Homemade Miso Soup

This might be the easiest soup to make from scratch that you’ve ever encountered (as long as you have the ingredients).  You will need the following (the selection of brand is entirely up to you)…

Miso soup ingredients

Dried shiitake mushrooms.

Dried kombu seaweed.

Miso paste (red or yellow are both viable options).

Soy sauce.

How to make miso soup at home

The first step is making the dashi.  Dashi is a simple stock that is the base of most soups and sauces in Japanese cooking, and all it takes is: 

Four cups of water,

let’s just say, one large dried mushroom per cup of water,

and about that much kombu.

Put it all into a small pot (aka: saucepan), and bring to a simmer.

Simmer for half an hour, and use a pair of tongs to remove the kombu.

*When making classic dashi, this is normally when katsu bonito (paper-thin strips of dried skipjack tuna) would be added, but I didn’t have any, so we’re making a vegetarian version today.*

Let steep for another 20 minutes or so, then remove (and reserve) the mushrooms

and strain

Rinse out your pot, put the dashi back in and return it to a simmer.  Once it reaches a simmer, remove it from heat. Then you’ll want to take a spoonful of miso paste

about that much.  Then whisk it in

*It is important that you never add miso paste to boiling or simmering water. Also, when reheating miso broth, that the liquid never reaches a simmer.  The reason for this, is that what gives miso its distinctive flavor is actually a cultured bacteria. Boiling water kills this bacteria and, while it’s at it, the flavor of the miso.*

Then you’ll add in soy sauce to taste.  

For this amount, I’d recommend you start with a tablespoon, and add more if you feel it needs it.

Now your miso broth is done!  For garnish, we will typically add sliced scallions

And diced tofu.  I didn’t have any tofu for this, so as a substitute, remember those mushrooms I had you save?  Remove the stems, thin-slice them, and voila: Delicious miso soup. The only way it could be more scratch is if you fermented the miso yourself!

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