making miso soup

I love miso soup and will eat it in any variation, from a spoon of paste in hot water on up. I’ve made some pretty decent and some pretty slapdash miso soups, and generally my audience will prefer the dry packets. (I should buy stock in Kikkoman.) I was told tonight that this was the best, so here you go!

Amounts for one serving:

Add 1c dilute broth into the pot. Traditionally, this is boiled bonito, but who has time for that. (For 2 servings, I used 2c water and about a teaspoon of dashida. Yeah, it’s basically flavored msg, but it is delicious. Water down some broth if you’re very sensitive. I really don’t eat a ton of msg every day. I’m a big fan of Better than Bouillon.) Add a tablespoon or so of sake. (Hey, it’s just a little. And one of my teachers said to take all the move-blood herbal formulas with a few sips of wine to encourage circulation.) Warm this up on medium heat. Miso soup should never boil, or it loses its flavor. So if you get the broth boiling, turn the heat down and don’t move on until it is at most a gentle simmer. If you like your green onions soft, chop one and add now.

For the miso part, put a heaping tablespoon per serving into a dry bowl or ladle. You are going to gradually loosen the paste with broth until it is smooth and runny. Add a few spoons of broth to the miso paste, mix it up until it is smooth, then add another spoon of broth, mix, repeat until it is loose enough that it disperses well in the pot. You started with a very bland broth. Gradually add your miso mix until the soup is barely saltier than you like it.

The tofu will absorb a bit of saltiness. (Yes, you might end up wasting some miso. If you use yours up before it gets dry and iffy in the tub, you go through a lot more miso than my house does!) If you like your green onions a little crunchy, add them here. Cube some silken tofu (I’m told my key mistake in the past is using the wrong tofu) and add it to your soup. Let this sit on med-low (at most) heat for a few minutes, stir well, and serve.


To my knowledge, miso soup is super good for you because it is fermented, has lots of B vitamins, helps alkalize and detoxify your body, and it’s loaded with enzymes to help with digestion. (The packets are not as beneficial, since the cultures and enzymes don’t survive dehydration.) I’ve had more than one teacher say that you should eat it every day. Maybe not always loaded with msg and alcohol. Sure is tasty, though.