Miso Soup

Posted July 22nd, 2010 in Food 6 Comments »

On a cold day like this, I have a craving for hearty miso soup.  Miso soup doesn’t always have to be with simply tofu or wakame.  The variety is endless and you can add any ingredients according to what you feel like drinking.

Miso is usually made from soy bean (some miso paste is made from rice, wheat, or barley) and it is a good source of protein, dietary fiber and minerals.  I know some Japanese ingredients are high in salt, including miso paste and soy sauce.  It is because Japan is an island country (salt could be obtained from the ocean easily), and also because of the Japan’s traditional diet.  

Traditional meal always consists of rice as a “main food”, and some side dishes.  To eat rice, side dishes had to be salty to accompany the bland taste of steamed rice.  Miso soup, pickles, seasoned nori sheets, grilled fish with a sprinkle of salt are the examples.  A Rice ball (onigiri) has been a popular lunch item since loong time ago in Japan for kids and husbands who work outside, and it was just a shaped steamed rice with salt back then.  Nowadays, onigiri usually contains a nori sheet, or some kind of seasonings.  

Go back to the miso soup..  I had a craving for a simple tofu miso soup last night, so I made it this morning for breakfast.  To me, the miso soup has to be super hot.  But, when you make miso soup you can’t boil it after adding the miso paste to the soup otherwise it’ll lose the flavor.  And, to me the tofu for the miso soup has to be silken one.  I love the texture.

While in Japan my favorite miso soup (other than tofu) was shijimi (tiny clam) miso soup, cabbage miso soup, and onion miso soup.  If you go to sushi bar in Japan you can enjoy lobster miso soup or fish head miso soup.  They are quite tasty too 😀


6 Comments on “Miso Soup”

  1. 1 A said at 2:35 am on July 23rd, 2010:

    Yum, miso is great. I usually have wakame and aburaage, sometimes silken tofu or onion. I could live on this stuff.

    You’ve got some nice recipes on this site 🙂

  2. 2 umepontarou said at 10:25 am on July 23rd, 2010:


    Which miso paste do you prefer, red or white? I grew up in Shiga, next to Kyoto, so I always used white miso.
    But, sometimes I feel like aka miso soup 🙂 It has deeper taste.

    Great dish to keep me up during winter 😀

  3. 3 A said at 1:17 am on July 24th, 2010:

    I have been using white miso.

    I think that compared to european and american food, japanese cooking often uses very subtle flavours, which is really nice, so I like very light miso.

    Also, you usually get stewed miso in a lot of bad restaurants, so that puts me off making the stronger version. Guess I should try them all for myself though…

    I haven’t been to Shiga, but Kyoto is amazing. I think I could sit in the Kinkakuji garden for days and days, watching the lake. Kiyomizu has a small restaurant which sells what must be the best tofu in the world – if you haven’t been there, next time you go home I would visit just to taste it. I hope I get the chance to go back.

  4. 4 umepontarou said at 10:17 pm on July 24th, 2010:


    Kyoto is very close to my home, and Kyoto – Osaka area is the place where I spent my 20 years! I really miss visiting temples and shrines in Japan too 🙂

    I can’t wait my next home-coming!

  5. 5 A said at 2:52 am on July 26th, 2010:

    Well when you go, you have to try the tofu 🙂 Really soft and very simple. The taste is subtle, but really tasty. Also, you can get some great mochi and tofu doughnuts on the way to the temple :-p

  6. 6 umepontarou said at 3:10 pm on July 26th, 2010:


    Thanks for the info. I will definitely try them out 😀

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