Update: Pictures and recipe are updated in September 2012.
Miso Soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of seafood based stock called dashi and miso paste. Most Japanese meals are served with a bowl of miso soup and steamed rice. Although there are many different kinds of ingredients that can be added to miso soup, today I will share the most basic miso soup recipe which include just tofu, wakame (seaweed), and green onion. Please note that miso paste varies in saltiness depending on type (e.g. red/aka miso, white/shiro miso, mixed/awase miso) and by brand, please adjust the proper amount of miso based on your preference.
For dashi stock, I typically use dashi packets but they may be difficult to find in your supermarkets. No worries, I also have an easy step-by-step tutorial for how to make homemade dashi stock from scratch. The ingredients for the homemade stock such as dashi kombu and katsuobushi (bonito flakes) are usually available in most Japanese market and some Asian market. The Japanese cuisine requires dashi stock for cooking many recipes and it’s very simple to make compared to other stocks.
I hope you enjoy this quick and easy homemade miso soup!
- 3 cups homemade dashi stock or see Quick Dashi Stock below
- 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp. miso (I use awase/mixed miso)
- 6 ounces firm silken tofu or soft tofu (optional)
- 2 tsp. dried wakame (seaweed) (optional)
- 1 green onion (optional)
- 3 cups water
- 1 dashi packet or 1 1/4 tsp. dashi powder
- In a medium saucepan, add water and dashi packet (some brand of dashi packet may ask you to add the packet after boiling). If you are using dashi powder, bring water to a boil and stir in the dashi powder – it’s ready to use.
- Start cooking covered over medium high heat. After boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Discard the packet and dashi stock is ready to use.
- Using a strainer, add miso in the dashi stock. If you don’t have one, use a ladle and dissolve miso in the ladle so you can make sure miso is dissolved completely. Each brand or kind of miso has different level of salt, therefore taste the soup before you add more miso. If you add tofu in your miso soup, tofu dilutes the soup a little bit so you might want to add ½ Tbsp. more miso.
- Cut tofu into small cubes on your palm and add them to the soup. Stir the soup gently without breaking up the tofu.
- If you want to add wakame (seaweed), put 1 tsp. of dried wakame in water and let it soak.
- Cut the green onion to finely pieces. Put the wakame and green onion in the serving bowls.
- Return to a slight simmer until heated through. Be careful not to boil the miso soup because miso will lose flavor. Remove from the heat, ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately.
*If you don't have dashi packet or powder, see how to make homemade dashi stock.