Basic miso soup is a template, a canvass painted with two fundamentals — dashi and miso. What you add to it is up to you.
I’ve gone on four overseas trips for the past nine months and if there is one thing I’ve learned, and learned well, it’s how little I actually knew compared to what I thought I knew. Take miso soup, for instance.
Although I have cooked miso soup in so many ways before I set foot on Japan, at the back of my mind, I had this feeling that, perhaps, I was being disrespectful to Japanese culinary traditions. Could I have been bastardizing Japanese miso soup by cooking it with anything other than the traditional wakame, tofu and scallions? Is it authentic Japanese miso soup if it had mushrooms, vegetables, seafood or meat?
We love miso soup. It has been comfort food for my family for over a decade. We have cooked it in so many ways and we are still adding to our collection of miso soup recipes. So I thought I should put all that miso soup love in a special place. Here. Side by side with stories from Japan. I’m calling it my Miso Soup Project.
- 6 cups dashi (or dissolve 2 to 3 tablespoons dashi granules in 6 cups of water)
- 3 tablespoons miso paste
- 1 300-gram block soft tofu (silken or momen tofu are recommended), cut into half-inch cubes
- 2 generous pinches dried wakame soaked in hot water, drained and finely sliced
- 6 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
- In a pot, heat the dashi until barely simmering.
- Ladle about half a cup of hot dashi into a bowl and stir in the miso paste until free from lumps.
- Drop the tofu cubes into the pot of dashi. As soon as the broth comes to a simmer, turn off the heat.
- Stir in the diluted miso paste, wakame and scallions.