A bowl of warm and nourishing homemade miso soup is a perfect addition to any meal. And it’s simple and easy to make it at home with just 2 ingredients!
In this post, you’ll learn what is miso paste, how to choose one and where to buy it.
What’s miso soup?
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup, made of a fish stock called “dashi” and softened miso paste.
This simple soup is filling and satisfying due to its high protein content and versatile to customize it to everyone’s taste and what you have on hand.
There’re endless variations of miso soup, including one of my all-time favorite clam miso soup.
- Dashi (or broth) – Traditionally, miso soup is made of dashi/fish stock, but you can use simple chicken stock, or vegetable stock.
- Miso paste – It’s an essential ingredient. More on it below.
- Optional add-ins – You can add anything to your miso soup. Common add-ins are cubed silken tofu and wakame (seaweed), green onions, sesame oil, etc.
So, what is dashi?
- Dashi is a simple fish broth with complex flavors from simmered kelp (seaweed) and bonito flakes (smoky dried fish flakes). It’s a base to many Japanese dishes, including miso soup.
While it’s super easy to make dashi at home, I often cheat and use these dashi granules. It’s, basically, the equivalent of chicken bouillon.
What is miso paste?
Miso paste is a thick paste of fermented ground soybeans, a staple in Japanese cuisine. It’s salty, earthy, and incredibly flavorful!
By the way, besides making miso soup, miso paste can also be used as a seasoning/marinade in many different recipes, like this miso chicken.
While you may not have dashi and miso paste already in your pantry, both of these ingredients are inexpensive and keep for a long time.
You can find both of these products on Amazon, Asian grocery stores, and even in some supermarkets.
How to make miso soup:
To make an easy miso soup:
- Bring dashi (or stock) to a boil.
- Pour a small amount of hot stock into a cup and stir in miso paste until dissolved.
- Then reduce heat and add the miso paste mixture.
- Stir in desired add-ins and serve once heated through.
Never boil miso soup once you add miso paste, because it’ll lose its aroma and nutrients.
If you are new to miso paste, start with white miso paste for the milder flavor.
As mentioned above, Japanese miso soup can be prepared in several different ways. Besides tofu, here’re other options to enrich your soup:
- dried seaweed for soups
- shredded napa cabbage
- shredded carrots
- hard-boiled eggs
Store leftover miso soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. To reheat, slowly warm it on the stove top.
Reheat miso soup and additional meat and vegetables separately.
Easy Homemade Miso Soup Recipe
- 4 cups dashi stock Note 1
- 2-3 tablespoons red or white miso paste or a combination of two Note 2
- 4 oz silken tofu cubed, optional
- 2 green onions green portion only, thinly sliced, optional
- In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil.
- Once stock is boiled, turn the heat down to low. Transfer about 1 cup of stock to a cup and stir in miso paste. Stir until miso paste is fully dissolved.
- Pour the miso mixture back into the stock.
- Add tofu and green onion. Simmer gently for 2 minutes and serve. (TIP: Don’t bring the soup to a boil after adding miso paste!)