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Miso Soup Recipe
and Miso Paste

A miso soup recipe usually starts with a Japanese soup stock called dashi.

Miso a fermented paste is another key ingredient that goes into miso soup recipes.

Miso paste is also one of the key flavoring agents used in Japanese cuisine.

Kombu and Wakame seaweed are also used extensively in Japanese cuisine to flavor soups.

Learn how to make a miso soup recipe the authentic Japanese way and then you will be able to create your own version of this famous Japanese soup.

Miso Soup Recipe - The Basics

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 cups of Dashi Stock
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. of Your Favorite Miso Paste
  • Daikon Radish (julienned)
  • Firm and Organic Diced Tofu Cubes
  • Fresh Wakame Seaweed or Reconstituted Dried Wakame
  • Green Onions or Scallions for Garnish

Miso Paste

Miso paste is a Japanese seasoning that's usually made by fermenting grains such as wheat, rice, or barley with soybeans.

Other ingredients can be included like seaweed or bonito.  There are over 1000 different types of miso pastes in existence!

Salt and a culture called Koji play a big role in the fermentation process that creates miso paste. 

Miso is usually aged anywhere from 2 months to 3 years or longer.

Instructions:

  1. Add dashi stock and daikon radish to a pot and bring to a boil to cook daikon. 
  2. Add in the tofu cubes and the wakame seaweed.  Turn off the heat.
  3. Slowly dissolve the miso paste into the hot stock, but not boiling hot. 
  4. If necessary, warm miso soup before serving in bowls garnished with scallions.

There's white miso, yellow miso, red miso, and dark brown miso.  And the darker colored miso pastes will have a more savory or salty flavor.

Miso paste is known to have many health benefits.  It has protein, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

It's actually a complete protein food!  And as long as you are consuming unpasteurized miso paste, it will also have probiotics.

On the down side, miso paste is very high in sodium.  One tablespoon can contain anywhere from 600 to 900+ mg. of sodium.

White miso paste is more sweet in taste and will usually be the lowest in sodium. 

To lower the salt content of miso soup recipes, include other umami tastes like fish or meats into your miso soup recipes.

Use miso paste sparingly and be sure to look for miso with a lower salt content.

It's important to look for miso paste made from Organic and Non-GMO soybeans - very important!

You will also want miso paste that was made by traditional methods instead of commercially produced miso. 

Also, miso paste is very rich in unbound or free glutamate.

You'll want to be careful not to use too much of this flavor enhancer in your miso soup recipes.


How to Make Dashi or Japanese Stock

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 cups of Filtered Water
  • Square Piece of Dried Kombu (a few inches)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Bonito Flakes

Kombu (the only type of seaweed used) and bonito flakes (dried and fermented Skipjack tuna) are used to make dashi or a Japanese soup stock. 

You can find these food items at a Japanese food store or in the Japanese section of most grocery stores. 

Look for and buy the packages that only have the desired ingredients listed.

Instructions:

  1. Soak kombu in water for 30 minutes before bringing to a boil on medium heat. 
  2. Then remove kombu from the hot water and turn off the heat.
  3. Add in bonito flakes and bring to a slight simmer - turn off the heat. 
  4. When bonito flakes sink to the bottom of your pan (in about 3 to 5 minutes), strain the flakes from the dashi stock.
  5. You can save this dashi stock for later.
  6. Or use in a miso soup recipe along with miso paste. 
  7. Add ingredients like mushrooms, wakame seaweed, and your favorite proteins.

Kombu Seaweed

Kombu seaweed is an edible sea vegetable also known as kelp.

Kelp is a large seaweed belonging to the brown algae class.

Kombu is used a lot in Japanese cuisine and is one of the main ingredients used to make dashi or Japanese soup stock. 

Kombu is full of umami or free glutamate which is why it's a very popular choice to flavor Japanese soups and sauces.  And it enhances the flavors of other ingredients.

You can purchase kombu in its dried or fresh state depending on where you live.

This type of kelp is very rich in iodine and has the highest amount of iodine compared to other seaweeds.  Someone said 95 times higher than nori seaweed!

Kombu also contains important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.  Therefore, adding kombu into your meals will give you more minerals.

Wakame Seaweed

Wakame seaweed is another edible seaweed from the brown algae family.

Wakame has a subtle sweet flavor and is often used in miso soup recipes. 

And it's usually the seaweed salad that you'll order from Japanese restaurants.

Wakame is also high in iodine and is a good source of other minerals. 

Wakame contains a compound called fucoxanthin that can help you burn fatty tissue!  It's also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

You will find this sea vegetable usually in dried form and sometimes fresh.

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