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.