Do you want to make the miso soup that rivals any Japanese restaurant at home? I have the miso soup recipe for you.

What is Miso soup?

Miso soup 味噌汁 is a warm and comforting Japanese soup prepared with a soup stock (Dashi) and miso paste. It is the soul food for the Japanese which serve together with rice.

Many non-Japanese are familiar with miso soup as many Japanese restaurants serve it with rice, salad and the main dish as the bento set. Most of them will prepare the basic miso soup with wakame, silken tofu, and scallion. This article explains how to prepare the basic miso soup.

 

Miso soup recipe is easy and only need a few ingredients. This article shows you in details how to prepare this Japanese miso soup.

Let’s take a look at this savory Japanese miso soup recipe with an elusive flavor. It is easy, only three ingredients for the soup base, and three more for the ingredients.

There are two steps:

  1. Prepare the dashi (the most important part of this miso soup recipe)
  2. Add miso paste and the rest of the ingredients.

That is all you need to do!

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How to prepare the best dashi

ingredients for dashi - kombu and katsusbushiDashi is the Japanese word for broth. The soup base is prepared with two ingredients, kombu 昆布, .and katsuobushi 鰹節.  Dashi is the foundation of a good miso soup recipe.

Kombu

Kombu is the edible kelp widely available in East Asia. The Chinese called it as 海带 and use it as a precious ingredient in culinary. It is usually sold in the in dry form as shown.

[image]

The type of kombu for preparing dashi is the older type, which is tougher but with more flavor. Kombu from Hokkaido is generally considered to have the best quality.

Here is how to prepare the kombu for making the dashi:

  • Clean the kombu with a damp cloth.
  • Do not remove the white substance on the surface, as it is full of umami (flavor).
  • Place it in a pot of water and soak it for at least three hours to extract its flavor. If you have enough time, soak it in water overnight or up to a day will yield a better result. According to the Michelin star chef from, Kikunoi restaurant at Kyoto, the best temperature to extract the flavor of kombu is at 60°C. I know this is difficult to do it even in the restaurant, not even mention as a home cook. So I soak it for a day which yields an outstanding result too.
  • After soaking, bring the water temperature up to nearly boil, and remove the kombu immediately.

There are two reasons not to boil the kombu:

  • Boiling the water will extract other undesirable components from the kombu and yield bitterness a flavor. This happening is similar why we should not use boiling water to brew coffee, in which the coffee will turn bitter.
  • It will also release mucilaginous compounds that make the dashi viscous. The kombu will turn mushy and will affect the texture of the soup. Dashi should be a clear soup, just like a consomme.

If you are a vegetarian, you can use this stock to replace the dashi with katsuabushi in the miso soup recipe. Otherwise, proceed to the next step to add some katsuobushi.  The addition of katsuobushi will make it even more flavorful.

Katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flake/bonito flake/柴魚片/鰹節)

Katsuobushi is the dried, fermented skipjack tuna flakes. It is deliberately fermented which results in distinct umami. It is available in most of the Asian grocery shop where you can get the dried kombu as well.

Here is how to enhance the basic kombu dashi by adding the katsuobushi to become katsuo kombu dashi:

  • After removing the kombu from the stock, heat the dashi to barely below boiling point. Add the katsuobushi.
  • Michelin star chef from Kikunoi restaurant suggests that the best temperature to extract the flavor of katsuobushi is about 80°C. He explained it should never boil the katsuobushi to avoid extraction of unwanted elements with a bitter taste.
  • Let the katsuobushi steep for 5 minutes at the sub-boiling point.
  • Strain through a cheesecloth or kitchen tissue to remove all the katsuobushi. The final product should be a clear soup with a slightly yellowish color.

Once the dashi is ready, you can use the stock to make miso soup.

The ideal ratio of water, kombu, and katsuobushi for dashi

There is no fixed ratio of ingredients to prepare the Dashi. You can use the following formula to make a relatively strong Daishi. If you intend to make the miso soup added with other ingredients, such as carrots, daikon, cabbage or mushrooms, increase the amount of water for milder dashi.

Here is my standard formula of the dashi suitable for any miso soup recipe:
1 1/2  liter water
15 g kombu
20 g katsuobushi

You can change the quantity of kombu and katsuobushi, or even add more water. Increase the amount of kombu if you go for the vegetarian version without katsuobushi.

The benefit of making a large batch of dashi

You can keep the dashi up to 1-2 days in the refrigerator or 2 weeks in the freezer. Therefore it is possible to make a large batch and keep in separate containers for your next cooking sessions. There is a chawanmushi recipe in this blog which required dashi. It is a popular starter which is very easy to make.

It is a good idea to fill the Daishi into the ice cube trays. This method makes it very convenient to remove any small amount you need from the freezer.

I measure about two cups, i.e. 500ml to make two bowls of soup in this miso soup recipe and keep the remainder.

Easy to make Japanese miso soup recipe. Use only six simple miso soup ingredients.

The right way to prepare the best miso soup

White miso for miso soupMiso (みそ or 味噌)

Miso is prepared by combining the soybean with salt, grains, and koji (the fungus called Aspergillus oryzae). The combination is kept in a tight container to let it ferment for more than a year. The result is the miso paste that we get from the store.

Different types of ingredients added in the production process will determine the flavor of the miso paste. Generally, there are red/aka miso, white/shiromiso, and mixed/awase miso.

White miso is sweeter and milder, and the red miso is saltier and with a stronger taste.

The choice of miso paste depends on your preference, much like you are choosing which types of cheesing in western cooking.

You can also use a combination of misos to get a more complex flavor.

Here are the steps :

  • Bring the dashi to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Put the miso paste in the miso strainer, lower the strainer into the dashi and gently stir until it dissolves. The miso paste is quicker to dissolve by stirring it in the strainer. It also gets rid of the lumps that may exist in the paste. You can use any strainer if you do not have the miso strainer.
  • It is important do not boil the miso as the components which contribute to the aroma will lose with higher heat.

How much miso paste you need depends on the saltiness of and the intensity of miso flavor you want.

As a general rule, use one tablespoon (about 20g) of miso for one bowl of soup (approximately 200ml).

Silken tofu for miso soupTofu

Any tofu is suitable for making miso soup, but the silken or smooth tofu is my choice.

Cut the tofu into small cubes. Gently place the tofu cubes into the miso soup after the miso paste has dissolved to avoid breaking the tofu.

Heat the soup again just to the point that the tofu is heated through.

Wakame

Wakame is seaweeds often sold in the dried form. You need to dehydrate it before use.

Sprinkle some wakame in cold water to let it rehydrate for five to ten minutes until it expands.
Pass through a strainer and gently squeeze the wakame to remove the excess water.

Scallion

The final ingredient for this miso soup is scallion.

Cut the scallion crosswise into small pieces. Sprinkle some into the miso soup right before serving.

Variation

Once you know how to make miso soup with the basic ingredients you can use the Japanese soup base (dashi). to prepare variations with different miso soup ingredients.  You can use the dashi to prepare miso soup with vegetables, or even meat.  That is, of course, a different miso soup recipe that needs to mention in a separate article.

The miso soup bowl

Scoop the miso soup into the dainty miso soup bowl. The exterior of these bowls is usually black with a bright red interior. Scoop out from the miso soup bowl enhance the Japanese feeling, and make it much more presentable.

How to keep the dashi and miso soup

Dashi can be stored up to one week in the refrigerator. You can also fill up the ice cube tray with dashi or in the freezer safe container and freeze it. It can be kept in the freezer up to one to two months.

However, once you have added the miso and other ingredients, do not keep the miso soup for more than a day as it will lose its flavor. Make the miso soup fresh with the frozen dashi yield a better result.

Easy Miso Soup Recipe

Yield: 2 bowls

Miso soup- How to make with only 6 ingredients (easy)

Miso soup- How to make with only 6 ingredients (easy)
Miso soup 味噌汁 is a warm and comforting Japanese soup prepared with a soup stock (Dashi) and miso paste. It is the soul food for the Japanese which serve together with rice.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the dashi: (the amount is more than required for 2 bowls of soup)

For the miso soup:

Instructions

For the kombu:

  1. Clean the kombu with a damp cloth.
  2. Place it in a pot of water and soak it for at least three hours (better overnight) to extract its flavor.
  3. After soaking, bring the water temperature up to nearly boil, and remove the kombu immediately.
  4. Heat the dashi to barely below boiling point. Add the katsuobushi.
  5. Let the katsuobushi steep for 5 minutes at the sub-boiling point.
  6. Strain through a cheesecloth or kitchen tissue to remove all the katsuobushi.

For the miso soup:

  1. Measure 500ml (2 cups) of dashi. Bring it to a boil.
  2. Turn off the heat.
  3. Put the miso paste in the miso strainer, lower the strainer into the dashi and gently stir until it dissolves.
  4. Sprinkle some wakame in cold water to let it re-hydrate for five to ten minutes until it expands.
  5. Pass through a strainer and gently squeeze the wakame to remove the excess water.
  6. Add the wakame to the dashi.
  7. Add the tofu cube to the dashi.
  8. Sprinkle some cut scallion into the miso soup right before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

200ML

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 120 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 2mg Sodium: 1066mg Carbohydrates: 6g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Protein: 13g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 1/26/2019

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    5 replies to "Miso soup- How to make with only 6 ingredients (easy)"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

    • beejay

      I always have all the ingredients for dashi and miso soup on hand, but I seldom remember how much I love it. Thanks for reminding me of how delicious it is. Off to make a big batch of dashi and a small batch of miso soup!

      • KP Kwan

        So glad to know that I have like-minded people like you. Enjoy the miso soup 🙂

    • esti

      thank you for the recipe. I read that to get a good sushi rice, it is recommended to

      soak the rice with kombu. How should I use the combu in this case?

      thank you

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Esti,
        You can clean the rice as usual, then add water plus a small piece of kombu to the rice. Before cooking, soak the rice in water with the kombu for thirty minutes. Let the flavor of the kombu release and the rice absorb more water before cooking makes better sushi rice.
        KP Kwan

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