Miso Soup Recipe

Miso soup is a restaurant-quality starter to make at home! Made with Japanese ingredients like miso paste, dried kelp, tofu, and seaweed, it’s a wonderful vegetarian option for lunch, light dinner or appetizer starter course.

bowl with miso soup

If you like sushi as much as I do, you’ve likely already tried miso soup! Most Japanese restaurants serve it as an appetizer before they bring out your rolls. I find that my homemade version is a bit more substantial than what you find in a restaurant. That means you can enjoy it for lunch or as a light weeknight dinner. 

I’ve never met a soup I didn’t like. I’ve got plenty to choose from here on the blog — Egg Drop Soup, Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe, Greek Chicken Orzo Soup, and Mulligatawny Soup made with spices, coconut milk, and vegetables are some of my go-to’s!    

You may have to do a bit of hunting to find the ingredients for my miso soup recipe, but I promise it’s worth it! Check out the international aisle at your local grocery store, or if you know of an Asian market, head there. If all else fails, the internet is your friend. Like I said…it’s definitely worth the effort!

closeup of miso soup

INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Dried KelpKombu in Japanese, you’ll use dried kelp to create your “dashi,” a type of Japanese soup stock.
  • Dried Bonito FlakesBonito is a variety of tuna. Another Japanese ingredient, dried bonito flakes are also called katsuobushi. 
  • Water – The base for your dashi!
  • Soft Tofu – Most of the sustenance of my miso soup recipe comes from the tofu! It’s an excellent source of plant-based protein. Make sure to use soft, not firm.
  • Miso Paste – Here’s where all of that delicious salty umami flavor comes from! I recommend using 1 tablespoon of miso paste for every 1 cup of dashi.
  • Dried Wakame SeaweedWakame is a type of seaweed. It adds even more umami flavor and boasts just a touch of sweetness.
  • Green Onion – For added color and savory flavor.
ingredients to make miso soup

HOW TO MAKE MISO SOUP

1. Start the Dashi. Cut or break up the kombu into several pieces and add it to a saucepan with the water over medium heat. Make sure to use a pot that’s big enough! Bring the mixture to almost a boil — turn off the heat when you start to see bubbles. Skim any foam or residue as you go along. 

2. Add the Dried Bonito Flakes. Remove the kombu with tongs and set aside for another use or discard. Add the dried bonito flakes and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it does, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the katsuobushi to steep for 10 minutes.

chopped tofu in bowl

3. Strain the Dashi. Place a fine mesh sieve over a measuring bowl and strain the dashi. Make sure to press the wet bonito flakes to extract as much liquid as you can. You can then discard it or save it for something else.

4. Prep the Onion & Tofu. Slice the green onion into thin slices and set them aside. Cut the soft tofu into ½-inch cubes and set them aside as well.

ingredients to make miso soup

5. Add the Miso Paste. Transfer your dashi back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place the miso paste into a ladle with a bit of warm dashi and stir to dissolve. Add it to the saucepan and stir.

6. Assemble Your Miso Soup. Incorporate the tofu and dried wakame seaweed. Bring to a simmer, being careful not to let it start boiling. Ladle your soup into bowls and top with the green onion. Serve it while it’s hot and enjoy!

two bowls of miso soup

What is Miso Soup Usually Made Of?

Traditional Japanese miso soup is made with a combination of dashi and miso paste — just like my recipe! Some chefs leave it as is, but I like to add in soft tofu as well as dried wakame seaweed. You could also add some extra veggies like mushrooms, carrots, or spinach if desired!

miso soup in a black and white bowl

What Are the Two Main Ingredients in Miso Paste?

Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans. The fermenting process involves imbibing soybeans with a mold called “koji” that comes from rice, barley, or soybeans themselves. It takes weeks (if not longer) to create, and if the word mold gives you the heeby jeebies, don’t worry. It’s perfectly safe to eat once it has been fermented!

Can I Just Add Miso Paste to Water to Make Soup?

If only it was that easy! I definitely recommend creating your homemade dashi before adding the miso paste. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a broth that lacks much in terms of flavor. Some folks do use this method to create a quick soup, but I have to say that my miso soup recipe is a lot more satisfying!

spoon with miso soup
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Miso Soup Recipe

Served as a sushi starter, this comforting Miso Soup is made with Japanese ingredients like dashi, miso paste, tofu, seaweed and scallions. It’s ready in under 30 minutes.
Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 10 g kombu dried kelp
  • 10 g katsuobushi dried bonito flakes 1 cup
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 8 oz soft tofu
  • 4 tbsp miso paste (See Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp dried wakame seaweed
  • 2 green onion

Instructions 

Make the Dashi (Japanese Soup Stock)

  • Cut or break the kombu into several pieces.
  • In a large enough saucepan, add the water and the kombu pieces. On medium heat, slowly bring to almost a boil. Tun off heat as you start to see bubbles. Skim any residue or foam as needed. Remove kombu with tongs and save for other use or discard.
  • To the saucepan add the dried bonito flakes, stir through and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the dashi through a fine-mesh sieve over measuring bowl. Press wet bonito flakes to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard or save the katsuobushi other use.

Make the Miso Soup

  • Slice the green onion thin, set aside. Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
  • Heat dashi stock in saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the miso into a ladle of warm dashi and stir to dissolve. Pour into saucepan and stir.
  • Add the tofu and dried wakame seaweed. Heat to simmer and NEVER bring to a boil at this point. Ladle into bowls and top with divided green onion. Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  1. Use 1 tablespoon miso of choice to every 1 cup of dashi.

Nutrition

Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 666mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: soups
Cuisine: Japanese
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
spoon with some miso soup

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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