Miso soup is a traditional Japanese broth made with miso (fermented soy bean paste), dashi (a simple but delicious stock) and a variety of other ingredients of your choice. It’s the perfect accompaniment to so many Japanese dishes. Here’s our miso soup recipe.
3 sheets of kelp seaweed (kombu)
1 packet of bonito flakes (40g)
1 litre water
1 tbs miso paste (home made or shop-bought)
block of silken tofu
It should be possible to buy kombu (kelp) and bonito flakes from Asian supermarkets. The dashi really adds to the deliciousness of the soup but if you can’t get hold of the ingredients, you can make a vegetable/fish stock and skip to the step where you add the miso paste.
Make the dashi: Put kombu and bonito flakes into a saucepan of water.
Bring to a simmer. Skim off any froth.
After 20 minutes, you should have a clear broth
Sieve the solids from the broth. Keep the solid ingredients. You can dry these out and use them again to make a secondary dashi.
Add the miso paste to the dashi in the saucepan. You can buy miso in most supermarkets but you can also make your own. Warm through gently.
This is the soup base. In this miso soup recipe there are a number of ways to embellish the finished soup. Optional ingredients include such delights as negi (Japanese onions, they are a cross in size between a spring onion and a leek – UK spring onion will be perfect), silken tofu cut into very small cubes, wakame seaweed (a type of kelp that you can buy dehydrated from Asian supermarkets) or small mushrooms (enoki style – the teeny bunches of mushrooms are perfect, but finely chopped ordinary mushrooms will work well).
In this instance we had some spring onions to hand. So they were finely sliced and placed in a serving bowl.
Pour the miso broth on top. Enjoy while hot.
It is absolutely fine to drink the miso soup using a spoon or to drink directly from the bowl. In Japan, it’s also okay to slurp – this helps cool the hot liquid as you drink it. Make sure you stir it (you can use chopsticks to do this) before consuming so that the ingredients that settle at the bottom are agitated – the miso never dissolves completely into the broth – and produce an even flavour throughout the drinking.