We love miso soup, and what Japanese meal is complete without it, for breakfast, lunch or dinner? I know there are many ways of preparing this tasty soup full of fermented goodness. This is our way, which we have settled on through trial and error over the last few years.
We use a shiro miso paste which, like many Japanese ingredients, can be difficult to track down outside of Japan. I have found it in a few Asian grocery shops, most recently the one at our local fruit and vegetable markets. I have also tried organic shiro miso paste from health food stores and an online bulk foods store, which is lovely but a bit more expensive.
You could add anything you like to the soup, such as mushrooms, pieces of fish, green vegetables, etc. When the kids were younger I made it with kid friendly vegetables like diced potato and thinly sliced snow peas. Now their taste buds have grown up we stick with the traditional tofu and wakame, or sea vegetable. A silken firm tofu will work best (I found this one at my local supermarket). You can buy packaged dried wakame at Asian grocery shops. This time I used a strip of dried wakame I bought from the a food co-op shop, which has a scary price per kilo but, because it is so light, I came away with a couple of strips that will do many soups for less than $1.
Miso soup the Five Beans Food way
- 5 cups water
- 3-4 tablespoons shiro miso paste
- 1 teaspoon dashi stock powder or 1/2 cup liquid dashi stock
- approx 150g silken firm tofu, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon dried wakame (or a 5cm strip, cut into small pieces)
Heat 5 cups of water in a saucepan. When it is simmering, scoop out a cup full and put it in a bowl with the miso paste and stir until the paste has dissolved (if you are a very skilled Japanese person, you could do this on a soup ladle – I need a bowl). Add the dissolved paste and water back into the saucepan. Add the tofu and let it all simmer gently for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the wakame.
You can let it sit warm for a little while before serving in small bowls or cups.
And remember, you don’t eat miso soup with a spoon, but drink it from the bowl and use your chopsticks to pick up the chunky bits.