Japanese

How to Make Miso Soup

May  1, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Toss your miso packets-- we've got a homemade version of the beloved soup that comes together in the same amount time, but tastes ten times better. 

There are some hearty winter soups, like chili and split pea, that get tucked away during the warmer months -- you just don't want to think about them while you're in shorts, ordering an ice cream cone. Then there are warm weather soups, like gazpacho and tomato, that you can't wait to eat once the flowers begin to bud and the AC starts cranking. 

Miso soup is one of those rare species of soups that hits the spot regardless of the season. Bundled up by the fire with a mug of miso soup? Yes. Sipping a bowl of miso soup before a california roll on a summer night? Also yes. It can slurped as an appetizer, a side, or a salty midnight snack, because miso soup is down for anything -- it's soup that works with you, not against you. It also happens to be very easy to make at home. 

Here's how to do it.

Start with your dashi stockIf you don't already have some on hand, don't worry --it only takes about 30 minutes to make (and freezes well for future miso soup).  

Prep your other ingredients. Basic miso soup is simply dashi stock and miso paste -- 1 cup to 1 tablespoon, with the addition of some tofu, scallions, and dried seaweed (wakame). Don't like scallions? Feel free to customize the soup to your liking. 

Bring your dashi stock to a low boil, and have your miso paste ready in a small bowl. Once the dashi is hot, temper the miso in a seperate bowl with a little of the stock, swirling until all of the miso paste is dissolved. Pour it all back into the pot. 

 

Let the soup return to a simmer. Gently add your tofu cubes and wakame, then turn off the heat, ladle the soup into bowls, and top with scallions. 

Miso Soup

Serves 1

1 ?cup dashi stock
1 ?tablespoon miso paste (white or yellow)
Silken or soft tofu, cubed
Scallions, chopped
1 ?piece wakame (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.  

Photos by James Ransom

7 Comments

Karen November 2, 2016
I have no idea how my comment was posted 4 times, I apologize.
 
Karen November 2, 2016
For good veg dashi, simmer 6 shiitake mushrooms (sliced) in 4 to 6 cups of water with a 3 inch-long piece of kombu. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, the longer the better. You can add some sea salt if you want.<br /><br />Nice additions to the simmering dashi are shungiku (chysanthemum greens, you can find this in Asian markets; if you live near a Chinatown or Japantown, you'll be able to find it), baby spinach, or nira (garlic chives).<br /><br />After you add the miso paste and the soup is ready to go, you can add chopped shiso leaf, myoga (similar to ginger, but milder), kaiware (radish sprouts), or grated ginger. I mix all of these together with chopped green onion and it makes a very nice topping for the miso soup.<br /><br />I also like to add an egg to the simmering dashi so that it's half-way cooked when it's time to add the miso paste. A little shichimi (hot pepper powder) right before eating is good, especially if you can find yuzu shichimi (yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit).<br /><br />And that is how I pimp my miso soup.
 
Karen November 2, 2016
For good veg dashi, simmer 6 shiitake mushrooms (sliced) in 4 to 6 cups of water with a 3 inch-long piece of kombu. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, the longer the better. You can add some sea salt if you want.<br /><br />Nice additions to the simmering dashi are shungiku (chysanthemum greens, you can find this in Asian markets; if you live near a Chinatown or Japantown, you'll be able to find it), baby spinach, or nira (garlic chives).<br /><br />After you add the miso paste and the soup is ready to go, you can add chopped shiso leaf, myoga (similar to ginger, but milder), kaiware (radish sprouts), or grated ginger. I mix all of these together with chopped green onion and it makes a very nice topping for the miso soup.<br /><br />I also like to add an egg to the simmering dashi so that it's half-way cooked when it's time to add the miso paste. A little shichimi (hot pepper powder) right before eating is good, especially if you can find yuzu shichimi (yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit).<br /><br />And that is how I pimp my miso soup.
 
Karen November 2, 2016
For good veg dashi, simmer 6 shiitake mushrooms (sliced) in 4 to 6 cups of water with a 3 inch-long piece of kombu. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, the longer the better. You can add some sea salt if you want.<br /><br />Nice additions to the simmering dashi are shungiku (chysanthemum greens, you can find this in Asian markets; if you live near a Chinatown or Japantown, you'll be able to find it), baby spinach, or nira (garlic chives).<br /><br />After you add the miso paste and the soup is ready to go, you can add chopped shiso leaf, myoga (similar to ginger, but milder), kaiware (radish sprouts), or grated ginger. I mix all of these together with chopped green onion and it makes a very nice topping for the miso soup.<br /><br />I also like to add an egg to the simmering dashi so that it's half-way cooked when it's time to add the miso paste. A little shichimi (hot pepper powder) right before eating is good, especially if you can find yuzu shichimi (yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit).<br /><br />And that is how I pimp my miso soup.
 
Karen November 2, 2016
For good veg dashi, simmer 6 shiitake mushrooms (sliced) in 4 to 6 cups of water with a 3 inch-long piece of kombu. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, the longer the better. You can add some sea salt if you want.<br /><br />Nice additions to the simmering dashi are shungiku (chysanthemum greens, you can find this in Asian markets; if you live near a Chinatown or Japantown, you'll be able to find it), baby spinach, or nira (garlic chives).<br /><br />After you add the miso paste and the soup is ready to go, you can add chopped shiso leaf, myoga (similar to ginger, but milder), kaiware (radish sprouts), or grated ginger. I mix all of these together with chopped green onion and it makes a very nice topping for the miso soup.<br /><br />I also like to add an egg to the simmering dashi so that it's half-way cooked when it's time to add the miso paste. A little shichimi (hot pepper powder) right before eating is good, especially if you can find yuzu shichimi (yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit).<br /><br />And that is how I pimp my miso soup.
 
iloveguam January 31, 2015
@ldnmama, red miso is for Nagoya, white miso is for Kyoto, and most of the rest of Japan uses a mix of the two. (Also, sushi restaurants tend to serve red miso.)<br />Try using white miso to make miso soup and then adding potatoes and leeks. I love it. Last, the Japanese would say that it's important to never let the miso in miso soup come to a full boil, to keep the health benefits of miso. Bon appetit.<br /><br />
 
ldnmama January 22, 2015
I thought red miso was supposed to be used for soup.