What is the "cloudy" stuff in miso soup and is there a good alternative?

Looking to make a salt-free miso soup recipe!

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susan g
susan g February 25, 2011

The only cloudy stuff I can think of is the miso itself, from the solids in it. Low sodium? Doubt it. Try using a very dark miso which has a stronger flavor, so you can use less of it. You're asking miso to be something it is not.

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Sodium Girl
Sodium Girl February 25, 2011

Thanks Susan! I think I'll try to mimic the "cloud" with crushed bonito. I'll let you know how it goes - it's my job to find salt-free answers to the saltiest recipes!

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TiggyBee
TiggyBee February 25, 2011

I don't think it's possible. I think the cloudiness is a result of too much sodium for the water to hold. Love the bonito idea!

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna February 25, 2011

I have never tried to substitute anything for miso, but it is extremely salty. Since miso is fermented beans and/or grains, I am thinking that a little pureed tempeh, which is also fermented beans (and sometimes grains) and much less salty, might get you some of that miso flavor minus the salt.

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Sodium Girl
Sodium Girl February 25, 2011

Thanks everyone! I am also thinking about crushing some dried bean curd that I found at the asian market and is salt-free. It may not taste exactly like miso soup but I might be able to make it look like the traditional recipe. That's half the battle, right?

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bottomupfood
bottomupfood February 25, 2011

They do sell low-sodium miso...

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bottomupfood
bottomupfood February 25, 2011

P.S. Not sure I care as much about what my food looks like as I do what it tastes like! This approach reminds me of the Buddhist restaurants in Asia where they serve you vegetables contrivings that look like meat - all tofu, vegetables, etc. Why bother? Just make vegetable dishes. There is artisanship in it, but it's not worth eating twice.

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Sodium Girl
Sodium Girl February 25, 2011

Thanks Carey! And while I agree about food needing to taste good, when you have to change your diet for health reasons, sometimes eating with your eyes can be powerful. But it does have to taste good too. Different, but still delicious.

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drbabs
drbabs February 25, 2011

What if you took rich chicken stock (which you'd make without salt) and floated tiny cubes of tofu (is there salt-free tofu?) and slivers of scallions in it, maybe with a light slick of sesame oil for an asian-food flavor? it wouldn't be miso soup, but I think it would still look, smell and taste good.

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Sam1148
Sam1148 February 25, 2011

drbabs is on the right track.

Maybe you could take soft tofu and press it through a tea strainer to change the texture.

I'd put that in the bowl first and pour the hot broth over it and mush it up some with a fork ,add green onions slices, and sliced mushrooms as a garnish.

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