Homemade miso soup, simple and delicious.
This homemade Japanese miso soup recipe tastes so good, and can be made from scratch in about 20 minutes. Learn how to make homemade miso soup.
I assumed that making homemade miso soup would, like many things Japanese, be a mysterious and complex process. The ikebana of soups. I was happily wrong. Homemade miso soup combines tofu, miso, and just a few other ingredients, for a fast but authentic bowl of nourishing soup.
An Authentic Japanese Miso Soup Recipe
I had never really sought out a miso soup recipe. I had always just relied on Japanese restaurants to satisfy my miso soup cravings. But then I came across a recipe on — of all places — Goop. (Please don’t judge me; jade egg and other woo-woo ridiculousness aside, the recipes are generally very solid.)
My first thought upon reading the miso soup recipe was, “It’s that simple?!” Inspired by the ease, I made a batch. It is the real deal. The adapted recipe is below.
What, Exactly, Is Miso?
At its most simplistic, miso is a fermented soybean paste.
To make miso, soybeans are dosed with koji, a strain of mold, made from barley, soybeans, or rice. This gradually ferments the soybeans, breaking them down into acids and sugars.
How to Make Homemade Dashi
Dashi is a simple Japanese broth made from bonito flakes and water.
To make dashi, simmer the bonito flakes in lightly simmering water for two minutes. Steep for 5 minutes off the heat, then strain. Do no over-steep dashi or boil the dashi, or else the flavor will be off.
How to Make Miso Soup: Recipe Notes
This Japanese miso soup recipe has two main steps: 1) make homemade dashi broth, which takes about five minutes; and 2) add the miso and other components to make it a full miso soup.
- Not counting water or optional add-ins, five ingredients are all it takes: bonito flakes, wakame (a type of dried seaweed), ginger, tofu, and white miso paste
- Be sure to use soft tofu. Its silkiness works best with soup. But if you happen to have firm tofu, that will be fine as well.
- Use white, or sweet, miso paste. The flavor is milder and less salty than red miso.
Love miso soup? You may also enjoy:
Homemade Miso Soup
- 30 grams dried bonito flakes
- 2 quarts (8 cups) water
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
- 8 cups dashi (see above)
- 3 pieces wakame
- 1 pound block silken tofu (organic preferred)
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 6 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
- 2 each scallions, sliced very thin on the diagonal, green parts only, optional
- 1 cup watercress leaves, optional
For the Dashi Broth
- Heat the water to bare simmer. Add bonito flakes (and coconut sugar, if using), and gently simmer for two minutes. Turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes.Using a mesh sieve, strain liquid into a new pot. Do not press.PRO TIP: Be gentle. Do not steep the bonito flakes longer than 5 minutes, or raise the heat above a gentle simmer. This could discolor the broth and give it an off flavor.
For the Miso Soup
- Cut tofu into 1/2" cubes and let drain on a towel-lined plate. Set aside.
- Return dashi to a simmer. Add the wakame, ginger, and shiitakes. Let simmer for around 15 minutes. Do not boil. Remove wakame and chop it into small pieces; return it to the pot.
- In a small bowl, whisk the miso with a little water until very smooth. Add to the pot and stir. Add tofu. Finish by adding scallions, watercress. Serve warm.