How to Make Delicious Miso Soup at Home?

If you've got a taste for miso soup, then you might not realise that you can actually make your own - including gluten free miso - at home with a few simple ingredients. Even better, you can also completely customise it to suit your own tastes. for example, if you’re vegan, then you can make a delicious dashi with dried oriental mushrooms.

The starting point is to create your base for this traditional savoury broth which is known for its salty taste, silky tofu and a sprinkling of green spring onions. You may be most familiar with the versions at Japanese restaurants where it's served as a starter before the sushi course arrives.

Did you know?

You can also make your own cold-brew dashi in the way that you'd make a cold-brew coffee - by soaking the ingredients overnight and then heating them in the morning. Make it up to a week in advance and keep it in the fridge, or store it in the freezer until you're ready to use it.

What's the elusive flavour of gluten free miso?

It's called dashi - and it's the broth that is extremely simple and made from dried seaweed, called kombu, and dried fish flakes called bonito. These are both rich with the famous Japanese 'umami' taste, which provides layers of rich, salty goodness and a satisfying mouthfeel that is intrinsically savoury.

You can make dashi in just a few short minutes, but for the best flavour, it's worth spending a bit of time to allow the depth to develop. Remember to remove your kombu before the stock water reaches boiling point, otherwise, you might end up with a slimy texture and a bitter flavour.

Picking the right miso

The main ingredient of this soup is obviously the fermented miso paste itself that is made from soybeans or barley, brown rice or other legumes. It has an intense and salty, savoury flavour and is perfect when combined with a pinch of hot dashi.

Restaurants use soybean gluten free miso but you can also try sweet and mild white miso, earthy flavoured yellow miso or any other kind that you find.

The recipe

Heat four cups of dashi stock on a pot and add 1/4 cup of Japanese miso, stirring as you do so. Add more miso to taste if necessary. Add wakame, tofu and green onions to taste - usually around 2 tbsp of dried wakame, around 200g of silken tofu and a couple of green onions (only the green parts). Season with mirin and soy sauce as you wish and then serve hot.

Enjoying miso

Although this soup is traditionally a starter, it's perfect to enjoy at any time of day and especially when you feel that you need a nutritious boost. Although salty, the soup is low in calories and high in vitamins including B vitamins. It's also perfect as a base for soups and you can add tofu, protein and vegetables to taste if you want to create something more substantial. It works particularly well in a flask if you want to take it with you to enjoy on the go!