How to make Miso Soup
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Posted 10/29/10 , edited 11/19/10
Miso soup is a staple dish in Japan. It is commonly eaten at breakfast, and it is served as a side dish for many other meals. It is delicious, and VERY nutritious! I recently started preparing my own miso soup at home, and I couldn't believe how easy it was! So I decided I would share my discovery with all of you here :)

The toughest part about making miso soup is gathering the ingredients. You might not find all of them in your average Western grocery store, but any Asian supermarket will almost definitely have them.

(EDIT - I added some pictures of the ingredients a few posts down)

The following are the ingredients you'll need to serve 4 people:

Ingredients for the dashi (soup stock):
You can buy instant (powdered) dashi, but it's very easy to make your own (and it's healthier too!)

Ingredients for the soup:

Once you have all the ingredients, the hard part is OVER! Preparing the soup is very easy.

Other things you will need:

Now let's begin!

Prepare the dashi (~45-60 minutes)
(If using instant dashi, follow the instructions on the package - usually you just need to add water)

Now finally it's time to...

Prepare the soup (~15-20 minutes)

IMPORTANT! NEVER BRING MISO SOUP TO A BOIL! If you boil it, it will muddy all the delicate flavours together.


1) Heat the 4 cups of dashi over Medium heat. Bring it to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL!

2) Add the diced tofu cubes and 2 tablespoons of wakame seaweed, and reduce the heat to Low. You'll see the dried seaweed immediately start to expand like crazy! Allow them to simmer in the dashi for about 5 minutes.

Time to add the MISO!

3) Using a measuring cup, scoop a little bit of the hot liquid out of the saucepan. Now add the 4 tablespoons of miso paste to the measuring cup, and use a spoon or a whisk to suspend the thick paste in the liquid. When the paste is fully dissolved, pour it back into the saucepan and stir.

4) Let the soup simmer for another 2 minutes, then remove it from the heat.

That's it! Ladel the soup into individual bowls, and garnish with the chopped green onion.

To enjoy miso soup the traditional Japanese way, use chopsticks to eat the solid ingredients, and sip the broth directly from the bowl.

いただきます!
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Posted 10/29/10
It's amazing how Japanese quizine can be so overly mistaken as difficult to prepare. In truth it is quite simple and very bland in comparison to english dishes. Not to mention it's fun to make even for a beginner.
Posted 10/29/10
I love miso soup! It's healthy and contains really low calories. People should replace chips with it. Yeah, it's not that hard to make and you can find the ingredients in any super market in Asia.
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Posted 10/29/10
This is a great thread.

So you make miso soup a lot Rubdown?
You are right. It is very delicious although sometimes I make it with silken tofu because it is creamy and good tasting to me.

On one more note - My recipe is similar but I learned a couple things from this one because it seems very personal rather than the dry cut recipes I normally see.

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Posted 10/30/10 , edited 10/30/10

reita187 wrote:

This is a great thread.

So you make miso soup a lot Rubdown?
You are right. It is very delicious although sometimes I make it with silken tofu because it is creamy and good tasting to me.

On one more note - My recipe is similar but I learned a couple things from this one because it seems very personal rather than the dry cut recipes I normally see.


I made my own miso soup for the first time about 2 months ago, and ever since then I've been cooking it at least once a week. I love it! It's really satisfying and it's packed with protein and other important nutrients.

I haven't tried using silken tofu before! I will definitely give it a shot next time I'm at the store.

For other people reading this thread:

If you don't like to eat tofu or seaweed, these can be substituted with many different kinds of ingredients to suit your tastes. As long as you start with good dashi, you can add whatever solid ingredients you like (obviously, you may have to let it simmer for longer than 5 minutes if your ingredients need more time to cook). But the miso should always be added after the solid ingredients are sufficiently cooked. You don't want to cook the miso paste, just suspend it in the soup 1-2 minutes before it's ready to be served.

Some examples of other solid ingredients you might try putting in your miso soup:

- Mushrooms
- Potatoes
- Shrimp
- Fish
- Onion

Pretty much anything goes Just don't use too many solid ingredients. The best miso soup follows the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
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Posted 10/30/10 , edited 10/30/10
When shopping for ingredients, it always helps to know what the product looks like. So here are a few helpful pictures!



The ingredients for your dashi: (katsuobushi on the left, konbu on the right)




Finished dashi should be close to this colour:




Tofu:




Dried wakame seaweed (use only a small amount, it expands!!)




Miso paste ranges in colour from light golden brown ("white miso" or "shiromiso") to dark reddish brown ("red miso" or "akamiso").

The darker the colour, the stronger and saltier the taste.




To make it easier to dissolve the miso paste into the soup, you can buy a small miso strainer (designed specifically for this task) for relatively cheap. I got mine for $5. Using this, you can just drop the miso paste into the strainer and submerge it directly into your soup, and stir it around to dissolve it through the strainer:




The finished product!
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Posted 10/30/10 , edited 10/30/10
Nice addition to your initial post, good idea to point out that other ingredients can be substituted. While I love the original I have added celery and bokchoy in the past. They make a small freezdried dashi instant stock called hondashi its easy for me since I live in a grad dorm to use the instant dashi. Also most people don't know the difference in color so good point of interest.

Oh, lol crumble the wakame( seaweed) or it will be huge pieces when you add it to your soup, unless you like large pieces 8)
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Posted 10/31/10

Devoidtrueform wrote:

Nice addition to your initial post, good idea to point out that other ingredients can be substituted. While I love the original I have added celery and bokchoy in the past. They make a small freezdried dashi instant stock called hondashi its easy for me since I live in a grad dorm to use the instant dashi. Also most people don't know the difference in color so good point of interest.

Oh, lol crumble the wakame( seaweed) or it will be huge pieces when you add it to your soup, unless you like large pieces 8)


Thanks! I'm glad some people are finding it helpful!
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Posted 11/18/10
By 10 centimeters square do you mean 10 square centimeters?

Kind of a stupid question but i'm just checking.
erly86 
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Posted 11/18/10 , edited 11/19/10
I make a miso soup I really like... the same recipe for the original with dashi, but omit wakame and tofu, and add fresh sliced shiitakes and spinach. Om nom nom. And Potato & white onion is also good.

PS, Harumi Kurihara is one of my heroes.
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Posted 11/19/10

reita187 wrote:

By 10 centimeters square do you mean 10 square centimeters?


Yep The exact size isn't really too important, though. You basically want it small enough so that it fits at the bottom of the saucepan.
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Posted 11/20/10
bt isn't the easiest way is just buy a pack of miso?
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Posted 11/21/10
Not really, because with simply buying a pack of Miso, may or may not contain dashi.
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