Posted by: Rachael | December 3, 2011

miso soup

Garlic Miso Soup – serves 6


  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup miso
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 block tofu, any kind, sliced into small cubes
  • 3 scallions (green onions), sliced


Heat water and stir in miso, being careful that the water doesn’t boil. It should be just below the boiling point.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and allow to heat. Stir well, and serve. Makes 6 servings of vegetarian miso soup with garlic.

Miso Soup

A traditional miso soup in Japan is  usually a thin broth made from fish stock, with only a scant garnish of wakame seaweed, small cubes of tofu and sliced spring onions.  This recipe is more hearty.  The vegetables are cooked on a low heat to create a sweet stock which is then seasoned with miso.  It can be adapted for many different combinations of vegetables.

1½ litres water
1 onion, sliced
Several slices of fresh ginger
400g pumpkin, chopped into bite-size chunks
¼ cup dried wakame seaweed, soaked for 15 minutes in 2 cups water
¼ cauliflower, cut in to pieces
3 Tbsp miso (approx.)
1 spring onion, sliced.

1)Bring the water to boil in a  large saucepan.  Add the sliced onion and ginger.  Turn down to a moderate heat and cook for several minutes.

2) Add the pumpkin chunks and return the soup to a gentle simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes.
3) Drain the wakame, and add to the soup with the cauliflower. 

4) Bring it to a boil once more and simmer until the cauliflower is cooked.
Keep the soup on a low heat.  Put about 2 Tbsp miso in a small bowl and add some of the liquid from the soup.  Mix the miso until it is a thin paste then add to the soup.  TASTE the soup.  Ideally you want a very slight salty taste to the soup, but not too strong — the dominant flavour should be the sweetness from the vegetables.  Add more miso if necessary then simmer a minute or so longer. 
5) Serve in individual bowls.  Garnish with sliced spring onions.

Miso Soup Recipe

Miso Choice: This time around I used an organic white miso, but I’d encourage you to experiment with a range of misos.

3 ounces dried soba noodles
2 – 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)
2 – 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
a handful of watercress or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste – so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.

Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

Serves 2 – 3.

OR use miso paste AND dashi (Jap stock – easiest method is to soak an 8x2inch piece of seaweed in 4C water for 20 min, heat and just before it comes to the boil, remove the seaweed, which can be sliced and eaten in another dish)


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