Easy miso soup recipe requires only 2 ingredients, plus optional add-ins! This simple, yet deliciously satisfying, soup is so easy to make at home! In this post, you’ll learn what is miso paste, how to choose one and where to buy it.
Many of us think of miso soup as the precursor to a hibachi dinner or sushi. But did you know it’s surprisingly easy to make and enjoy it at home?
Also, miso soup is pretty filling due to its high protein content and it’s quite versatile to customize it to everyone’s taste and what you have on hand.
WHAT IS MISO SOUP MADE OF?
Traditionally, miso soup is made of a stock called “dashi” with softened miso paste mixed in.
So, what is dashi?
- Dashi is a simple 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.
But don’t let these unfamiliar terms scare you away!! It’s not required to make a delicious miso soup. Keep reading for alternative ways to make incredibly satisfying miso soup.
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!
When shopping for miso paste, you’ll come across 2 main varieties of miso paste: white and red. In a nutshell, white miso paste is milder and sweeter, while red miso paste has a stronger and funkier taste.
TIP: If you are new to miso paste, start with white miso paste for the milder flavor.
By the way, besides making miso soup, miso paste can also be used as a seasoning/marinade in many different recipes, like my 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
There’re 3 main components in miso soup:
- Broth – While dashi is the most common stock, you can use simple chicken stock, or vegetable stock, or use little neck clams to make a flavorful stock (instructions are included in the recipe card below).
- Miso paste – It’s an essential ingredient.
- Add-ins – You can add anything to your miso soup. Common add-ins are cubed silken tofu, green onions, etc.
To make an easy miso soup:
- Step 1. Bring stock to a boil.
- Step 2. Reduce heat and add miso paste.
- Step 3. Stir in desired add-ins and serve once heated through.
TIP: Never boil miso soup once you add miso paste!
What can you put in miso soup?
As mentioned above, miso soup can be prepared in several different ways. Besides tofu, here’re other options to enrich your soup:
- shredded napa cabbage
- shredded carrots
- hard-boiled eggs
This soup is a great pre-dinner sip before a beautiful piece of sesame crusted seared ahi tuna, or a healthy power breakfast with a side of hard-boiled egg and steamed rice.
HOW TO STORE MISO SOUP:
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.
TIP: Reheat miso soup and additional meat and vegetables separately.
Easy Miso Soup Recipe
- 4 cups dashi stock or chicken broth, vegetable broth (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
For Clam Miso Soup:
- 12 short-neck clams in the shell
- ¼ cup sea salt
- In a large saucepan, bring 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!)
- To make clam miso soup, scrub the clams under running cold water and rinse them with cold water a few times until water run clear. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of cold water and salt. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add the washed clams and soak the clams in the refrigerator for minimum of 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. Soaking in salt water, helps to draw out the sand.
- When making clam miso soup, you don’t need to use dashi powder, as clams add nice flavor to the stock.
- To cook clams, add 5 cups of cold water in a large saucepan. Add clams and bring it to a boil over high heat. Skim off the foam on top with a spoon.
- A minute or so after the water boils, the clams should open, which means they’re cooked. (TIP: It’s very important to keep an eye on clams. It takes just about a minute to cook the clams once the water comes to a boil. If cooked for longer than a minute, they will turn tough and rubbery!) Immediately reduce the heat to low and continue with step 2.