Miso soup is a simple Japanese soup that consists mainly of dashi stock and miso paste. Miso paste is available in a variety of colours (ie. yellow or red) and flavours (ie. salty or sweet). Additional ingredients, such as seaweed, tofu, mushrooms, and/or pork, are often added to this soup. Although instant miso soup powders are widely available, this soup is very easy to make (minus the MSG and preservatives). Traditionally, wakame is the seaweed of choice, but this time, I used dulse, a red seaweed that I bought in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (photo below). See my post on how to use dulse here.
Miso Soup Recipe
makes 4 servings
4 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup loosely packed shaved bonito (kezurikatsuoor or katsuo-bushi)
3″ x 3″ piece of dried dashi kombu or knobu (dried kelp)
For the dashi, bring the water to a boil in a pot. Then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. You want to avoid boiling because it makes the broth cloudy. Add the bonito flakes and the kombu. Allow this to simmer for about 15 minutes. Then strain the soup and discard the solids.
for the soup
miso paste to taste (Note: I used 2 1/2 tbsp of a yellow miso paste. Different varieties of miso paste will have different strengths of flavouring, so whisk in miso paste 1 tbsp at a time to taste. Keep in mind that the dried seaweed will add some salt to the soup as well.)
1/2 block of soft tofu, cut into thin strips or small cubes
1 stalk green onions, green and light green parts sliced thinly
a small bunch of strips cut from dried seaweed (wakame is preferable, but dulse also works)
Over medium high heat, whisk in the miso paste 1 tbsp (or 1/2 tbsp) at a time, until well combined. Taste the soup between each addition until you achieve the desired flavour. Then add the tofu and seaweed and simmer for 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls so that each bowl has a few strips of seaweed and a few pieces of tofu. Garnish with the green onions and serve hot.