To me, miso soup has always felt impossible to make at home. This was partly due to intimidation (Japanese ingredients are so intense!), but also laziness. It’s just so easy to pop into a sushi restaurant and grab a cheap bowl to go, or pour some freeze-dried powder in hot water and –magic!- I am instantly transported to Japan (kind of… OK, not really).
I didn’t know what I was missing until my friend Patty served me some of her homemade miso soup. Her recipe made me realize that every other miso soup I had consumed to date had basically been salty water.
I tested her recipe at home to make sure it wasn’t a laborious process, and I was psyched to find that it took just 60 minutes! If you just thought to yourself, “WHAT? 60 minutes? I’ll just make the freeze-dried kind!”, I’m telling you, you don’t know what you’re missing. Also, most of that hour is rice-cooking time. If you skip the rice, you can make this soup in under 30 minutes without any fuss. One final word of advice: Make extra.
Seen originally on Refinery29.
Patty's Miso Soup
2 CUPS SHORT GRAIN BROWN RICE
4 CUPS COLD WATER
1 TABLESPOON BUTTER (optional)
PINCH SEA SALT
FOR MISO SOUP
8 CUPS COLD WATER
1 APPROXIMATELY 8″X4″ PIECE OF KOMBU
1 GENEROUS CUP BONITO FLAKES
1/2 CUP SWEET WHITE MISO (+ A LITTLE EXTRA JUST IN CASE)
8 SCALLIONS, WASHED, DRIED, SLICED THIN
1 BLOCK EXTRA FIRM TOFU, RINSED, BLOTTED DRY AND CUBED SMALL(1/2″)
4 TABLESPOONS TOASTED WHITE SESAME SEEDS
FRESH GROUND PEPPER
- First get rice going. Rinse the rice in fine mesh colander and place in heavy bottom pot.
- Add cold water, butter and pinch of salt. Cover with lid. Bring to boil then turn down to simmer, set a timer, and let cook for about an hour. Take off heat and let rest with the top left on.
- Once you got the rice going, make the “dashi” – a broth made of kombu and bonito flakes (sounds fancy, but it’s easy).
- Rinse kombu and add to pot with 8 cups of water, and place over high heat.
- Just before the water boils, cut the heat and add the bonito flakes. Let it steep for 15 minutes and then strain.
- Now add the miso paste and whisk well to combine (you can add more to taste).
- Add in the cubed tofu and turn the heat back on to get the soup nice and hot.
- Season with salt to taste.
- To serve, place a scoop of rice in a bowl and pour about 2 cups of the soup on top. Be sure to gently stir soup with a ladle before you scoop it to make sure miso and tofu are distributed evenly.
- Garnish with sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds and a little fresh ground black pepper if you like. (The pepper is not authentic but it tastes good!) Enjoy!