Sunday, June 1, 2008


Miso soup is super easy to make and takes only minutes to prepare (roughly 15 minutes or less). 

First thing - you'll need to stock your shelves/fridge with a few items from an asian market. If you keep these items on hand, you'll be able to make soup in a jiffy. 

- dried seaweed (I use the long strips)
-dried shiitake mushrooms
-toasted sesame seeds
-miso paste (yellow is milder and red is more robust)
-dry noodles (I use flat wheat noodles that are about 1/4" wide)
-nori flakes (minced seaweed for garnish)
-chili oil (optional)

None of the stuff above is absolutely necessary except the miso. 

If you're just making yourself a big bowl, a sauce pan will do. Otherwise, use a soup pot. 

In your saucepan or soup pot, pour in the amount of water you want as your stock. Be sure to measure the amount of water because this effects the amount of miso you'll add at the very end. You can add more water as you go, but just keep track of the total cups added. 

Toss in dried (hydrated) shiitake mushrooms (I usually break them up into smaller bite size pieces), dried seaweed (I usually break these up because they plump WAY up in the water) and wide noodles (if you have thin noodles that don't take long to cook, then add these towards the end). 

THIRD STEP: Turn burner on to medium heat (If you like it spicier add a few shakes of chili oil and/or red chili flakes. I also like to add fresh ground pepper for extra flavor.)

I typically clean and chop (bite size pieces) my veggies while the dry stuff starts to get hot. (If you're slow at cutting veggies, you might want to start this stage first and then continue while the dry stuff cooks.) You can add a variety of veggies or none at all. Here are some of my favorite things to add: baby bok choy or nappa cabbage, red bell pepper, hot peppers, button mushrooms, scallions, tofu (not really a vegetable, I know). Try adding other stuff like thinly sliced carrots or leeks. (You can also add broccoli, but I personally do not like overcooked broccoli, so I tend to leave them out of non-creamed soups.) TOSS CHOPPED VEGGIES IN POT AND COOK UNTIL VEGGIES ARE TENDER.  

Never add miso to boiling water. Instead, in a mixing bowl whisk a little warm water with the miso paste until it is dissolved. Read the instructions on the miso package in regards to the amount needed per cup. Typically it is around one tablespoon per cup. Depending on how strong your miso is, you may want to add more or less. Remember you can always add more, so if you're unsure, start conservatively (you don't want a salty mess) and taste the broth as you add until you get the desired flavor that you want. REMOVE SOUP FROM BURNER, POUR IN DISSOLVED MISO AND STIR. 

I like to garnish mine with fresh bean sprouts, nori flakes and toasted sesame seeds. For those who like a lot of spice, offer red chili paste or sriracha sauce to add as a topper. EAT