Homemade miso soup, ready in minutes.
I’d assumed that making homemade miso soup would, like many things Japanese, be a mysterious and complex process. The oragami of soups.
Then I came across a recipe while leafing through goop’s Clean Beauty. It was the first time I had actually seen a recipe for miso soup, and my first thought was, “It’s that simple?!”
Not counting water or optional add-ins, you only need five ingredients: bonito flakes, wakame, ginger, tofu, and miso paste.
I liked the goop recipe because it also suggested bulking it up a bit with shiitakes and watercress. (Only in the goop kitchen do shiitake mushrooms and watercress count as bulk.) Inspired by the simplicity, I made a batch, and it is the real thing. The recipe is below, adapted from Gwyneth.
Yield 8 cups
[caption id="attachment_684" align="alignnone" width="640"] A recipe for authentic, simple miso soup.[/caption]
Authentic, simple, and ready in minutes.
30 Grams dried bonito flakes
8 Cups water
1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (optional)
Heat 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.
Strain liquid into a new pot.
II. Miso Soup
8 Cups dashi broth (see above)
3 Pieces wakame (about 4-6" long each)
1 Pound block silken tofu
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
6 Tablespoons white miso paste
4 Ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin (optional)
2 Scallions, sliced very thin on the diagonal, green parts only (optional)
1 Cup watercress leaves (optional)
Cut tofu into 1/2" cubes and let drain on a towel-lined plate. Set aside. Return dashi broth 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.
Sourcing: These ingredients may seem obscure, but are more widely available than you may think. Check the international aisle of your supermarket. I found wakame, bonito flakes, and white miso paste at Whole Foods. Use organic, non-GMO tofu.
Choosing miso: White miso is the mildest, making it ideal for delicate miso soup, but feel free to substitute red miso if you prefer a more robust flavor.