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+ servings
Miso Soup

Basic Miso Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4
Author Lucy Seligman


  • 3 1/3 cups hot dashi fish stock (can be made from kombu kelp, katsuobushi [dried bonito flakes], or a combination of the two; instant dashi granules or powder also acceptable)
  • 4 tbsps miso (use red, white, or light-colored miso or a combination thereof)


  • Place the stock in a saucepan and heat until very hot. Add whatever ingredients you are planning to use (see recipe notes for 3 of my favorite variations), and cook until done.
  • Place the miso into a small bowl and mix with a little of the stock, using a miso muddler to make a thick paste. Just before serving, add the miso paste to the soup; reheat it if necessary, taking care not to boil the soup after adding the miso, since this will make it taste bitter.
  • Ladle the soup into soup bowls – lacquerware ones not only retain heat well; they also add a touch of authenticity – then garnish and serve immediately.


Some Favorite Combinations:

Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup – Use ½ block of silky tofu, cut into small cubes, and 1 ounce (30 grams) of rinsed and chopped raw wakame kelp. Garnish with mixed green onions or negi (Japanese leeks).
Clam and Trefoil Miso Soup – Soak 1 ¼ cups of small clams for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold salt water to rid them of sand and impurities. Drain and rinse well. Place in the hot stock and bring to a boil, discarding any clams that don’t open. Turn heat down to a simmer and add 4 tablespoons of akadashi (a type of mixed miso) to the soup. Garnish with chopped mitsuba (trefoil) or seri (Japanese parsley).
Pumpkin and Abura-age Miso Soup – Cut up 2 ounces (60 grams) of unpeeled kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) and ½ sheet of abura-age (fried tofu). Prior to using the fried tofu, pour boiling water over it to get rid of any excess oil. Garnish with minced Japanese leeks or green onion (white part only).