Have you ever wondered what's that delicious miso soup commonly served at Japanese restaurants? Here's everything you need to know about this classic dish!
Miso soup, a delicious and comforting traditional Japanese dish. Its savory and umami-filled soup brings warmth to any meals - an iconic dish enjoyed by generations.
Discover the delicious world of miso soup! This guide will give you all the knowledge - from what it is, how to make it and even some tasty recipes.
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love Japanese miso soup.
- You want to know what miso soup is.
- You want to know what to put in miso soup.
- You are looking for miso soup recipes.
Let's get started!
- About This Article
- What is miso soup?
- What does miso soup taste like?
- What's in miso soup?
- How do you make miso soup?
- How to make miso soup (5 Easy Steps)
- What is miso paste?
- What is dashi stock?
- Soup Ingredients of choice
- Where to buy Japanese ingredients
- Japanese Miso Soup Recipes
- Thanks For Stopping By
- 📖 Recipe
About This Article
- Comprehensive guide for miso soup
- Japanese ingredients explained
- 5 steps to make miso soup
- Japanese miso soup recipes
What is miso soup?
Miso soup is a flavorful traditional soup and the most simple soup in Japanese cooking. The main ingredients are miso paste, dashi, and other ingredients such as tofu, vegetables, and seaweed.
It is a savory soup and goes well with any meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the morning is the best time as it warms your body inside out.
In Japan, miso soup is a staple food we enjoy it almost everyday at home or dining out. You may have seen it on the menu of Japanese restaurants as they often offer a delicious bowl of miso soup, along with a bowl of steamed rice and other dishes.
I always feel at peace when eating miso soup. It's proven that miso paste contains soothing properties to help you relax and calm.
What does miso soup taste like?
A bowl of miso soup is a flavorful and savory experience, with hints of sweetness from the added ingredients. This flavor profile is brought by the key ingredients - miso paste and dashi stock.
Miso soup can be an exciting and flavorful journey for your taste buds. Depending on what is added, the dish may take on a sweet or savory tone; onion and satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato) bring in hints of sweetness, while dried seaweed adds depth with its ocean aroma and chewy texture, not to mention the creamy smoothness that comes with adding tofu.
What's in miso soup?
What is miso soup usually made of? Miso soup's key ingredients are:
- Miso paste
- Dashi (soup stock)
- Ingredients of your choice (such as tofu and seaweed)
A perfect harmony of miso and dashi adds an extra layer of flavor to the soup and creating a depth.
For example, what's in tofu miso soup? It's one of the most popular miso soup recipes, and they are made of these ingredients:
- Miso paste
- dashi powder
- Scallions or green onions
With just a few simple ingredients, creating something delicious at home is easier than you think. Let's dive into how to make it!
How do you make miso soup?
Making miso soup is a breeze! Gather the ingredients and you will have delicious, fragrant broth ready in 5 minutes (if you use instant dashi powder).
See the instructions below.
How to make miso soup (5 Easy Steps)
How to make it is so simple and easy as follows:
- Step #1 - Cut soup ingredients of choice
- Step #2 - Put soup ingredients, dashi, and water in a saucepan
- Step #3 - Bring to a boil and simmer
- Step #4 - Add miso paste
- Step #5 - Dissolve miso paste
Please see more details in this tofu miso soup video.
That's it! Miso soup is best enjoyed when it's hot, so serve it immediately!
By the way, we use these types of Miso soup bowls (Owan in Japanese) for serving miso soup. It's light and easy to hold. In Japan, the tradition is to enjoy food from a bowl held in your palm. (It's perfectly acceptable to drink directly from the small plate in Japanese culture).
What is miso paste?
Miso paste is fermented soybean paste and a traditional Japanese condiment that adds complexity to any dish. Its unique umami flavor can transform simple dishes into something special.
It brings many health benefits for you as we have an old saying that eating miso every day keeps you away from a doctor.
Click here to check my beginner guide to learn more about miso paste!
Pick authentic miso paste
It takes time to make miso paste, like 6 months to a year, but some of the products are out much shorter. These products contain additives to fake the deep flavor and control the quality, which doesn't have an authentic taste.
Miso paste is the key ingredient in miso soup, so I recommend picking genuine products which only contain rice, koji rice, and salt on the label, like this miso paste.
What is dashi stock?
Dashi stock is another essential ingredient in miso soup. It's widely used in many Japanese dishes.
General dashi ingredients are Katsuobushi (Bonito flakes), Kombu seaweed (Kelp), Dried shiitake mushroom, and Niboshi (Baby anchovy).
It brings a unique flavor and aroma to the soup. You could substitute it with vegetable broth, but you won't experience real miso soup.
Store-bought dashi powder is easy and quick, but homemade dashi soup makes your soup more delicious. Making dashi from scratch is extra work, but if you are looking for authentic Japanese restaurant quality, I highly recommend trying these recipes!
Homemade dashi recipes:
- Awase dashi (Katsuobushi and kombu seaweed) - Standard dashi. Used in various Japanese dishes.
- Niboshi dashi (Baby anchovy) - Add strong fishy flavor. This is my favorite for making miso soup.
- Vegan dashi (Shiitake mushrooms and kombu seaweed) - Mild and light flavored plant-based dashi
Soup Ingredients of choice
The miso soup ingredients of choice are limitless, so we don't get bored eating the soup every day. Soybean products (tofu, aburaage), vegetables, dried seaweed, and clams are commonly used.
Variety of ingredients
If you are looking for more variety, here's a list of ingredients!
- Root vegetables: Daikon, onion, carrot, sweet potato
- Leafy green vegetables: Spinach, bok choy, komatsuna
- Mushrooms: Shiitake, shimeji, maitake, enoki
- Seaweed: Wakame, kombu, nori
- Soybean products: Tofu, aburaage, natto
The list goes on and on...
Pick your favorite ingredient and make your original miso soup every day! If you like hearty soup like me, select 2 or 3 and make it a filling dish!
Where to buy Japanese ingredients
If your regular grocery store isn't stocking a full range of Japanese ingredients, try these spots:
- Japanese grocery stores: Mitsuwa marketplace, Marukai
- Local Asian grocery stores or Asian market
- Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon
Japanese Miso Soup Recipes
Looking for delicious miso soup recipes? Check out these Miso Soup Recipes. I share 10 easy-to-follow miso soup recipes that you can make at home.
Miso soup is the most simple and easy dish in Japanese cooking. I hope you will enjoy the authentic flavor!
Thanks For Stopping By
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ If you've tried this recipe(or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!
Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.
More Recipes You Might Like
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- Natto miso soup
Miso soup is made from three basic components: Miso paste, dashi (soup stock), and Ingredients of your choice. The most common ingredients of choice are tofu, scallions, and wakame seaweed.
Miso soup is a daily staple in Japan. It depends on the family, but I make it almost every day, and we eat it a couple of times a day.
Miso paste, main ingredient of miso soup, contains amino acids and vitamins thanks to fermentation. Also, it contains beneficial bacteria that help creating a healthier digestive environment.
A bowl of miso soup is flavorful, rich in umami, with hints of sweetness from the added vegetables such as onion and sweet potato.
Because we usually use katsuobushi (bonito) dashi for miso soup. But you can easily make it vegan using kombu dashi.
8-Minute Tofu Miso SoupPrint Pin Rate
- Preparation: Chop scallion, cut tofu into cubes.
- Bring to a boil: Put the scallions, tofu, dashi powder, and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil on medium heat.
- Simmer: Lower the heat and simmer for one minute.
- Add miso paste: Turn off the heat, add miso (use a miso measuring whisk if you have it), and stir gently until it dissolves.
- Storage: 3 days in the fridge.
- If the taste of the soup is light to you, feel free to add more miso paste.
- If you want to try making dashi from scratch, here are the recipes: vegan dashi (shiitake mushroom and kombu), awase dashi (bonito and kombu), niboshi dashi (dried sardine)
- Always add miso paste after turning off the heat. If you boil the miso, you will lose the excellent flavor.
- When adding the miso to your soup, stir gently (try not to break the tofu).