Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Miso soup

Shawn asked for soup recipes from around the world. I'm happy to oblige.

Miso is basic, simple to make, and yummy to me. Here's how I do it.
  • Start water to boil.
  • Mix in a spoonful or four of miso paste. I like the strong-flavored aka or 'red' miso paste.
  • Add chopped scallions, mushrooms and/or kombu seaweed.
  • When the miso paste is completely dissolved, remove from heat and dissolve in about a teaspoon of instant dashi powder.
My grandmother would sometimes boil up a big pot of clams and then make miso soup using the clam stock. She also didn't use instant hondashi -- she kept dried, moldy fish hanging on the kitchen wall, and she'd scrape the moldy fish flesh straight into the soup pot. Good stuff before and after a bike ride.

Because of the dead-fish flavor, Japanese miso soup typically is not vegetarian.

If you post your soup recipe, please comment here or at Shawn's blog.


  1. Is your grandmother a japanese? If not, I am amazed that she fixed miso soup stock from fish dashi, which reminds me of my mother using niboshi (

  2. I make onion soup with either a cheap, tough cut of beef, or some tough venison.

    Cube the meat and brown it. Then set it aside.
    Coarsely chop an onion and saute it in butter until translucent.
    Add meat, 1 can beef consomme, 1 can water, dash of Worchestershire sauce, and a dash of lemon juice. Simmer for about an hour until the meat is tender. Add pepper to taste. Serve with fresh French bread and grated cheese. A cold beer goes perfectly with this too!

    The acids in the onion and lemon break down the toughest cuts of meat. Hey, I had to do SOMETHING with that deer that was probably older than me. He was one tough old buck.

  3. M-soup has very high sodium content.

  4. I never knew. I so love miso soup. I thought it was just some magic I would never understand.