miso soup

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
There are some dishes you don't ever think you can recreate. You eat them at restaurant and think "I'll never be able to make this, it would take forever". I always thought miso soup was one of them.

I was pleasantly surprised when I whipped it up in 15 minutes. With ingredients that weren't that hard to find. Now being in Metro-Vancouver, which is extremely Asian influenced, it was a trip down the road to my favourite Asian grocery store, T & T supermarket, to find all of my supplies.

After a short trip and a quick cooking time, the results were unreal. It tasted exactly like miso soup you would get at a restaurant but fresher. The tofu still had some texture and firmness to it, the green onions still had their crunch and it makes enough not only for dinner but for lunches a few days later as well.

Some may find that having miso soup alone for dinner is not quite enough *cough, the husband, cough* so I served it along side our main dish, but for lunch I've just added some white rice for a little bit more substance.

Miso soup

[adapted from thekitchn]


2 quarts cold water
1 3-inch square kombu (dried sea kelp)
3/4 cup bonito flakes

miso soup:

2 quarts dashi
1/2 cup miso paste *
1 12oz block extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 bunch green scallions, finely chopped

Pour 2 quarts of cold water in a medium saucepan, add kombu to water and turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Once water has started to boil, turn off heat and remove the kombu. Add the bonito flakes and let steep for 5 minutes.

Drain broth through a fine mesh strainer or a colander fitted with a cheesecloth into a large bowl. Pour broth back into pot.

Bring the dashi back up to a boil. Ready the miso paste in a medium bowl. Once the broth has come back to a boil, pour 1 cup of the dashi over the miso paste and whisk until completely dissolved.  Pour miso into broth and turn heat down to low. Whisk until miso is completely Incorporated. Make sure the soup never comes back up to a boil after this point.

If you are serving all of the soup now, add the tofu and onions and just heat thoroughly, then serve immediately with chili sauce and soy sauce.

If you're saving some of the soup for lunches, don't add the tofu and onions directly into the soup. Place tofu and onions in the bottom of the bowls you'll be serving the soup in. Once you pour the soup over top, it'll warm the tofu and onions. When you take the soup for lunch, just keep the soup and the tofu/onions separate until the soup has been warmed and then add the tofu and onions. This will keep the freshness and texture that you're looking for. No one likes soggy tofu.

* miso paste may also be labelled as soybean paste, but it will specify that it is "miso" soybean paste.