The recipe I'm sharing here is for classic miso soup as we know it -- a rich broth with soft tofu and seaweed, garnished with fresh green onions. You can eat it as is, or you can think of it as a creative springboard into the world of miso soup possibilities. In the spirit of my Japanese country mama, throw in some onions, leeks, or chunks of potato. Chop up some carrots and throw those in too. Crumble in that leftover piece of fish from last night's dinner. Drop in some fresh oysters or scallops. At the end of my recipe here, I'll share with you my favorite little twist.
All right, let's do this!
Step 1: Ingredients
500 mL of water
1 piece of dried konbu kelp
10 grams of dried bonito flakes
1.5 tablespoons of miso paste
5 grams of wakame (a very small handful)
100 grams of silken tofu (about a third of a typical package, as seen in the picture)
1 sprig of green onions
Note: There's a myriad of miso paste varieties, each with their own flavor and texture. I went with shiro miso (white miso), but any kind will do.
Pour the water into a small pot. Take one piece of dried konbu kelp, and use a paper towel to wipe off some of the excess residue on the konbu. Drop it into the pot of water. Turn the flame to low heat and let the konbu sit in the water for 10-15 minutes. You don't want to bring the water to a boil because the konbu kelp will begin to get slimy.
Remove the konbu kelp.
Now you've got your soup base.
You may not think that you have enough, but as your can tell from the picture, the wakame plumps up as it absorbs the broth.
Spoon the miso onto a small strainer. Using a spoon, push the miso through and let it dissolve into the broth. The strainer guarantees that you won't have any hidden globs of miso. Also, some varieties of miso have some particles in it that are completely fine to eat, but by running it through a strainer, you'll be rewarded with a smoother soup.
Friendly tip #1: Depending on your taste, you may want to add a little bit of extra water or miso to adjust the level of saltiness.
Carefully remove the tofu from the package. Slice off about a quarter of the block (you can also measure out 50 grams), and dice it into small, bite size cubes. Gently drop it into the pot.
Friendly tip #2: Be careful when you handle the tofu. It's very soft and breaks quite easily, which is why I like to add it last. Don't stir too vigorously or you'll end up with tofu crumbs.
My favorite twist: I love adding a dash of curry into my miso soup. It adds a subtle but distinctive flavor, and just another layer of yum.