Make your own version of the traditional nourishing Japanese side dish with this simple miso soup recipe.
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Place the stock, miso, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and 2 cups (500ml) water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the miso.
Add edamame and tofu. Return to a boil. Cook for 2 mins or until beans are tender. Stir in half the spring onion.
Divide soup among serving bowls. Top with remaining spring onion to serve.
Make this simple soup your own by adding sliced mushrooms, Asian greens, noodles, dumplings or flavoured tofu. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, sliced nori or pickled ginger.
COOK. STORE. SAVE
Clever storage: Leftover miso soup will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days and you can easily reheat it whenever you need a light lunch, snack or simple side dish.
Use it up: If you’ve garnished with sliced spring onions, don’t let the white root part go to waste – you can use it to grow new spring onions for your next miso soup! Stand the bulbs root-end down in a small jar and add enough water to cover the roots (leaving the top bits above water). Leave in a warm sunny spot and wait for the green shoots to emerge! Keep the roots submerged and change the water every few days.
A bowl of warming, nourishing miso soup is one of the most commonly known and loved Japanese side dishes. Enjoyed the world over, the thin, cloudy broth has a rich and salty umami flavour. The soup is traditionally made from a base of dashi (a stock of seaweed and bonito flakes) and miso (fermented soybean paste). More ingredients are often added for extra texture and flavour, including tofu, spring onions and wakame seaweed, or vegetables such as edamame and spinach. Served alongside foods like sushi and sashimi, grilled fish and meats, or as part of a bento box, comforting miso soup is also celebrated for its health benefits – it’s low in calories, high in protein and is gluten-free (if you use a gluten-free soy sauce or substitute with tamari). All up, it’s the perfect go-to for when your body needs a little TLC.
There’s no ‘simmering over the stove for hours’ required here. Miso soup prepared with store-bought miso paste and stock is quick and easy to make. You can make your own dashi stock or substitute with a fish or vegetable stock as we have in this miso soup recipe. Then, the most vital of the miso soup ingredients: the miso! The strength of flavour of your soup will mostly depend on the type of miso paste you use and the amount of salt in it. You can use white, red or yellow miso. Each has different flavour profiles and you can adjust the amount according to your taste as it simmers away with your stock and aromatics, such as ginger and garlic. Using a good-quality miso will help ensure the best flavour in your soup.
You can customise your miso soup any way you like. A popular addition is tofu. You can use any kind of tofu – we’ve used firm as it retains its structure in the hot broth for some added texture, but you could also use silken tofu, which melts beautifully into your soup to add depth of flavour. You can add any array of vegetables, from shiitake mushrooms to edamame, capsicum, spinach or carrot. Whatever you use, ensure they’re sliced thinly so they’ll cook rapidly in the broth and retain their texture. Garnish with anything from finely chopped spring onions or chives, or a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and Asian fried shallots.
Miso soup is the perfect side dish for teriyaki chicken with ramen noodles and homemade salmon sushi fingers. For more delicious miso-based soups, try this Japanese-style pork and noodle soup (flavoured with miso and soy alongside mirin and curry powder), this tofu noodle soup with mushroom-miso broth, and this chicken and udon noodle soup with edamame and carrots.