Magical Miso Soup
Thursday, June 2015
Miso soup is like a little bowl of magic, and you don’t have to wait for your next visit to your favourite Japanese restaurant to fill up on that comforting and salty broth – it really is so easy to make a delicious bowl of miso at home!
Once you realize how easy it is to prepare, especially in these cooler months, we’re sure it will become a staple in your kitchen too! Quick, easy, and so good for you – it is the perfect bowl of ‘I don’t have the energy to cook but I need something nutritious in my belly’.
So what exactly is miso? Miso is a savoury Japanese seasoning paste made by fermenting cooked soybeans (and often other grains like rice, barley and wheat too) and comes in two main types: red and white. The red variety contains more soybeans than the white, and often has a stronger flavour.
Why is miso soup so magical? Apart from its simple comforting deliciousness - it’s full of essential amino acids making it a complete protein, it is a probiotic food (good for the digestive system) and it is also high in vitamin b12 and bursting with antioxidants.
Miso is quite a forgiving recipe and you can swap in what ingredients that you have at hand; in its simplest version, miso soup can just be hot water stirred into some miso paste. We like to add some slices of spring onion and some cubes of tofu to make it a little more interesting, though to make the flavour really hit home the miso paste should be dissolved in a light stock – preferably ‘dashi’ stock (it’s like Japan’s version of the ‘chicken bouillon’), but a diluted chicken stock (try 70% water, 30% stock) can also be substituted.
This miso soup recipe can be made in 10 minutes!
- 8 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant dashi granules (you can also make your own dashi stock quite simply however for the sake of this super quick recipe, we’re using instant).
- 1/4 cup miso paste
- 1 tablespoon dried seaweed (for miso soup), soaked in water
- 1/2 cup silken tofu sliced into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons sliced spring onion
- In a pot, bring the water to a boil then add the instant dashi and stir to dissolve. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the tofu and seaweed (without the soaking water). Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Spoon the miso paste into a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the hot dashi broth, stirring until it is a smooth mixture.
- Turn the heat off and add the dissolved miso paste (you don’t want to let the miso boil as it will leave you with a gritty flavour, so always take the pot off the heat before adding in the miso). Stir well and serve topped with spring onions.
Other tasty additions to your miso soup can include soba noodles, chopped mushrooms (shiitake mushrooms are perfect!), sliced onion, spinach, egg, and julienned carrot.
Once you have this super ingredient in your refrigerator, you’ll find yourself using it as a base for many different meals. It’s great as a marinade for meat, fish and poultry, or as an Asian inspired dressing for salads and stir-fries together with a little oil, ginger and garlic! Keep in mind though that it is quite a salty ingredient – so enjoy in moderation!