just before serving. This will help to preserve the live cultures and enzymes in the miso and ensure that you can enjoy its health benefits. Additionally, it is important to store miso in the refrigerator and use it before the expiration date to maintain its freshness and potency.

Does miso soup detox your body?

Miso soup has been touted as a food that can help support the body’s natural detoxification processes due to its nutrient content and potential health benefits. Miso contains live cultures of beneficial bacteria, which can help improve gut health and boost the immune system, and is also rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that may help support overall health. However, it is important to note that miso soup alone is unlikely to have a significant detoxifying effect on the body, and should be consumed as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of other whole foods.

Is it OK to drink miso soup at night?

Yes, it is generally okay to drink miso soup at night. Miso soup is a light and nutritious dish that is often consumed as part of a Japanese-style breakfast or as a light meal throughout the day. It contains a range of nutrients and beneficial bacteria that can help support overall health and digestion. However, it is important to note that consuming miso soup (or any food) in large amounts shortly before bed may cause discomfort or disrupt sleep for some people. Additionally, the sodium content of miso soup should be taken into consideration if you are trying to limit your salt intake.

Is miso Korean or Japanese?

Miso is a traditional Japanese ingredient that has been a staple food in Japanese cuisine for centuries. While miso is also used in Korean cuisine where it is known as “denjang,” it originated in Japan and is considered a fundamental part of Japanese food culture.

What’s miso soup taste like?

Miso soup has a savory and umami flavor that is often described as rich, earthy, and slightly salty. The taste and aroma of miso soup can vary depending on the type of miso used (white, red, or mixed) and the other ingredients added to the soup, such as dashi (fish broth), tofu, seaweed, and green onions. Miso soup is a comforting and satisfying dish that is commonly consumed as a light breakfast, snack, or appetizer in Japanese cuisine.

Why do Japanese love miso soup?

Miso soup is a beloved dish in Japanese cuisine for several reasons. It is a light and nutritious dish that is easy to prepare and can be customized to individual preferences. Miso soup is rich in umami, the fifth basic taste that is often described as savory or meaty, and is a comforting and satisfying dish that is enjoyed throughout the day. Miso soup is also considered to be a health-promoting food, as it contains live cultures of beneficial bacteria, antioxidants, and other nutrients that may help support digestion, immune function, and overall wellness. Finally, miso soup is deeply ingrained in Japanese food culture and is often associated with feelings of warmth, comfort, and hospitality.

When should I eat miso soup?

Miso soup is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed at any time of day. It is commonly consumed as part of a Japanese-style breakfast or as a light meal throughout the day. Miso soup can be served as an appetizer or a main course and pairs well with a variety of foods, such as rice, vegetables, and seafood. Miso soup is also a great option for a quick and easy snack or a light meal when you don’t have much time to cook. Ultimately, when to eat miso soup is up to personal preference and individual dietary needs.

What makes miso soup taste better?

Miso soup can be enhanced with several ingredients to make it taste better, such as using high-quality miso paste, using flavorful broth, adding umami-rich ingredients like seaweed or shiitake mushrooms, adding a splash of soy sauce for extra depth of flavor, and garnishing with fresh scallions or other herbs.

Is miso served hot or cold?

Miso soup is typically served hot. While it can be consumed at room temperature or chilled, the traditional and most common way to serve miso soup is hot.

Does miso help you lose weight?

Miso soup can be a healthy addition to a weight loss diet as it is low in calories and can be filling due to its high protein content. Miso paste is also a good source of probiotics, which can help improve gut health and aid in weight loss. However, it is important to keep in mind that consuming miso soup alone is not enough to lose weight, and it should be part of a balanced and calorie-controlled diet along with regular exercise to achieve weight loss goals.

What is the white stuff in miso soup?

The white stuff you may see in miso soup is most likely tofu. Tofu is a common ingredient in miso soup, and it is typically added in small cubes or rectangular shapes. The tofu adds a mild, creamy flavor and a bit of texture to the soup. However, if the white substance is stringy, it could also be strands of cooked egg white, which are sometimes added to miso soup for additional protein and texture.

Can you just add water to miso paste?

While you can technically add water to miso paste to make a simple miso soup, it is not recommended to do so as the resulting soup may lack depth of flavor. Miso paste is traditionally mixed with a flavorful dashi broth made from kombu (dried kelp) and bonito flakes (dried fish flakes) to create the base of the soup. This broth provides a rich umami flavor that complements the miso paste. To make miso soup at home, it is best to use a combination of dashi broth and miso paste, and then add in other ingredients such as tofu, seaweed, scallions, or mushrooms as desired.

Who should not eat miso?

Miso is generally considered safe and healthy for most people to consume in moderation. However, there are a few groups of people who may need to exercise caution or avoid miso altogether:

  1. Individuals who are sensitive or allergic to soybeans: Miso is made from fermented soybeans, so individuals who are allergic to soy or have a soy intolerance should avoid miso.
  2. People with high blood pressure: Miso paste is high in sodium, which can exacerbate high blood pressure. Individuals with high blood pressure should limit their intake of miso or choose low-sodium varieties.
  3. People with digestive issues: While miso can be a good source of probiotics, it is also high in histamine, which can cause digestive issues for some people, especially those with histamine intolerance.
  4. Infants and young children: Due to the high salt content of miso, infants and young children should avoid consuming miso or miso soup in large quantities.

If you have any concerns about whether miso is safe for you to consume, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional.

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