What is miso soup? Have you ever wondered about the delicious miso soup commonly served at Japanese restaurants? Here's a quick guide you need to know about this classic dish!
Welcome to the world of authentic miso soup! This guide is your quick introduction to everything you need to know about miso soup, from what it is to how to make it and even some delicious recipes. Let's get started!
- 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
- Comprehensive guide for miso soup
- Japanese ingredients explained
- Five steps to make miso soup
- Japanese miso soup recipes
What is Miso Soup?
Miso soup or miso siru is a delicious and comforting traditional Japanese dish. The main ingredients are miso paste, dashi, and ingredients of your choice, 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 almost daily 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, 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. The key ingredients bring this flavor profile - 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.
Common Miso Soup Ingredients
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)
1. Miso Paste
Miso paste is fermented food (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 daily keeps you away from a doctor.
Have you ever seen different types of miso paste? The darker miso means aging longer (the Maillard reaction), has a rich flavor, and tastes less sweet than light-colored miso.
White miso paste (shiro miso) is the way to go for a sweet and mild taste. If you're looking for a richer flavor, try red miso paste (aka miso). Yellow miso tastes the between them.
To learn more about miso paste, click here: What is miso paste and how to use it.
2. Japanese Dashi Stock
Dashi is a flavorful broth and 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 authentic miso soup.
3. 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
Here are the ingredients you can pick for your miso soup!
- Root vegetables - Daikon radish, sweet potato, carrot, onion, potatoes, gobo
- Leafy vegetables - Spinach, bok choy
- Other vegetables - Green onions, chives, scallions, spring onions, kabocha squash, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, cabbage, napa cabbage, moyashi sprout
- Mushrooms - Shiitake mushrooms, eringi mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms
- Seaweed - Dried wakame seaweed, aosa, tororo kombu
- Soybean products - Silken tofu, firm tofu, aburaage, atsuage, natto
- And many more - Egg, clams, fish cake
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!
Tofu Miso Soup Ingredients
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 (dashi granules)
- Scallions or green onions
Creating something delicious at home is easier than you think with just a few simple ingredients. Let's dive into how to make it!
How to Make Miso Soup: 5 Easy Steps
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).
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
That's it! Miso soup is best enjoyed when it's hot, so serve it immediately!
By the way, we use these Miso soup bowls (Owan in Japanese) to serve 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 a small plate in Japanese culture).
See How to Make Japanese Miso Soup: Step-by-Step Guide for more details.
Easy 10-Minute Japanese Miso Soup Recipes
Are you looking for delicious miso soup recipes? Check out the recipes below. I share ten easy-to-follow miso soup recipes you can make at home: tofu miso soup, daikon miso soup, and wakame seaweed miso soup.
Miso soup is the most simple and easy dish in Japanese cooking. I hope you will enjoy the authentic flavor!
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
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
- Mushroom Miso Soup
- Wakame Seaweed Miso Soup
- Daikon Miso Soup
- Kabocha Miso Soup
- Summer Vegetable Miso Soup
- Natto Miso Soup
There are three main ingredients in miso soup. They are miso paste, dashi soup, and additional ingredients like tofu, vegetables, and seaweed.
Miso soup typically consists of more than just miso paste and hot water. It also includes a soup stock called dashi, usually made from bonito flakes or kelp, and contains additional ingredients such as tofu, seaweed, or vegetables.
Yes, miso soup is generally considered healthy due to its nutritious ingredients. Miso paste, the main ingredient in miso soup, is made from fermented soybeans and other grains and contains beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health. Additionally, miso soup often contains other healthy ingredients, such as seaweed, tofu, and vegetables. However, it's worth noting that miso soup can be high in sodium, so it's important to consume it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Miso soup can be vegan or non-vegan, depending on the type of dashi used. Traditional dashi is usually made with bonito flakes, which are dried fish flakes, making it non-vegan. However, vegan alternatives, such as kombu dashi or shiitake mushroom dashi, are available. Miso soup can be considered a vegan dish if vegan dashi is used.
Miso soup is a staple dish in Japanese cuisine and is consumed on a daily basis in many households. It is often served as a part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We have it almost every day for breakfast.
A bowl of miso soup is flavorful, rich in umami, with hints of sweetness from the added vegetables such as onion and sweet potato.
11 Easy Miso Soup RecipesPrint Pin Save Saved!
- Miso Paste
- Dashi Stock
- Ingredients of choice
- In Japanese cooking, it is common to cut tofu on your palm. Doing so lets you gently transfer the tofu directly into the pot after cutting without worrying about breaking it.
- 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).
- I highly recommend the miso measuring whisk for convenience and precision!