Deep flavored miso broth with creamy chunks of tofu and fresh spring onions. Not your traditional miso soup, but not non-traditional either. An easy 20 minute recipe.
Traditional Miso Soup – Dashi
Traditional miso soup, one of the most common Japanese dishes, is made with a dashi broth and little chunks of curdled soy milk aka bean curd aka tofu.
To a make a dashi broth, cold water is brought to a boil with a piece of kombu seaweed (which is then removed) then you add some katsuobushi shavings (bonito shavings can be used here as well) and bring the broth back to a boil, removing the shavings from the liquid once they sink to the bottom of the stock.
2 reasons we don’t use katsuobushi in this recipe:
1. Keeping it vegetarian.
2. Most people don’t have bonito or katsuobushi shavings stocked in their pantry. Ease & simplicity.
Fermented soybean (sometimes rice or barley) forms the base of a miso paste. It has a dynamic profile that gives dishes a deep umami flavour and can be used as a soup base, for pickling vegetables, in marinades etc. Essentially your creativity marks the limits of what you can use a miso paste for. For instance check out my Maple Miso Mushrooms or Miso Butter Egg & Avocado Toast or Slow Cooker Asian Kabocha Squash for some miso inspiration.
The darker the paste, the stronger the flavour.
White Miso (light) – more mild flavours, sweeter than red. Fermented for a shorter period.
Red Miso (dark) – more intense flavours, saltier than white. Fermented for a longer period.
Awase (mixture of red & white miso)
Miso can be eaten raw or cooked. In this recipe we add the miso at the very end, making sure not to boil the soup after adding as this can kill the health beneficial bacteria in the miso paste.
Miso Soup Physics
If you take a second to really look at your hot bowl of miso soup, you’ll notice the intricate ways the broth churns. After a few minutes undisturbed, the miso particles will gather in the centre of the bowl in beautiful cloudy shapes. In a way, your soup is teaching you a physics lesson, as the hot particles of the soup lose density, rise, and the cold parts drop, heating at the bottom only to rise & fall again. This represents a little convection cell.
Miso excited to make soup.
Skill Level: Basic | Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Total Time: 20 min
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (use gluten free if needed)
1 sheet nori seaweed (~ size of a standard piece of paper), sliced into 1/4 inch squares
1 package firm tofu, chopped into 1/8 inch cubes
3 Tbsp. miso, dark
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onions, stirring occasionally until cooked.
Add broth and seaweed, bring to boil over medium-high heat (~ 5min).
Reduce heat to simmer.
Add green onions, tofu and miso. Simmer for 5 minutes.