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Miso Soup

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This restaurant-style miso soup recipe is quick and easy to make with just 6 simple ingredients…and totally delicious.

Monday nights have turned into sushi nights around here, ever since I started dating this guy. And they are my favorites. (And so is he.)  ;)

Because as it turns out, Barclay loves sushi just as much as I do! And as it also turns out, Barclay loves eating ridiculous amounts of sushi just as much as I do. Which means that we are more than happy to clear our schedules at the beginning of our weeks to hit up the Monday night $1 sushi specials at this great little place near his house. We walk over and eat just about as much sushi as possible. Then walk home and happily collapse on the couch and have a Monday movie night with Netflix. It’s my new favorite way to begin the week, and I love it.

The only thing we disagree on? Ordering miso soup with sushi. Barclay is a huge fan of all of the noodles and veggies and stuff that go in soups, whereas my idea of the perfect soup is about 90% broth. (Love me some good broth.)  So he’s in the “could take it or leave it” camp with miso soup. But for me, it’s total comfort food, and a must whenever I see it on the menu.

Love that warm, rich, comforting miso-y broth. Love the light bits of tofu and scallions and nori sprinkled in. And after eating it countless times at restaurants, I love that I can now make authentic miso soup at home! And with this easy miso soup recipe, you can too. Bonus?! It can be ready to go with 6 ingredients in less than 20 minutes.

Let’s make some!

So Exactly What Is Miso Soup?

In case this one’s new to you, miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup made with a savory miso and dashi broth. Different regions in Japan add different ingredients to their miso soup. But it’s popularly known as a very brothy soup, with minimal amounts of tofu, seaweed and green onions added. I find it incredibly comforting and delicious.

Miso Soup Ingredients:

So what is in miso soup? This traditional recipe calls for six simple miso soup ingredients:

  • Bonito Flakes: Traditionally, dashi stock is the magical broth that makes miso soup taste so amazing. But you have a few options here.
    • You can either make homemade dashi stock, which I love and simply made by stirring a packet of bonito flakes (dried fish flakes which are sold at most Asian grocery stores) into boiling water, then letting them soak for 5 minutes, then straining them out. (Some stores also sell bonito flakes in handy mesh packets, which you can simply lift out after they have soaked for 5 minutes.)
    • Or some stores also sell instant dashi granules (kind of like bouillon), which you can simply stir into boiling water. (Just be careful — all of the ones I saw at the store included MSG, so I steered clear.)
  • White Shiro Miso: Feel free to use your preferred type of miso for this recipe. I prefer the traditional white miso, but many restaurants also use red miso which has a slightly stronger, nuttier flavor. If you can, I definitely recommend using organic miso paste.
  • Tofu: Silken tofu is the best for this recipe, and you can use any variety (soft, firm, extra-firm, etc.)
  • Seaweed: Dried wakame is the variety of seaweed traditionally used for miso soup recipes, which comes pre-cut and needs to be soaked in warm water for 10 minutes before using. But you can also chop up sheets of nori in a pinch (the seaweed sheets used to roll sushi), which are more widely-available grocery stores.
  • Green onions: The more the merrier in miso soup, if you ask me! Chop up as many as you’d like, but be sure to also use the white parts at the end of the onion for more flavor.
  • Water: This will form the base of the broth.

How To Make Miso Soup:

It’s surprisingly simple! Just…

  1. Make your dashi broth. Bring your water to a boil in a saucepan. Then reduce heat and stir in the bonito flakes. Let them sit for about 3-4 minutes, or until most of the flakes sink. Then strain out the flakes, and return the broth to the stove.
  2. Prep your miso. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the miso paste along with 1/2 cup of the dashi broth. Add the miso mixture to the saucepan along with the rest of the broth.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. Tofu, wakame and green onion. Then stir to combine. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes, taking care not to let it boil so as not to “break” the miso. Then…
  4. Serve! Garnished with extra green onions.

What To Serve With Miso Soup:

Anything Japanese — especially sushi, of course — would be wonderful! I sometimes also serve miso soup with:

More Favorite Soup Recipes:

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Miso Soup

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 -4 servings 1x


Learn how to make traditional miso soup with this easy 6-ingredient recipe!


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (.5 grams or 1/4 cup) packet bonito flakes (*or see alternatives below)
  • 1/4 cup white shiro miso (soybean paste)
  • 6 ounces silken soft tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dried wakame
  • 34 green onions, thinly sliced


  1. First, begin by making your dashi broth.  In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat.  Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and then stir in the bonito flakes.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most of the flakes sink to the bottom of the pan.  Then strain out the flakes, and return the pan with the broth to the stove.
  2. In a separate small bowl, add the miso paste along with 1/2 cup of the dashi broth.  Whisk together until smooth.  Then add the miso back to the saucepan with the rest of the broth.
  3. Add the tofu, wakame and green onions to the broth, and gently stir to combine.  Increase the heat to medium-high, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with extra green onions if desired.


*If bonito (katsuobushi) flakes are unavailable, don’t fear, you have a few options.  You can either:

  • Just use water, without any fish flavoring.  (The other ingredients will still flavor the broth considerably.)
  • Use any other kind of homemade or store-bought fish stock.
  • Use chicken or vegetable stock (with a few drops of fish sauce stirred in, if you have it).
  • Use instant dashi granules (kind of like bouillon — but look out, many brands include MSG).

Also, if you would like to use dried wakame (instead of nori), just soak it in warm water for 10 minutes before adding to the recipe.

Adapted from Use Real Butter.

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31 comments on “Miso Soup”

  1. Sounds like the best Monday date night ever! Love the quick and easy time it takes to make this soup, about time you tried it out ;) Hope those Monday nights continue to be the best girl!

  2. This looks delicious! I’ve been wanting to try to make Miso soup for some time. I’m excited to try this recipe out! 

  3. I am definitely going to try to make this Miso Soup – but I’m dying to know where this $1 sushi special place is in KC? Help a girl out! :) My husband and I love sushi, especially the cheap and delicious kind!
    – A fellow KC friend :)

  4. I usually skip the miso – more room for the sushi. ;) haha!

    I agree with Samantha – $1 sushi?!?! WHERE!?! Please share the secret! :)

  5. I’ve recently been looking into making my own miso soup so this recipe came at a perfect time for me! I was wondering if you can store the soup in the fridge once it’s finished, and what the best way to reheat it would be? Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Hi Sarah, it reheats fine, just don’t let it boil. We’d suggest re-heating it on the stove, over medium low. Slow is key (otherwise it starts to lose flavor). We hope you enjoy the recipe! :)

  6. It’s been a long time since we made Miso Soup, maybe tonight.

  7. Oh this looks so yummy! I’ve never made miso soup before. I think it’s time I do!

  8. I love Miso Soup! I always get it when I go for sushi. Yum!

  9. FYI:

    Thanks for the recipe!

  10. $1 sushi night?!!! Are you kidding me Ali?!! I need this place near me ASAP!! We love sushi too and miso soup is my husband’s favorite soup!! I have never even tried to make it at home but you make it look so simple!! Looks delicious and gorgeous pics as always!!

  11. I love this soup! It’s good for when you have a cold I’ve read. 

  12. I’m going to try this recipe. Looks delicious! 

  13. My boyfriend has been obsessed with making miso soup recently, so we’ve been playing with some variations too!

    For a heartier dinner, we added a soft egg and somen. Somen are my go-to noodles and cook in about 3 minutes, so if you’re going to an Asian market you might as well add them to your cart. The egg is usually soft boiled, so the white is firm but the yolk is slightly runny.

    Miso soup ladled over rice is another super comforting winter meal. Sometimes you still need carbs but you don’t want something super heavy, right?

    Kale makes a tasty green, but it takes way longer to soften. My favorite green remains wakame. It’s the silky texture.

  14. this is a great balance of flavor. been my go to miso recipe. all i have to say is the nori quickly steeps like tea in the broth and flavors the broth like stale seaweed- very over powering and a bit bitter (maybe its the brand i got at kroger.) so i found wakame, soaked it for a few minutes and cut it up in the cup with scissors (the strips grow into huge ribbons and makes serving difficult if left whole). also, i go with 1/3 cup of bonito as well as miso paste or else its a tad bland. but this is still by far my favorite CLASSIC and balanced recipe ive found. also i steamed some shrimp and chopped it up as well as some baby bella mushrooms (threw them both in the broth in the last 2 minutes of cooking) this last time and it was AMAZING. :) i tried salmon too but it was a bust.

    • Thanks for sharing Hayley (love seeing another Hayley with two y’s btw)! :) We’re so happy you enjoyed this soup, and we bet the baby bells and shrimp are awesome in this — great idea!

  15. just now realizing i only find the 1/4 cup of miso and bonito bland because i use low sodium white miso. duh :P silly me!

  16. in Indonesia I had never heard of miso. but this is very interesting and should give it a try .. thx new inspiration

  17. thanks for the recipe miso soup that you share. This is very helpful for our family, let my wife tried to make it. You are great

  18. Thank you for all of the helpful substitution recipes. I also did not snap that adding the white part of the onion would add more flavor. (This was very helpful because I did not have a vegetable broth or dashi flakes). Thank you! :) It was magnificent.

  19. Dashi contains more than just fish flakes – it contains kombu which is a type of sea kelp. Kombu is essential. Also there’s nothing bad about MSG. It’s the salt of an amino acid and naturally occurs in a wide range of products such as soy sauce, seaweed, kelp, parmesan, grape juice, miso, tomatoes and corn. It’s generally understood that adverse reactions to MSG occur in a very small subset of people and is connected to the over-excitation of the nerves related to sensing umami. The vast majority of people needn’t worry about MSG.

    Otherwise this website is great!

  20. This was a great recipe, but i did use kombu for my dashi. Also, 1/2 cup dried wakame was way too much. I even expanded to 8 cups water and it was mostly seaweed. I think maybe 1/8-1/4 a cup of the stuff is what’s actually needed for 6 cups broth.