Miso Soup

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

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

*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.