Miso soup is a staple in Japanese restaurants both in Japan and in the United States. Consisting of a broth with seaweed and tofu, this simple soup is both unique and delicious. Many people have had it in a restaurant without knowing how to replicate the taste at home. You may have to visit an Asian market for a few of the ingredients, but the soup itself is easy to make at home in just a few minutes. Here's how to make miso soup:
Ingredients and supplies:
- 1/4 oz (7 grams) dried seaweed, also called wakama
- 4 1/4 oz (120g) soft or silken tofu
- 13 1/2 fl oz dashi (fish and seaweed broth) or 13 1/2 oz water and 1/2 teaspoon powdered dashi
- 1 1/2 tablespoons miso paste
- 2 medium spring onions
- Large saucepan
- Small bowl
- Heat the dashi. Dashi provides the base of the soup, in the way that chicken broth is used in other soups. Place it on the stove on high heat, cooking while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Prepare the wakame. Before using the dried seaweed, place it in a small bowl and cover it with water. This will allow it to soak up the water and expand. Mix the miso while waiting for the wakame to soak up the water.
- Prepare the miso. Melt the miso in a small bowl by pouring a little of dashi on it. Stir thoroughly, and once the miso has dissolved, pour the mixture back into the pan of dashi. Stir to mix the miso paste with the dashi n the pot.
- Cut the tofu. Cut the tofu into squares about 1/2 inch across. Then add the tofu to the pan, and turn the heat down to low.
- Add the wakame. Once the mixture is no longer boiling, add the wakame. Do not boil the wakame, because this will change its flavor. Instead, turn to medium-low to allow the mixture to heat up.
- Serve. Chop the spring onions into 1/4" long pieces. Serve the miso soup in individual bowls with a garnish of spring onions.
To eat miso soup, use forks or chopsticks to eat the tofu and wakame, and then sip the liquid out of the bowl. If you greatly enjoy seaweed or tofu or want a more substantial soup, you can add a little more to this recipe. Some versions of miso soup also call for shitake mushrooms or bok choy. This delicious and nutritious vegetarian soup is perfect for serving with a Japanese meal. Although Americans usually eat soup before the meal, in Japan miso soup is eaten at the end of a meal, or even as a breakfast.