Miso Soup

Miso soup
Photo by Shojitro Ishihara, c/o www.123rf.com

Miso soup (味噌汁, misoshiru) is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called “dashi” into which softened miso paste is mixed. Many ingredients are added depending on regional and seasonal recipes, and personal preference.

The soup can be made very rapidly and is not only full of great flavours but also extremely healthy. A soup for a Winter’s day or one where the frost is still on the ground. I often add cabbage instead of seaweed when it is not obtainable.

The miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning which is produced by the fermentation of soybeans with salt and a koji prepared from a fungus of Aspergillus oryzae. Sometimes barley, seaweed, rice and other ingredients are added to the fermenting mix. Miso is often incorporated into soups along witha dashi to impart a strong flavour. No salt need be added as the miso itself is quite salty. 

Miso soup is often prepared as part of the Okinawan diet. Jamie Oliver has a number of recipes for miso soup with added tofu and cabbage. Makes for a good nutritious vegetarian soup. 

Recipe: Miso Soup with Tofu and Seaweed (Wakame)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp dried seaweed – wakame would be useful here
  • 4cups of dashi or tuna flakes
  • 1/4 cup red miso (Alternatives might be white miso or mixed miso).
  • 1/4lb. silken tofu which is drained and then cut into 1/2″ cubes.
  • 2 scallions or shallots which are thinly sliced into flakes or discs. 

Preparation:

  1. Add the dried seaweed to a bowl of water to hydrate. Cover and allow to rehydrate for 20 minutes. Drain the bowl.
  2. Heat the dashi in a saucepan over a medium heat then add miso to it.
  3. Do not boil the mixture bust heat until the miso mixes in.
  4. Stir in the seaweed (wakame) and the tofu. heat to simmering point.
  5. serve immediately with chopped scallions or shallots on the top.

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1 Comment

  1. Add some green onions and garlic. It just brings out the flavour. I like the seaweed but in China we have lots of mushrooms. I thought this was a Chinese dish but we see a few recipes come to mainland from Japan.

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