How to Make Authentic Miso Soup

How to Make Authentic Miso Soup

The Soup Before it Meets Its Best Friend (The Miso!)

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A photo of the soup before it meets its soul mate (Don’t worry, they get together in the end).

Where I learned my MIso Soup Tricks

Every summer from a wee age I’ve been going to Japan to live in my grandparent’s house. My Baachan (Japanese word for ‘grandmother’) is extremely diligent when it comes to making miso soup, and she adheres to the following creed: And neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift [making of miso soup]. Here’s the general recipe I use, leaving plenty of room for improvisation!

The Soy Sauce

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Pretty obvious what this is. Probably shouldn’t have even put up the picture.

The Dashi

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What the box looks like
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What it looks like out of the box (there are also flake varieties)

The Very Important Miso

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There are both dark and light misos, with this one being the darker version.
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Oddly enough I used a combination of light and dark misos, so this is a tablespoon of the “light” miso.

The Ingredients (Serves 2)

If you need to serve more than two, just double the ingredients (obviously), but for now i’m sticking with a low sized batch in case you hate it (which is pretty much impossible):

#1 2.25 Cups of water (You can add more or less depending on how much broth you like, or if it ends up being too salty)

#2 1 Teaspoon of Dashi (Picture to the right of the weird fish flakes. You can alternatively use Niboshi, which are dried fish. If you do, I’d recommend putting in 1 or 2 at the most.)

#3 1 – 1.5 Teaspoon(s) of Soy Sauce (I recommend the good ol’ classic Kikkoman)

#4 Optional Splash of Sake (No more than 2 teaspoons)

#5 2 Semi-heaping Tablespoons of Miso (You can obviously adjust this based on taste)

#6 Whatever Else you Want to Put in the Soup, but Here are my Recommendations:



Wakame (A seaweed)

Hakusai (Bok choy or Chinese cabbage)

A Raw Egg (Just drop it in when you put in the rest of the ingredients)

Matchstick Sliced Carrots

Matchstick Sliced Potatoes

etc. (Let’s keep it basic)

Now on to the actual cooking of it

The Tofu and the Onions

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This makes for a very basic miso soup, but is still very tasty

Don’t Forget Your Standard (and cheap) Sake!

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Really any type of sake will work, as long as it’s clear (there are some weird milky looking ones).

Dissolving the Miso

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You can see the miso in the ladle being dissolved slowly and delectably.

The Cooking

Step 1: Put in the water, the dashi, the sake, and the soy sauce (Ingredients 1-4) and heat on medium-low until it’s warm.

Step 2: Add everything else besides the miso and simply cook until your potatoes/carrots get cooked through. I’d highly recommend adding the potatoes/carrots first, then the onions/wakame/hakusai, and finally the tofu!

Step 3 (The Most Important Step): After everything is cooked to your liking (Should only take about 5-8 minutes or so if you cut the potatoes and carrots thin enough) turn off the heat. Here is where you add the Miso, and be absolutely certain that the water is not near boiling temperature when you add it. Put the Miso on a ladle and dunk it into the soup. Then, using a cooking spoon, slowly dissolve the Miso into the soup by swishing around the ladle and stirring with the spoon. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to get most of it dissolved.

Step 4 (The ‘Real’ Most Important Step): If your Miso dissolving didn’t go too well and your soup has gotten cold, reheat it (but don’t let it boil) and enjoy!

The Finished Product!

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It looked and smelled a lot better than my camera gives it credit for.

Sum Up

What you’ve hopefully just made is a delicious and undeniably traditional Japanese dish, that’s healthy to boot! This recipe for miso soup is more or less identical to what you’ll eat in your average Japanese family’s home, and very unlike the weird watery stuff you get at American Japanese restaurants. My last note is this: It’s perfectly OK to get addicted to Miso Soup.