This easy, Japanese-inspired homemade miso soup is perfectly comfort food and can be ready in just 15 minutes.
Whenever I’m at a Japanese restaurant, I always order miso soup. There was time when I would go there just for a bowl of this lovely soup. The idea to recreate it at home came to me long before I started the blog, so you can make sure that I polished the recipe to perfection over the years.
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese clear soup made of seaweed, tofu, miso paste, as well as scallions, leafy greens and mushrooms. Wikipedia says that 75% of Japanese people eat miso soup on a daily basis! So why is it so popular in Japan?
The best thing about miso soup is that it is packed with umami flavor. It is super comforting and rich and yet very easy to make. Japanese often eat it for breakfast but I think it makes the best lunch.
I will share a vegan version with you that omits the Japanese stock (dashi). To substitute, I add mushrooms and lots of seaweed. That way the taste stays almost the same.
Miso soup is definitely healthy, so you can be sure that you include a high quality plant-based protein-dish to your diet if you decide to make it.
The main ingredient of miso soup is (surprise surprise) miso paste. It’s a staple in Japanese cuisine and it can be used in a variety of dishes. Check my brussels sprouts with creamy peanut miso dip for starters.
Since miso paste is made of fermented soy beans, it contains lots of enzymes and beneficial bacteria called probiotics. It improves your digestion and gut health, works an an immune booster and gives you energy.
Protein is found not only in miso paste, but also in seaweed and tofu, making miso soup a great source of vegan protein.
Other health benefits of miso soup include high vitamin B, E and K content, as well as folic acid and essential minerals like copper, zinc and manganese.
Opt for organic miso paste whenever possible to exclude the possibility of consuming genetically modified soy beans.
Make sure not to let the miso soup boil once you’ve added miso paste since in this case it loses its probiotic qualities.
Other Recipes That Use Miso Paste
- 2 liquid quarts or 2 l water
- ⅓ cup or 30 g wakame seaweed See notes below for details
- 3 sheets nori cut into squares or rectangles
- 1 cup or 100 g shimeji mushrooms See notes below for details
- 2 cups or 150 g baby spinach
- 1 cup or 3-4 sprigs scallions chopped
- 7 oz or 200 g silken tofu diced into cubes
- ½ cup or 200 g white miso paste See notes below for details
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add wakame and nori seaweed (if using), shimeji or shiitake mushrooms, spinach, scallions and tofu. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk miso paste with about 1 cup of hot (not boiling!) water until smooth to prevent lumps. Add to the soup and turn off the stove. Enjoy!
Mushrooms: You can use shimeji mushrooms or shiitake. Feel free to use dried shiitake but remember to soak them before usage according to the instructions on the package.
Miso paste: I used white miso paste which is not so intense but rather delicate and sweetish. Use red miso paste for a more intense flavor but I would recommend to use ⅓ cup then.