Photo:Lachlan Hardy on Flickr

How to Make Miso Soup: A Quick and Easy Guide

One of the staples of Japanese cuisine is miso soup. The smooth texture and rich taste make it one of the most distinctive flavors in the world. Coming to Japan is a special treat, as you’re able to try miso soup in its most authentic form.  The perfect balance of the broth with other types of washoku (Japanese food) is one that’s difficult to leave to the imagination. There’s truly nothing like it!

Have you ever thought about making your own? Luckily, this tasty delight is easy to prepare, cook and can be filling. How do we get started? To make miso soup, we need some key ingredients.

Green onions (negi)

Miso paste


Think of these as the foundational tools to help us embark on our miso journey. Chop the onions and cut the tofu into bite-sized squares. Put about 2-3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

From there, add your onions and other vegetables. Personally, having tons of vegetables is key. Although it may not be miso soup in the traditional sense, a lot of greenery is necessary.

Reduce the heat to medium when the water begins to boil. From there, add the remaining vegetables. Do not add the tofu just yet, as it will get too soggy if cooked in the same duration of time as the other ingredients. Check and see if the vegetables are soft enough or adjusted to your taste, then add the sliced tofu chunks.

Let it cook for about 3-5 minutes then reduce the heat to low and add the miso. If you cook the miso at a high temperature for too long, the paste will dissolve quickly, leaving very little flavoring. A solid tablespoon of paste is what I prefer, but feel free to adjust to your personal taste. Add the paste to the boiling ingredients and stir constantly. You should see the water changing to the color of the miso. Continue to cook and stir until all of the miso paste thoroughly dissolves in the water. From this point, you can sample the soup to adjust it to your palate. If not, continue to add miso paste and stir until your desired taste comes to fruition. If everything is okay, remove the soup from the heat, pour it into a bowl and let it cool for another 3-5 minutes. From there, you should have a delicious tasting miso soup. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, but please feel free to try some combinations to see what taste fits you best.

If you live in Japan, finding miso paste shouldn’t be a difficult undertaking, as there are an assortment of different types and flavors. If you’re not in the country, then try to look at a local Asian market or an online seller. The paste itself is essential in capturing the true essence of miso. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert in culinary arts, creating a miso masterpiece shouldn’t be too strenuous. So, go out, buy yourself some ingredients, and embark on a journey of wholesome goodness. See you on the other side!

ish-ka on Wikimedia

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