This easy and delicious miso soup is made with umami-rich kombu and shiitake dashi and then flavoured with awase miso paste and fragrant ginger. It's warming, comforting and vegan friendly!
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What is miso soup?
Miso soup (miso shiru or 味噌汁 in Japanese) is a traditional Japanese soup made with a dashi stock and miso paste mixed in.
Miso soup varies from region to region within Japan. There are different kinds of miso pastes which create totally different flavours, and there are a whole variety of different ingredients you can add. It can be simple, it can be elaborate, there are so many variations!
Miso soup is usually served as a side dish. In Japan we have a set meal called "teishoku". Teishoku usually consists of a main dish of fish or meat, with a side of rice, miso soup and pickles.
Types of miso paste
There are three main types of miso paste and the one you choose will contribute greatly to the overall taste of your miso soup.
- Shiro miso (White miso - softer taste)
- Aka Miso (Red miso - rich taste)
- Awase Miso (Mix - best of both)
I come from Aichi prefecture in Japan which is famous for red miso, so I grew up mostly with miso soup made with red miso!
Miso paste for vegetarians / vegans
One thing to note is that many miso pastes from Japan are not vegetarian/vegan.
Often, fish stock (dashi) is added to enhance the flavour (especially in white and yellow miso) so check the ingredients carefully before you buy.
I used a Japanese brand Marukome's "Ryoutei no Aji" (taste of restaurant) miso paste. They have many to choose from so I chose an organic awase miso paste without dashi and no added ingredients, it's also gluten free. You can find it on Amazon here. (Affiliate link)
Dashi is a Japanese soup stock and is an important ingredient for adding "umami" and depth of flavour to Japanese cooking. As I mentioned before, many dashi stocks contain fish.
However! There are also equally popular dashi stocks made from kombu (dried sea kelp) and dried shiitake mushrooms that are delicious and suitable for vegetarians/vegans too!
Here are the most common ingredients used to make dashi.
- Kombu (dried kelp)
- Katsuobushi (bonito flakes from skipjack tuna)
- Shiitake (dried shiitake mushrooms)
- Niboshi (dried sardines)
Because I want this miso soup to be enjoyed by everyone, I've included how to make a vegetarian/vegan mixed (awase) dashi using kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms.
For this recipe, I'm going to use:
- Vegan awase miso paste
- Homemade vegan dashi
- Spring onions
- Firm tofu
- Spring onion
- Shimeji mushrooms
- Fresh ginger
The fresh ginger really adds a beautiful fragrant taste and I really recommend not skipping this ingredient!
If you want to customize it more then other great additions to miso soup are wakame, fried tofu, okra etc.
Let's get started!Print