As you may have guessed, I’m REALLY picky. I pretty much assume anything I don’t like must be gross. Typically, I’m wrong. The most egregious error I’ve made due to my pickiness was assuming that all soups were gross.
Every time I try a new soup, I think back to my not-soup-eating days and all I can think about is how much I was missing out. There are so many different types of delicious soup! Creamy, vegetable, grain, clear….. what was I thinking. I decided to try to make miso soup at my boyfriend’s request. I had never actually had miso soup, but I figured it couldn’t be too complicated. Soup is just letting everything soak a while and then chowing down, right?
Apparently, I was wrong. When I searched for tips about making miso soup (like what ingredients I needed, exactly), I found a TON of different blogs/recipes talking about the art of making miso soup and the base for it, dashi. There doesn’t seem to really be a consensus among miso aficionados about the proper technique, but everyone swears theirs is the best. I decided to take advice from a bunch of websites and mix it up and see what came out.
What ended up happening was pretty tasty, I must say. I can see why everyone has their own technique. So many little things can change the flavor and it’s rather hard to replicate someone else’s method. Even if it was a little difficult, but my boyfriend and I enjoyed it so it was worth the work. I think if/when I make this again, my technique and flavors will only improve.
The first step to making miso is the broth. I’m just going to point you to where I got the majority of my information because I don’t want to just copy and paste this lovely post and get credit for her brilliance. The miso broth is called “dashi.” This blog does a really nice job explaining the different ingredients and the process for making dashi. For my miso soup, I used niban dashi. I think when I make this again, I’m going to use dried shiitake mushrooms in place of the bonito to make it more vegetarian friendly.
about 4 cups niban dashi
6 oz firm tofu for a vegetarian dish or squid rings for a seafood dish
3 baby bok choy, leafs separated
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 white onion, chopped
2-4 tablespoons miso paste (I used just aka miso, but you can use a blend of different types to create a dish you love)
chopped green onions for serving
Servings: Makes 2 main courses or 4 appetizers
Active time: (including making the dashi: 30 minutes) 15 minutes
Inactive time: (including making the dashi: 1 hour) 15 minutes
Go here to learn about how to make niban dashi. Use dried shiitake mushrooms in place of bonito flakes for a vegetarian dish. After you have your dashi prepared add the onion and baby bok choy to the broth over medium heat. Once the onions are soft, add the mushrooms and tofu/squid rings. Cook until everything is warmed through. Remove a little bit of the broth and mix it in a separate bowl with the miso paste. Once it is thoroughly mixed, combine it with the rest of the soup and mix well. Serve immediately. Enjoy!