Miso Soup

Miso Soup Recipe


Remember when I was sick last month? Well, after a couple days of nothing but crackers and popsicles, it was miso soup that eventually brought me back to the land of functioning human beings. The first few pots were simply a couple tablespoons of light, mild white miso paste whisked into water with a pinch of salt - but I began to build from there. A handful of tiny tofu cubes went into the next pot, and noodles into the pot after that. Little by little I started to feel like myself again.

Miso Soup Recipe

This is a simple, everyday approach to miso soup - it yields me a bowl of soup in five or ten minutes. Sometimes I go simple, other times I start adding ingredients. You can take miso soup in a thousand different directions depending on how you are feeling, what's in season at the markets, or the time of year. I tend to use lighter miso pastes in warmer months and the darker ones when I'm after a heartier, more substantial soup - sometimes I do a blend of two pastes. In place of the water you can certainly experiment with different broths, or even tea. And while this version incorporates noodles and tofu, you could certainly do all sorts of variations with sautéed vegetables. A tiny drizzle of toasted sesame oil is often a welcome addition, and mushrooms are a natural fit as well.

I would argue that this post is less a miso soup recipe, and more an encouragement to give it a go in your own kitchens. Let me know if you have any recommendations for your all-time favorite miso pastes - or if you blend, let me know your favorite blends as well. I'd be up for tracking down some new miso pastes - not just for soups, but for dressing and drizzles, and all that fun stuff as well.

 
 
 
 

Miso Soup Recipe

Miso Choice: This time around I used an organic white miso, but I'd encourage you to experiment with a range of misos.

3 ounces dried soba noodles
2 - 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)
2 - 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
a handful of watercress or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste - so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.

Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

Serves 2 - 3.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min

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Your Comments


I don't have any recommendations for miso, but this recipe looks pretty great!

 

Lisa
January 25, 2009

I'd never thought much about customizing miso, but thanks so much for another fantastic idea and recipe!

 

I'm excited to see what recommendations people have for miso paste. I haven't yet found a paste I like as well as what I get in a Japanese restaurant.

I'm glad to hear miso got you back on your feet! Some people swear it's a panacea of sorts, even potentially alleviating/curing radiation sickness.

And then there's the fact that it's really quite tasty, especially with shiitake. But then, shiitake makes a lot of things delicious.

 

Lily
January 25, 2009

Seaweed is great in miso soup. I am able to buy it in bulk at the grocery store and love experimenting with all the varities. Dried seaweed is VERY healthy and has a long shelf life. You can just toss in a handful to your soup around when you add the miso.

 

torta
January 25, 2009

Ooo...I love miso soup! I have been dying to buy soba noodles and know exactly why I'm buying them. Gonna pick up some of those AND some miso paste this week.

If I find a tasty brand I will drop you a line and give you the brand name.

 

Madeline
January 25, 2009

I have no real recommendations, aside from adding shichimi togarashi in place of red pepper flakes. It's all over Japan and for good reason: it's a lovely, bright spice that enlivens dishes without scorching the tongue.

 

kate
January 25, 2009

South River Miso is absolutely the best miso there is. I especially like the chickpea variety.

http://www.southrivermiso.com/

 

Sasutan
January 25, 2009

You should always use a light Dashi (fish stock) as the base for your miso. It will give a much richer, umami flavour.
It's very easy to just boil bonito fish flakes or dried konbu in your water for 5 mins or so, then add the miso paste to the flavour infused water. (or you can just buy powdered dashi and add that).

 

Kalinda
January 25, 2009

Heidi, as always your photos are mouthwatering.

I like Sasutan's suggestion to use a dashi. And as Lily pointed out, seaweed is always nice (and easy to keep on hand).

 

Pearl
January 25, 2009

I absolutely adore miso soup. Thank you for sharing your version!

 

spoiledonlychild
January 25, 2009

Question about the soba: The only soba noodles I can find cost about $8 a pound. Is it worth it? Is it that much better than whole wheat spaghetti? I've had this dilemma many times now, and always end up going with the cheap option. Can you advise? Thanks.

 

Patricia
January 25, 2009

I always use dried konbu and shiitake to make my dashi before adding the miso. Makes a huge difference. I also boil julienned veggies (like carrots and daikon) for a few minutes in the dashi before adding the miso. Wakame is also a typical and nice addition for a simple miso soup.

 

Loreto
January 25, 2009

I live in Cabo, and while the Japanese/Sushi restaurants aren't truly authentic they are very yummy (avocado in almost every dish). My favorite in terms of Misso is the way they serve it at some Japanese places in here. As I said not really authentic but delicious. Not exactly sure how they make the actual soup but besides the seaweed and tofu they also add raw, slices button mushrooms, avocado, surimi crab meat,serrano or avanero peppers,chives, and a few drops of lime. Mmmmm! At home I usually make fish broth and then add the paste (don't have a special brand). Then I'll add what ever I have on hand.

 

veggievixen
January 25, 2009

i am always impressed by people who make their own miso soup. i know it's not that difficult, but i've never done it from anything other than a package.

 

Hayley
January 25, 2009

So simple and yummy. Thanks for sharing.

 

Paul
January 25, 2009

I've been having trouble finding miso. Can't locate it at Kroger or Harris Teeter, and I couldn't even turn up any after looking through my local Asian market. Am I looking in the wrong places or something? Where would I normally find miso on the shelf? Any advice?

 

kbw
January 25, 2009

for a different kind of miso soup, i mix leftover kichuri with some broth/water, veggies and some miso paste.(Bangladeshi soul food of rice, lentils, veggies--recipe given in http://pagolnari.blogspot.com/2008/12/day-12-collaborative-cooking-recipes.html)

 

Chris
January 25, 2009

I use a white miso made locally here in Portland...I removed it from the originally packaging and can't recall who makes it. Don't know if it's available outside of Portland. I love it and use it in dressing all the time...brown rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, miso, shoyu and a little pepper is fantastic over shredded cabbage, carrots, and chopped apples.

I usually do miso in a dashi stock, which is quite easy...just bonito flakes and kelp, simmered in water for 10 or so minutes. Sometimes, if I'm out of bonito or kelp, I just used a Japanese seasoning "salt" that has bonito and kelp in it. Strain that, then add miso and other ingredients.

 

Leigh
January 25, 2009

Paul:

Do you have a Whole Foods near you? They have Miso in the refrigerated section, usually near the Tofu and fake cheeses.
Trader Joe's may have it, but I didn't find any at mine.

In the Asian Grocery, it's also in the refrigerated section. Now, all asian groceries are different, but in mine it was near a lot of Japanese foods, and some pickled vegetables, and it was across from the tofu and some produce. Now I know that doesn't really help, but try looking in the cold case next time you go.


I'm really excited to try this recipe, and so happy that it was posted now. I just bought some miso for the first time to try making a miso-tahini dressing/dip since I bought tahini to do another recipe from this site a couple weeks ago, but don't know what else to do with the tahini. Going to go buy some tofu, greens, and seaweed tomorrow and try this one out!

 

-Mel-
January 25, 2009

I also work in a Japanese restaurant (aside from the deli) and we use dashi for the soup base. It rounds out the salty rich miso, but for vegetarians, kombu is great. It contains natural msg (it gives it that 'umami taste' ) It is typical to adjust the soups richness according to the season, lighter in the summer, dense in the winter. As far as I know, they use both light and dark pastes and just adjust accordingly. We use a wisk and a seive to make the soup. This really cuts down on time.
This is to Paul: not sure where you live. I am in Nebraska and I don't have a problem finding miso. You have to keep in mind some Asian markets specialize in certain places like India and middle eastern contries. You can also find miso at organic or specialty grocery stores. Last resort, I guess, order it on line????

 

Florence
January 26, 2009

I live in Tokyo so obviously finding miso in not an issue here. The only problem I have is which one to choose from the 50 types available! I usually have 3 kinds of miso in my fridge: yellow, red and white. The yellow is the strongest (more salty) and the white the lightest (almost sweet). So I normally use a bit of all three in my soup, depending on my mood and taste of the day.

As other reviewers have mentioned, making a dashi is essential for a miso soup with body. What I like to do is use fried tofu (store bought), cut into thin strips. I quickly fry it in a pot then add shredded carrots and daikon and mushroom slices and fry a couple minutes. Add dashi and bring to a boil. Add the miso only at the last minute, off the stove (you don't want to boil miso as it will destroy its flavor). Taste and serve.

I will add soba next time, great idea to add some healthy carbs to the some. That makes for a one dish meal.

 

David
January 26, 2009

I love the recipes on this site. I just became a vegetarian, and it has really inspired me to do some more cooking at home. The one thing I wanted to second was the part about boiling miso.

DO NOT BOIL MISO. Yes, do not boil miso. You should stir miso into a hot soup at the very end and take it off the flame. According to the Japanese, boiling the miso destroys the beneficial/healthy properties.

 

Akiko
January 26, 2009

Wow, miso soup... my childhood memories flowing back into me...

As some people already commented, it tastes much better with "dashi". (Kelp and/or dried muchrooms for vegetarians.) I think that "dashi" is already added to some kinds of miso. Especially, instant stuff. But we should be careful because some "dashi" are not suitable for vegetarians.

And my favourite miso soup is one with sliced potatoes and onions. I adore the sweetness of onions in the soup.

 

MsGourmet
January 26, 2009

A warm bowl of miso when your feeling NQR is like a bowl of healing!

 

Carol
January 26, 2009

I always have miso paste and bouillon in the fridge. If I want a little extra kick for a recipe I'll cook it with miso soup rather than bouillon or miso in the bouillon.

 

Gourmet Chick
January 26, 2009

Thanks for posting this Heidi. I adore Miso soup and like the idea of making your own to add in lots of hearty goodies like noodles. One question though - how long can you keep miso paste for in the fridge? I have had mine for about six months now and it seems fine but I am starting to get worried as I cannot tell whether there is a use by or not since all the writing is in Japanese!

 

Nirvana
January 26, 2009

This looks so good and so healthy!

 

Kirsten
January 26, 2009

My favorite winter miso soup ingredient is kabocha (Japanese pumpkin?). I also use dashi (fish stock) in mine as well.

 

Acher
January 26, 2009

I have no idea what its called, but we buy a spicy miso paste that I believe is actually Korean rather than Japanese. We tend to buy the instant miso kits (because they're easy to take to work) and a spoon or two of the spicy miso really makes it! It's also great mixed in some plain sticky rice, or stirred into a bowl of pho, or pretty much with anything!

 

Ellen
January 26, 2009

I always keep a number of jars (different varieties) of South River miso in my frig. Would you recommend a particular type of miso? Chickpea, Sweet White, Heart Brown etc.?

 

Ellen
January 26, 2009

I always keep a number of jars (different varieties) of South River miso in my frig. Would you recommend a particular type of miso? Chickpea, Sweet White, Heart Brown etc.?

 

Maggie
January 26, 2009

I just bought a container of the South River Miso a week back and you've inspired me to try it out this week.

I've been thinking about themed-miso bowls like "Get my sweet on" Miso soup that would be stocked with cubed sweet potatoes, or perhaps a "Make me all better" Miso soup that could pose as a chicken soup loaded with poached chicken, noodles, matchstick carrots and sliced scallions.

This has all now become a priority for this week. Thanks for the inspirational push!

 

@spoiledonlychild--
soba noodles are made from buckwheat, have no gluten, fewer calories and carbs than pasta, and more protein. of course how you customize your soup is up to you, but soba noodles are more expensive with good reason.

 

rainbowbrown
January 26, 2009

This last weekend I was taken under by a fever and mostly lived off of miso soup made with vegetable and konbu broth. At first just in a cup drunk like tea, then I moved on to noodles. Reading your similar account made me feel all warm and fuzzy, right, that's probably still the mild fever I'm working on. I'm glad to see someone else who mixes misos, I thought I was just being weird. I like red and white miso with somen noodles and green onions. I also like making it with oatstraw tea sometimes. There is a tasty recipe for walnut miso sauce in the Moosewood Cookbook too, very good.

 

Erin
January 26, 2009

That looks like the perfect dinner for this chilly day. I love the richness of miso combined with fresh ingredients. mmm!

 

Kris
January 26, 2009

My go-to when I'm not feeling well combines miso with garlic, lemon (or other citrus), greens, and plenty of ginger. and red crushed pepper. The aroma makes me swoon and the combination of foods revive me.

 

Miso soup is the ultimate feel better soup! We made one for our Diabetes episode, and added lots of minced ginger to the broth base.

http://www.kitchencaravan.com/recipe/ginger-miso-soup-recipe

 

Dana McCauley
January 26, 2009

We are 'hot' for Miso at my house! In fact, my 12 year old son often eats miso soup for breakfast. I sometimes make my own but to be honest, he usually has the instant stuff in the morning.

I've been on a huge miso dressing kick for my salads lately. I guess I need the extra protein or the salt or something.

Here's a link to my dressing recipe in case any of you want to use your miso paste up:

http://danamccauley.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/salad-with-wine-surely-you-jest/

I use this dressing on broccoli slaw, canned tuna, shredded diakon, jicama and oranges, green lettuce salads...it's very versatile.


 

Laura
January 26, 2009

I spent most of grad school eating essentially this exact same soup, except I always used liquid dashi and a few dashes of soy sauce and black vinegar in place of the miso. Delicious, but I am ready to graduate to the real stuff...miso, here I come!

 

Florence
January 26, 2009

Heidi, I love your blog and this is my first time commenting. I agreed pretty much with a lot of things that have been said, like using dashi as a base either the grainy instant powder version or the more time consuming bonito flakes/ kombu one. The advantage of using the instant dashi is is that I'm pretty sure there's a vegetable based one. I would also definitely go for some shitake and I'm also a big fan of wakame, especially the fresh salt preserved version. As a finishing touch I would add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, some shishimi togarashi (i love it over noodles like in a big bowl of nabeyaki udon) and some chopped shiso leaves would round it all up nicely.

 

Kristin
January 26, 2009

What a nice take on miso soup. I bought hacho miso by mistake at the grocery store instead of the white one to make my first batch of miso soup and it's very strong. I would love to see what sort of additions you make to soups you make with the stronger flavored miso.

 

Devlyn
January 26, 2009

Like Chris, I live in Portland, OR, and Uwajimaya sells a locally-made miso that's just fantastic. It's a bit chunky with bits of soy in it, but the flavor is crazy good. Sometimes for lunch, I roll balls of miso with wakame, dehydrated green onion, dehydrated tamago (egg), dashi base, and dehydrated tofu to add to hot water at work - it's fantastic and very filling.

 

Enjeong
January 26, 2009

This looks REALLY healthy & hearty, Heidi.

I make several Korean versions of miso soup all the time, and use mostly kelp & dried anchovies for dashi stock. And as someone mentioned above, adding Korean fermented red pepper paste(called "Go-chu-jang") into miso blend kicks up your miso soup another notch!

 

Heidi
January 26, 2009

Wow. Keep the great comments coming. It's fun to hear how each of you approach miso soup differently. The one thing I wanted to add in response to Sasutan's comment (and as a reference for those of you who do eat fish)...My pal Harris wrote this article on dashi for the New York Times. You can also read more about a range of miso soups on his site Japanese Food Report.

 

Jinnie N.
January 26, 2009

This looks delicious and SO simple. I'm going to try making it this week since its freezing cold in Seattle! :)

 

Ruth
January 26, 2009

I like a poached egg in mine, sometimes with chopped cucumber and pickled ginger added right before I eat it.

I keep meaning to try a little shredded cabbage in it, but I haven't yet.

 

anne
January 26, 2009

Prediction: my husband will soon tire of miso soup. Thanks for starting another food phase in my house, Heidi! :)

Oh and am I the first to say "miso hungry"?

HS: First chuckle of the day ;)

 

Madeline
January 26, 2009

In addition to recommending shichimi togarashi, I also think you should check out yuba. It's a traditional Kyoto specialty that appeared in my miso soup there every morning. Yuba is the "skin" that forms over tofu. It's savoury and delicate like chicken skin. As an omnivore, I still found it one of the best parts of my breakfast.

HS: Yes! Great call Madeline. Yuba is a lot of fun to use - for those of you who haven't seen it - look to Japanese markets. And in the Bay Area I get mine at either the SF or San Rafael farmers market at Hodo Soy. You can use like noodles, use as spring roll wrap, shredded, chopped, etc, etc.

 

Ariane
January 26, 2009

I love to do a soft boiled egg cut in half along with the fried tofu pouches that would be used for kitsune udon.

For the base, I use the powdered dashi you can buy in pouches and keep it in the freezer to stay fresh. Some of the other posters mentioned that some miso contains the dashi, but I think that makes my salad dressings and marinades to fishy.

For some of the darker miso pastes - I make a marniade with 1 part miso, 1 part jam/jelly, and 1 part white wine.

 

Susan
January 26, 2009

Another big vote for South River Miso, made in western MA. They are experts, and they take great care with their product.
Give them a try, especially if you can't find hand-crafted, high quality miso in your local store.

 

Janie in London
January 26, 2009

Loved the two articles on dashi. You add so much to my love of food, and joy of sharing it with others! You inspire me to experiment and others are inspired in turn by what I cook. I was thinking the other day, I must tell Heidi that she's a very important and loved member of our household!

 

Marie
January 26, 2009

I like to microplane a bit of ginger and lemon zest into my miso soups!

 

Heidi E.
January 26, 2009

This is standard fare at our house, too, almost always with soba noodles, and usually with something green like mild mustard or collard greens, pac choi, and scissors-snipped dried wakame. If the kitchen is stocked and I've got the time, we add ginger, garlic, tofu and shiitakes and maybe a shake of sesame seeds.

This is one of the ways I introduced greens to my toddler--I chiffonade them so that they are easy to pick up with the noodles.

 

The Duo Dishes
January 26, 2009

Red miso paste has recently been on our list. We used it for an orange miso eggplant dish and just recently in a jalapeno miso dressing over tofu. We always pair miso with sesame oil. They're like Peaches & Herb...reunited and it feels so good!

 

liz
January 26, 2009

Heidi, great idea to add the soba noodles. I have been making miso soup nearly everyday for lunch lately - it's just so good for you and I love soups this time of year.
Here is my method
http://green-lemonade.com/miso-mochi-yum

 

nithya at hungrydesi
January 26, 2009

We also love the South River Miso that was mentioned above. Our favorite is the barley variety mixed with tofu or seitan, carrots, any leafy green that we have on hand or snow peas and thinly sliced yellow onions...and of course, it's always better the second day!

 

Beautiful & delicious!
I wanted to share one other "asian" health secret. That is if you have a "sick tummy" that keeps you running to the little girls room or just nauseated, cook yourself a batch of white rice, plain white rice. I always use calrose sushi rice becuase it is so sticky, add a bit too much water and cook just a little too long. This is what (ask any Japanese native) is ministered as medicine to children and adults alike. It s a miraclie worker! Who knew? I have recommended this to friends for years, most will try it and look at me as if I am a miracle worker. Nope, just repeated wisdom I was given. Be well!

 

glutenfreeforgood
January 26, 2009

I love miso soup and if the soba noodles are made of pure buckwheat, they are naturally gluten-free so this is great for people with gluten issues. I like throwing in some sea veggies or mushrooms. As you said, this type of soup is more a launching pad for creative ideas rather than a stick-to-the-rules recipe. :-)

Thanks for the inspiration!
Melissa

 

Darra
January 26, 2009

I also like South River Miso, especially the brown rice miso.

 

cook4seasons
January 26, 2009

Beautiful and delicious pictures again, Heidi. Miso is perfect this time of year. Excellent probiotic (like yogurt) which helps when sick (obviously) and made up of 13-20% plant protein. I use Westbrae Organic yellow or Cold Mountain (non GMO) white but will look for South River. The chickpea one is chunky so bear that in mind when using in soup.

 

Rita
January 26, 2009

Oh, that's great! I was sick last week and was craving the same- a hearty, healthy miso soup. I ended up going to a Japanese restaurant cause I am a litte intimidated by the idea of using miso at home. I will use your recipe now! I like it with vegetables, mushrooms and udon.
Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

 

Mayra
January 26, 2009

Hm, now that reminds me of my grandmother, who always made the best miso and kare soups of my childhood.

Your recipe even lists the watercress, which is something that my family loves so much! We use the stems in miso though, never thought about using the leaves ^^

Maybe you would like to try them: chose those stems with 3-5mm in diameter (sorry, metric system user), and chop in 2-3cm in lentgh. Let tem boil with the miso, or just heat them with some sesame seed oil on a frying pan for 1-2min, until they are soft enough to bend easily, but crunchy in the inside, and then add to the miso. Hope you enjoy them!

 

Quinny
January 26, 2009

I would like to share a miso dressing recipe.

1 tablespoon of white miso
1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
3 tablespoons of water

Simply whisk them together. You will have a no fat yummy dressing.

Enjoy.

 

anonymous
January 26, 2009

Oh. My. Goodness. This looks sooo yummy!! You have a way of making the dishes you prepare look like art! I will definitely be making this soon.

 

alice
January 26, 2009

I too have been brought back from the dead by the restorative effects of miso. I like to toss in thin slivers of courgette and carrot just after it's been removed from the heat so they cook a little bit but still remain crunchy.

 

carol
January 26, 2009

Hj Heidi,

I hope you are feeling much better!!!!! Thanks for yet another truely inspirational recipe!! Can't wait to try all sorts of miso soups

 

carol
January 26, 2009

Hj Heidi,

I hope you are feeling much better!!!!! Thanks for yet another truely inspirational recipe!! Can't wait to try all sorts of miso soups

 

natasha
January 26, 2009

my go-to meal when i'm under the weather is miso-based as well. it uses ingredients i always keep on hand. last night it was leftover brown rice, fresh spinach, and frozen butternut squash. i warmed up the rice, steamed the veggies, and then used some of the hot water to blend a couple tablespoons of miso, same amount of tahini, some fresh grated ginger, and a little toasted sesame oil for depth. if i'm not feeling too badly, i will also fry up some tempeh to go with.

 

Jean
January 26, 2009

What about Bonito flakes? I've never made miso soup without it and was taught how to make it in Japan. It seems the richness of the stock is a marriage of the miso and bonito...I like your creative additions though...

 

Deb
January 26, 2009

Ummmm.. Miso..Love it..

On a cold rainy day, I combined miso paste with Tom Yum paste(for the spice). Chicken broth, Japanese noodles, mushrooms, scallions, snow pea pods, carrots, cilantro and shrimp... Fantastic.

Miso is so diverse that anything and everything is something you can add.

Thank you for all of the wonderful recipe ideas...So fun to try them all.

 

Yum, I love the depth of flavour in miso soup. I once made a whole pot for myself and my roommates, but then ate it all before they got home and had to start again. I recently found out how healthy miso paste is for you, so I don't feel so bad looking back on my gluttony. This particular recipe looks awesome.

 

Yum, I love the depth of flavour in miso soup. I once made a whole pot for myself and my roommates, but then ate it all before they got home and had to start again. I recently found out how healthy miso paste is for you, so I don't feel so bad looking back on my gluttony. This particular recipe looks awesome.

 

Pooja
January 26, 2009

Hey...can anyone give me the Indian name for MIso....I want to try this soup...but donnt knw the INdian verient of Miso.....Pl help...

 

jamiz
January 26, 2009

Who takes the photos of your food? They are beautiful.

 

lisaiscooking
January 26, 2009

That's a gorgeous miso soup! In the past, I've found I like the way the sweetness of green cabbage plays off a sweet miso. The red pepper flakes and cilantro sound like great additions.

 

Miso my Fave
January 26, 2009

Hello there ! I use a rich veggie broth as a base for Miso soup - sometimes I make my own - other times I use a canned version.

I also add very similar items as you did. I don't think, you can really mess it up too much.


 

Michelle
January 26, 2009

This looks beautiful! I've read that miso should not be added 'til the very end of cooking, to preserve its flavor (it should never be subjected to high or prolonged heat). Anyone know more about this?

 

Yum, I love the depth of flavour in miso soup. I once made a whole pot for myself and my roommates, but then ate it all before they got home and had to start again. I recently found out how healthy miso paste is for you, so I don't feel so bad looking back on my gluttony. This particular recipe looks awesome.

 

Jeni
January 26, 2009

hi Heidi,

i'm new at blogging. I get some of my recipes from books. If i made a tart from Michael Richards book, i obviously need to reference back to him, but could i post his recipe or do i need to write to obtain permission first?

 

Suzi
January 26, 2009

I love miso soup! It really is the perfect food when you are sick and have to make yourself food inspite of being ill.

Your recipe is pretty much what I make with a few additions--thin sliced radishes (not quite daikon, but a lot easier to find at the store), rehydrated and sliced shitaki mushrooms, a splash of rice wine vinegar (or tartness) and I use a dark red miso instead of white.

 

tokyoastrogirl
January 26, 2009

I always add hon-dashi (Bonito stock powder) to miso soup- just a small amount gives it a depth that is really delicious. Traditionally bonito stock and konbu (dried seasoned seaweed) are added and it makes a huge difference. Of course if you add clams or other seafood to miso soup which cooking, it will naturally flavor it since the seafood creates it's own stock.

I use this brand of bonito stock: http://www.amazon.com/Hon-Dashi-Bonito-Fish-Soup-Stock/dp/B0000CNU0C

My favorite miso soup is with sliced daikon, yellow onions and some mistuba leaves. The BEST thing ever is to take leftover miso soup, heat it in a pot and add some leftover white or brown rice, then crack an egg in it and mix it up, maybe add some diced kimchee and you have the most comforting "porridge" which is great, even for breakfast!

Ok, now I'm hungry....

 

Laura D.
January 26, 2009

I'm so happy to have found this website that deals with interesting health foods in an elegant way! My miso recipe is also for when I'm sick, so I like to use what I always have on hand: saute 1/2 an onion, a garlic clove, a carrot & a celery all sliced. Saute in toasted sesame oil until onion starts to become translucent. Add water, a bit of crumbled seaweed (I like wakame), some tofu cubes if on hand. Boil until veggies are tender. Take a spoon of red miso in your bowl, add some of the broth and dissolve the miso, then add the rest of the stuff into the bowl, You can't boil miso because it loses it's enzymatic properties. Yummy.

 

Natalie Sztern
January 26, 2009

I am so glad u wrote about this...i, too, like tokyoastrogirl use a dashi concedntrate stock to make my miso and I keep kelp (dried seaweed) alongside my matzoh!! I use kelp even if I am making a regular chicken soup - there is something in the flavor that cannot be reproduced....but next time I am going to try miso paste...(i am assuming it is a pre-mixture for soup and not regular miso) but if it is not let me know pls...

 

Mike
January 26, 2009

Dashi is a wonderful nutrition loaded stock. Take a 5 X 7 piece of konbu and boil in 4 cups of water for ten minutes. After 9 minutes add 1/2 cup bonito flakes and boil the last minute. Strain the bonito and konbu out and you have a dashi stock. I put 2 tbsp miso some tofu and green onions chopped up and warm almost to a boil. traditionally it's heated "to the first bubble". I've boiled carrots, onions and whatever I've had on hand to add to the soup. Always quite good. What I'd like to find a source of good quality organic bonito as I think the Eden brand although quite good is too pricey.

South river miso is undoubtedly the best miso in the western hemisphere! I prefer the three year miso but the mugi (barley) miso is also quite good. South river miso is made in the traditional manner and becomes short in supply this time of the year.

 

rochelle
January 26, 2009

I make miso soup all the time - SO easy and delicious! I use DRIED SHITAKE MUSHROOMS - get the presliced kind because they crumble if you slice them when dry. Just throw them into the pot early on in the heating process and they'll be reconstituted by the time the soup is ready. Also, I add DRIED WAKAME (seaweed) which comes in a bag like the mushrooms and keeps forever. Just throw a small handful into the pot near the end of heating and the little curls will unroll unto strips of bright green seaweed with great texture and an amazing flavor boost. Be careful not to overcook or they start falling apart. These too additions bring SO much flavor to miso soup (and authenticity) for zero work. Also, these additions are not fresh, but stored in the pantry so you can make complex miso soup even if you don't anything fresh on hand. Jumbo udon noodles are my favorite as well. Sometimes I add a pinch of cayenne for some kick - or to clear out a stuffy nose!

 

lisa (dandysugar)
January 26, 2009

This look delicious. I love South River Brown Rice Miso, it's super flavorful. I often put a bowl of miso soup like this together and add in all kids of veggies. It really becomes more of a miso veggie soup than anything. I definitely agree that it really helps to get you back on your feet!

 

rochelle
January 26, 2009

P.S. when choosing miso pastes, my recommendation is to go with the one that DOESN'T say "NO MSG" because it will taste monumentally better. As a biochemist, I'm not afriad of MSG. We eat it every day in all kinds of foods, and a lot of recent research suggests the umami taste has evolved to encourage us to eat proteins. Read up on the whole MSG scare of the 70s and you will find that that all the hype is really a hollow claim, scientifically. If you're convinced it gives you a headache then steer clear, but for the majority it's perfectly fine - and soooo much yummier! You are consuming way more MSG than you realize - even if you don't eat much processed food - it hides out in the ingredients list under many different names. So go for the flavor!

 

Angie
January 26, 2009

I just had to share that miso soup has a special place in our family because it's the first meal we had after the early morning home birth of our son. We now call it his birthday soup, but it's his older sister, who was there through it all, including the miso breakfast, who especially loves miso now. We've never really added any fancy additions to ours before, but this is a great idea for transioning miso from comforting snack to meal...and something healthy that my daughter might actually like!

 

Miso soup is one of those things I couldn't live without, and as you point out, Heidi, there really are endless directions you can take it. When I lived in Japan, I liked to throw in random Asian vegetables that were often unknown to me, and I'd discover something new. Miso soup pretty much goes well with everything.

One thing I have read about it--it's important to turn it off just as it reaches a simmer so you don't kill the beneficial enzymes and bacteria that live in the paste. That's also why I'll never drink instant miso soup from package, though the paste is pretty much as instant as things come. I appreciate the simplicity of this recipe and it's something that everyone should know about.

 

ks
January 26, 2009

Thanks for sharing this recipe! It is right up my alley. I just started a new blog about soup (http://mostlysoup.wordpress.com/) and I will add it to my soups to try out and blog about my results...

 

Gina
January 26, 2009

I like to add grated ginger, tofu, and veggies to miso. My Japanese friend taught me to mix red and white miso pastes for an authentic flavor.

 

gastroanthropologist
January 26, 2009

I love white miso...this looks so clean and healthy - no wonder it revived you. I've rarely had miso with noodles...just with a little tofu and green onion and I usually as a snack. The greens and noodles make a wonderful meal.

 

raja
January 26, 2009

i also add to the soup light soya sauce and a little dash of rice vinagre not to mucho so it dos'nt cover the miso for spicy taste i use shirashi sauce

 

Kelle
January 26, 2009

Miso soup is definitely a great kitchen cure-all, right up there with tea of any sort, ginger, garlic, and chilies. I was in the hospital for three weeks with a Crohn's flare-up and had my mom bring in my yellow miso paste so I could add it to hot water and get a little more nutrition than just plain tea at night. I still love a good miso with as many or few ingredients when I want something different/lighter/healthier/all of the above.

It's also a great side with dinner instead of a salad for those of us who have problems handling fibrous foods.

 

kate
January 26, 2009

I just made this, using udon noodles, and it's simple perfection!

 

Tea
January 26, 2009

Great post, Heidi. Perfect time of year.

I like grated carrot and radish, put in at the end so still crunchy.

Sweet potato and miso are so good together.

Try a spicy miso soup with kimchi paste and kimchi. Yum.

PS. After living in Japan for 5 yrs, I'd say that while dashi is traditional--and no Japanese would do without it--I use water half the time and it's fine.

 

mama kelly
January 26, 2009

I have to make this and soon. My Eldest is a fan of all things Asian and loves tofu and this would be so much healthier than the ramen she enjoys!

 

Linda
January 26, 2009

Actually, usually miso soups use silken or soft tofu instead of firm.

 

Genevieve
January 26, 2009

Mmmm...I don't think anyone else has mentioned this one, but I always use Miso-Master Organic Miso, and have found it to be superior to any of the others I have tried. It's made with well-water and aged in wooden vats that are constructed in the traditional Japanese method (and they still make the miso itself in the traditional method)--no added enzyme extracts, and no GEO's or GMO's allowed. I've started buying it in big tubs from the website, that's how much I love it.

I enjoy my miso soup with tofu, seaweed, sliced green onions, and a poached egg, but if you're interested, a while back I posted my recipe for Miso-Honey Salmon on my food blog. My boyfriend begs me weekly to make it again, and it's unbelievably easy (http://thealchemistblog.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/miso-honey-salmon/).

Thanks, Heidi--your photos never fail to astound me.

Genevieve

 

Johanna
January 26, 2009

Here is the link to my favourite way of making miso soup which I posted recently - I love using udon noodles but I recently bought some soba noodles and have been thinking about using these in miso soup so am pleased to see them used here

http://gggiraffe.blogspot.com/2009/01/miso-soup-for-after-feasting.html

 

Lisa
January 26, 2009

Please remember that this recipe does not have anything to do with traditional miso soups in Japanese cuisine. You will embarrass yourself if you tell a Japanese person you made miso soup this way.

HS: Here's the thing Lisa, I'd never feel embarrassed by cooking something from the ingredients I had on hand - turning them into something that tasted good to me. While I'm certainly interested in traditional food ways, I'm more interested in learning from them, then looking to see what is inspiring around me, and going from there. Thanks for the insight though.

 

Terri
January 26, 2009

My recommedation for miso paste would be Cold Mountain Miso. I'm not sure, but this might be a paste local to Portland, Oregon. I especially love the Kyoto Red variety.

 

Debnev
January 26, 2009

I love the idea of this soup. But the few times I've tried miso soup, I've been put off by a fragrance of ... well, dirty socks. Maybe I should try again. Any advice?

 

Michelle
January 26, 2009

Yay miso! I wanted to share a quick easy thing I make for lunch using miso paste (I like the sweet white mellow kind).
I bring some miso paste, cubed tofu, dehydrated wakame and chopped scallions in to work with me with a bowl. I put a little hot water in the bowl (from our coffee machine, or you could microwave some water) and put the wakame in there to rehydrate. When it gets soft I add the tofu and scallions and fill the rest of the way with hot water.
Then I scoop some hot (NOT BOILING! boiling kills miso) water into the little tupperware I bring my miso paste in and mash it around until it's all dissolved. I pour this miso slurry into my soup bowl and voila! delicious miso soup! ofcourse you have to make sure you leave room to pour the miso into your bowl without overflowing :)
I love taking this for lunch because the prep time is really quick the night before (or morning of) and it's really nutritious and warming after sitting in my freezing cold office all day.
Enjoy!

 

Mel
January 26, 2009

You could even try steaming some baby clams and putting them in the miso soup.
Tofu cubes and seaweed are always a must. Although I do prefer a stronger organic miso without adding salt.
This is a great introduction to people who have not tried miso soup before.

 

torta
January 26, 2009

I made it! I made miso soup! I used Cold Mountain mellow white miso (got it at Albertsons) and found out they stopped carrying soba noodle there! So, I went sans noodles and kinda turned it into a miso egg drop soup. Miso, firm tofu (will use soft tofu next time), green onions and zucchini!

I love taking artistic liberties with food. Saying this isn't miso soup is like saying vegetarian lasagna isn't lasagna because there's no ground beef! Just because it isn't traditional doesn't mean it isn't miso soup.

 

nadya
January 26, 2009

It's sounds like a pretty good soup and very healthy.

 

Nick
January 26, 2009

Never used miso paste before, I didn't realize it was so simple to make miso soup from it. When a restaurant serves a good miso soup, I love it but otherwise I can't stand it. Wanted to try and make my own for a while but without using those packets of dried powder. I'll be on the hunt for a good miso paste when I'm in SF next weekend.

 

expat_in_japan
January 27, 2009

i can't believe no one's mentioned miso as a veggie dip yet! i finally got my hubby to eat tons of cukes, carrots, and even daikon this way! just mix miso (any kind you like) and mayo in your own palate-pleasing ratio and set it out with your veggie tray. vegans, you could probably sub silken tofu for the mayo--it'd certainly have a lot less fat. some of my japanese friends even skip the mayo and just dip their veggies right into the tub of miso! it's great!! give it a go!!!

 

alee
January 27, 2009

I love your site. I made this soup cause I was feeling under the weather and it picked me right up.

I used bok choy instead of spinach which still turned out amazing. You turned a simple dish into something interesting. Thank you for sharing.

 

hg
January 27, 2009

At my house we make a very rich marinade (much stronger than a soup) with miso, minced ginger, a splash of tamari and some lemon juice. After pressing the water out of a block of miso we cut it into cubes and let it sit covered in the marinade for an hour or so. Sometimes we do the same with sliced mushrooms and cubed eggplant.

Then we wok-fry it in sesame oil with some other veggies - perhaps carrot, zucchini, capsicum and baby spinach - as well as some spring onions and some Vietnamese mint - adding a big handful of bean sprouts at the last minute before serving it on brown rice with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

A typically australian confusion of cuisines that somehow manages to be absolutely delicious!

Oh and who can go passed a mid-afternoon snack of white miso and avocado spread on a rice cracker? yum

 

D
January 27, 2009

Can you recommend a brand name for tempeh?

 

Hillary
January 27, 2009

I like that your miso soup is chock full of veggies and soba noodles instead of just broth. Glad you're back to the "land of functional human beings" (loved that phrase!)

 

Ella
January 27, 2009

I was actually planning on making miso soup this week - mushrooms, carrots, tofu shirataki noodles, tofu cubes, cilantro, and scallions. I am using Westbrae Natural organic mellow red miso paste from Whole Foods right now. I love a steamy bowl of earthy goodness in the winter - especially with the snow we got today!

 

Ella
January 27, 2009

I was actually planning on making miso soup this week - mushrooms, carrots, tofu shirataki noodles, tofu cubes, cilantro, and scallions. I am using Westbrae Natural organic mellow red miso paste from Whole Foods right now. I love a steamy bowl of earthy goodness in the winter - especially with the snow we got today!

 

Emily
January 27, 2009

I used the very last of my miso to make Heidi's variation. Had to have something on hand since I just had a tooth filled today!

Love the addition of soba noodles - it adds some weight to the airy soup. Shredded red cabbage is fun, too.

 

Abby
January 27, 2009

Wow, this is very simple and versatile. I am sick and looking for something healthy and nurturing, but full of flavor. Yummy!!! I liked to add shitake or enoki mushrooms to my soup.

 

Holly
January 27, 2009

I've had some pretty sad experiments with miso, but the picture above makes me want to go back into the lab and try again. Anything that will keep the sickies at bay....thanks!

 

Alisa - Frugal Foodie
January 27, 2009

I just bought my first tub of miso, so no recommendations yet, bu thanks for the encouragement to jump in there, I love miso soup!

 

angi
January 28, 2009

Heidi, have you ever tried moromi miso? It's not so appropriate for soup since it's a mixture of miso and barley and leans toward the sweet side. It's usually served in moro-kyu (fresh, crisp sticks of cucumbers with a dipping sauce of moromi miso) - simple and absolutely delicious! But I keep thinking there must be more you can do with moromi miso. I've seen it sold at Berkeley Bowl and I bet Japanese markets would have it too. Thanks for starting a discussion on miso, one of my favorite ingredients!

HS: No! Thanks for the tip Angi - I'll look for it.

 

Alex
January 28, 2009

It's really nice to hear that it's possible to get good ingredients for this type of cooking!

After some time you come to realize that the best food is really the basic elements of Japanese cooking: rice, fish, miso, tofu, daikon, etc.

It's even better to hear about home-grown miso products and rice. It's really the local nature of this type of production that makes it sustainable and interesting.

In Japan you can travel to different prefectures and try different styles of Miso, and rice products with their own personalities and variations on the same themes. It's very great to imagine the same thing happening in North America slowly.

It's so nice to be able to think about packing a rice ball to lunch just as easily as making a sandwich.

 

Sharyn
January 28, 2009

Hey, that's a lovely idea to use tea as the broth, I've got some green tea with Jasmine that would be just right.
You always leave me hungry and inspired!

 

Kate
January 28, 2009

I made this last night and it was so delicious that I dreamt about it afterwards! I may have to make it again tonight...very easy and quick to make - just had to make sure I had all the ingredients. A really nice bowl of yum. Thanks much.

 

sweetsarah
January 28, 2009

Miso is incredibly healthy for you. It is true that you should never boil miso but mix it in with warm water/broth. Temperatures above 117 degrees kills all the wonderful enzymes in miso (miso is a fermented food, like kimchee or yogurt, which is very nutritious for your digestive and immune system - probably why you recovered so quickly!). So, a simple rule of thumb is that if the water is cool enough for you to touch without burning your finger (you can usually tell if something is too hot by getting very near to touching it), it is ok for miso!
Just a little information from naturopathy....
Thanks for all your amazing recipes and advice! I love this blog!

 

sharon
January 28, 2009

This is my favorite quick way with white miso. It is in my book, one taste, vegetarian homecooking from around the world. I make this all the time.
4 cups water, 12 oz cubed tofu, 2 sliced green onions, cook 3 minutes. Add 4 Tbsp. white miso. At serving add 2 tbsp. lemon juiice and 1/2 cup cilantro leaves.
It is so refreshing.

 

Dawn in CA
January 28, 2009

We make variations on the soup you pictured here, with whatever we have on hand. The only consistent ingredients are soba noodles, some kind of green, and a sliced, hard-boiled egg. Not traditional at all, but delicious! We simply call it "Asian soup."

Thanks for the post, the comments are especially informative. Loved discovering the Japanese Food Report for the first time, and can't wait look for moromi miso!

 

Victoria
January 28, 2009

I always want to make my own miso soup, but I just assume it won't come out well. Thanks for this.

 

Sara
January 28, 2009

I simmer shredded kale, alaria seaweed, carrots, burdock root, and a few mushrooms in water with a dash of tamari and crushed ginger. Then, when the veggies are soft stir in a bit of tamari and firm silken tofu.

As for using tea as a soup base I love brown rice in whole leaf genmaicha. Its even better if you use yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls), just keep the oil to a bare minimum if you need to use it at all.

 

Sally Parrott Ashbrook
January 28, 2009

One of my college roommates used to make us miso soup. I haven't had it since then, but I found chickpea miso paste this week (can't have soy 'cause I'm allergic) and bought a tub. I was wondering tonight what to do for the first go at it, so this post is perfect timing for me! I bought some seaweed at the store today, too, so I'll certainly follow the recommendations to add some of that to the soup.

 

Rachelle
January 28, 2009

Yup, South River makes the best miso I've ever tasted, and chickpea is my favourite. I haven't been able to find it around here for a few years. I don't know why I never thought to check if I could order online. Thanks!

I seldom eat miso soup, but I eat miso paste every day for breakfast. A friend got me hooked on this about 10 years ago:

Toast (something really earthy & dense)
-tahini
light scraping of miso (light or medium)
-Eden organic sauerkraut, rinsed & well drained (don't bother with other kinds, they're gross on toast)
-toasted sesame seeds, lightly ground
-nori, lightly ground
(I keep a jar of sesame seeds & nori in the fridge otherwise this would be a load of bother in the morning.)

If anyone actually tries this, I'd love to hear about it!

 

Adrianne
January 29, 2009

Thank you for the idea! I love the purity of miso with just a few diced cubes of silken tofu and some delicate green onion rings. On the other hand I like to pump up the nutrient quality of my soups to make them meals in themselves, so I liked your recipe. Here is my version, which is also delicious and nutritious. I am crazy about red Swiss Chard - it is not only very healthful but very beautiful in dishes as well!

Ingredients:
- 5 tbsps Sweet miso paste (I like the American Miso company's organic Barley Miso; the ingredients list is VERY pure. whole soybeans, handmade barley koji, sun dried sea salt, Blue Ridge Mtn well water, koji spores. No preservatives or weird gums)
- Fresh & Frozen Vegetable mix I used: 1 large carrot, julienned; half a bunch of Red Swiss Chard chopped including stems and leaves chopped as long ribbons; 1 scallion stalk, chopped in thin rings; 8 medium sized cremini mushrooms; 1/2 bag frozen green peas
- About 4-5 strips of porcini mushrooms, pounded to small bits in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have you can crumble with your bare fingers, or put in a small ziploc and crush with the heel of your palm. I add the porcini to deepen the flavor, really bring out that umami sensation!
- 10 cups of water
- Soba noodles, as many as you want in your soup!
- salt for your soba noodle boiling water

Pour water into pot large enough to hold and start on medium heat. When it starts to simmer lower to medium. Add crumbled porcini mushroom. Add the miso paste. You may need to use a spatula or spoon to spread it evenly. Don't worry about it clumping too much - as it heats up it will fall apart in the water. But you will need to stir it to encourage the disintegration

While waiting for water to heat, chop your veg. Also start heating your water for the soba noodles.

Add the longer-cooking veg first (carrots, chard stalks and mushrooms) and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Lower heat to lowest simmer and add chard leaves, peas and scallions. Cook for 5 minutes at lowest temperature then turn off - you don't want to lose the bright color of the veg. The veg will continue cooking with retained heat. You may need to adjust times depending on the power of your stovetop. If you're cooking on electric don't forget to move it off the hot burner.

When you've finished adding the veg, add your soba to the salted boiling water. Pull them out when they are cooked but still feeling VERY firm - nothing sadder than mushy noodles. Rinse immediately in cold water to stop the cooking. Remember, they will continue to cook when you add them to the soup pot.

Add your cold rinsed noodles to the veg pot. Stir & serve! This recipe feed 6-8 people as a main soup dish.

 

ben
January 29, 2009

For those who are unfamiliar with the fermented soybean paste, miso is a fabulous foodstuff that can be incorporated in so many different ways. For the big picture, check out the Book of Miso by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi. definitive. I especially like making miso salad dressing. And of course, soup! In mine i add shiitake mushrooms, dried seaweed, tofu and some kind of green like bok choy. throw in some bean sprouts at serving time.
Cold Mountain is an excellent brand.

 

Jessica
January 29, 2009

I love your site and have made so many of your recipes - they've all turned out so well! So although I've tried - and failed - to make a decent miso soup at home before, I had faith that you'd steer me in the right direction. Yum! We added one vegetable boullion to the water as it was boiling, and about 2T of soy sauce. And then I used cold mountain organic yellow miso, which was very good. Had nothing fresh on hand except tofu, which I added as the water came to a boil, to give it extra flavor, and also some dried seaweed along with the soba noodles and red pepper. Our whole family enjoyed the soup and declared it as good as a japanese restaurant!

 

Lulu
January 30, 2009

I made this last night and it was delicious...I didn't have any red pepper flakes so I added a bit of cayenne and siracha at the end. Delicious! Thanks!

 

Anonymous
January 30, 2009

BTW your miso salad dressing recipe is totally getting me through the winter (with spring mix, walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese). Miso rocks!

 

Toddy
January 31, 2009

Wow... I have never heard about Miso Soup with Soba in it...

 

min
January 31, 2009

i eat soba almost everyday at Univ. cafeteria with hot chili powder. A MD here in Japan recommended everyday fasting, black tea with black sugar and ginger for breakfast, soba noodles for lunch, and you can eat whatever you want for dinner including wine. He said this fasting stimulates blood circulation and effect to maintain immunity. i have been tryign this and body condition has been pretty good.

 

Jeff
January 31, 2009

Thanks for posting this. I haven't made miso soup for myself for close to 30 years (though I have it in Japanese restaurants all the time). I just made a variant of this last night, with baby bok choy, scallions, and shrimp (sorry, not veggie!). The miso had a nice rich taste, but didn't overwhelm, and complemented to subtle flavor of the shrimp.

I also made a little tomato salad with grape tomatoes, little cubes of frozen cilantro, and dulce (seaweed)...thanks for the seaweed post the other day...another incentive for me to try some new things.
chowplay.blogspot.com

 

shuna fish lydon
January 31, 2009

We're on the exact same page. Sick with a bad London flu and working 12-15 hours daily, I came back from a bad fever with Miso soup, soba and a lot of ginger-lemon honey tea.

My only amendment to your approach is that I did not salt the noodle water and added some of it to the miso broth.

There's a soba making restaurant near my father's apt. in nyc where they bring you a mug full of soba cooking liquid to drink after your meal. It's like drinking barley tea-- satisfying, hearty & light-- all at the same time!

 

Stephen
February 1, 2009

Yes it has to have dashi or it just won't taste right. I make it with konbu dashi (seaweed) but most restaurants will use bonito flakes (careful vegetarians!). For me miso is all about using what you have or fancy (it's a side dish after all) - so it's any of onions, chopped up potatoes, wakame, cabbage, thinly sliced carrot, tofu, bean sprouts etc. Too much and it becomes too fancy unless you're having it as a main. On top of cooked rice also makes it more substantial - "neko gohan" or "cat food" as they call it in Japan.

 

PamelaB
February 1, 2009

The first time I had miso was after reading an article which mentioned that in Japan a miso broth is frequently drank each morning to begin the day. Miso helps with the bodys' digestive system. So off I went to my local mercantile and picked a miso (so many types to choose from!) which happened to be South River Sweet Brown Rice. I sat down with my first cup (just water plus miso paste). I sat there smelling what I can only describe as warm fermenting beer...I don't especially care for beer...thinking "I'm really not going to like this. After several minutes I took the first taste still thinking of fermenting beer and not so crazy about the flavor. Still I continued tasting and with each spoonful I found myself thinking "This isn't so bad after all". Until I was saying to myself "This is good". That started a daily routine of fixing myself a cup of miso broth instead of the first cup of tea ususally drank while fixing breakfast for my daughter. Then I decided to attempt to duplicate the bean curd & vegetable soup from a local asian restaurant and turned to miso for the broth. Thinly slice carrots, napa cabbage, green onions & celery and put in the microwave for a minute or two. Then add mushrooms and silken tofu with which ever miso sounds good at the moment plus hot water. Just love it! And so easy! I hadn't considered adding noodles, but certainly will in the future. Plus several ideas read here today. Thanks everyone!

 

PamelaB
February 1, 2009

Just wanted to mention that I printed off this recipe for my daughter who is heading off to college this fall. I'm putting together a collection of healthy, quick & easy vegetarian dishes to encourage her to eat better than she might. This is exactly what I'm looking for.

Thanks Heidi! This is not the first of your recipes to be included in that collection.

HS: Thanks PamelaB, and good luck to your daughter! I ate soo badly in college, I'm still trying to make up for it. ugh.

 

anneca77
February 1, 2009

Daikon is one of my favorite additions to miso soup.

 

Emily
February 1, 2009

Heidi, thanks so much for the inspiration. I found some white miso at Whole Foods and made soup with Swiss chard, firm tofu, salt, and some green onions. It's a perfect foil for the beginnings of a cold. =\

 

The Wife
February 2, 2009

Hi,

You should try miso aglio olio. Its really good with some enoki mushrooms and spinach. :)

 

Joel G
February 3, 2009

I've been eating Miso soup for a long time and love it. I've enjoyed reading this recipe because its given me some new ideas. Here are some of the things I like in mine:

Brown mushrooms;
dried seaweed;
squeeze of lime;
baby bok choy;
a little drizzle of sesame oil (yummy)

 

Alex
February 3, 2009

Tried this yesterday and it was amazing. I used some baby bok choy as well. Mmmm.

 

Anon
February 4, 2009

I thought the soup was really great. I would however warn, that bonito flakes add a very fishy flavour and also add a weird consistency to the soup (the flakes looking like, well flakes).

 

Nutka
February 5, 2009

Wow!

 

lovey-nay
February 5, 2009

I truly enjoyed this recipe for Miso Soup on a day I was feeling under the weather. By adding the soba noddles, the spinach, and the red pepper flakes it was so delightful... had a few helpings... and then made some for my family too... Thank You SO much! Great job!

 

MadelineK
February 7, 2009

Heidi,

You MUST stay in a traditional hotel called, ryokan. The experience is quintessential Japan and will make you feel like a local. At a ryokan you be able to bathe in the communal bath usually filled with volcanic heated mineral waters revered for their health benefits in the morning and night. Also at a ryokan they will serve a locally sourced, traditional dinner and maybe breakfast, depending on where you stay. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about Japanese food culture.

There are many different levels of ryokans but even the modest ones are better than traditional western hotels when you're trying to get the full Japan experience.

Thank you for sharing your love of food!
Madeline

 

LyleAloha in Tokyo
February 7, 2009

Heidi,
I love all the recipes you have on here, share with my wife all the time.

Here are a couple of versions of miso soup, a hearty one with pork ("ton-jiru") and veggie without meat:

Our version of ton jiru:
- sliced pork
- carrots
- daikon
- sato imo
- konnyaku
- “gobo” burdock root
- firm tofu
- “naga-negi” (long” onions?)

Stir-fry in sesame oil the pork, carrots, daikon, satoimo, konnyaku and gobo.
Add water (or dashi) and boil until the vegetables are tender. Add tofu and miso and cook some more. You are not supposed to boil miso, but the veggies and tofu tastes better when the flavor
Add chopped long onions and serve. A dash of shichimi-togarashi tastes good.

Vegetarian version:
Substitute aburage for pork, use water or “konbu” (kelp) “dashi” or dried shiitake “dashi” (water after soaking the dried shiitake)
We also add sliced cabbage and sliced lotus roots to this.

 

Kathie
February 10, 2009

So good~ I keep coming back to your site over and over the last month! Every time I look a recipe up... eventually I get led to your site.
I love miso soup! I haven't made it in the longest while. After my trip to the Asia Market last week, I have been thinking about the miso in my fridge that hadn't been opened in the longest while. I picked up yummy soba noodles and was looking at various recipes (planning to add soba noodles to mine) and lookie what you have right here on your blog!
Great minds think alike I suppose. Thanks so much for the postings and wonderful recipes and ideas.

Kathei