Miso Soup

May 20, 2017
Simple and savory - this authentic dashi-based miso soup is just like what you'll find in restaurants, and I mean that in a good way

Happy Saturday!

What are you up to this weekend?

Photo Credit: Instagram – @madeleinelumley


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We're staying pretty close to home.  I'm on call this weekend (for my career job), and it promises to be a lively one

So as we're catching up on things around the house, we'll simply be thankful we made it to the weekend, and wish for some sunshine on our shoulders and a good book in our lap.

I'm also hoping to find some time to be in the kitchen.

The Veggies has her first paying food gig(!)  I'll be developing recipes for a California-based greens company, and couldn't be more excited (and nervous) all at the same time.  This week a huge box filled with all things green showed up on our doorstep, and I've been pondering what to make with it all ever since

Any good ideas?

Also at the top of my to-make list?  A lovely raw soup from the new Tartine cookbook.  Its ingredients include raw parsley, cilantro, avocado, cucumber, and other good-for-yous.  I looked at the recipe with respect and adoration and headed straight for a warm bowl of tomato soup with a chunk of grilled cheese on sourdough for dipping

( that's just how some days go )

Whatever you're up to, I hope you have a good one!

Simple and savory - this authentic dashi-based miso soup is just like what you'll find in restaurants, and I mean that in a good way

This past weekend, a trip to visit my son and his family.  Turns out he's a pretty incredible cook in his own right; what a treat to spend an afternoon together in his kitchen.

For the longest time, I've wanted to capture the recipes that people love.  The recipes they're known for.  The dishes that make you smile when you think about them.  The stories they represent.  Last month, a friend who's perfected sourdough bread.

Today, my son's miso soup

“What started as an interest in fermented foods and probiotics, led me to the cute Miso Master.  And the rest is history”

The humble beginning of his love for this savory, warming broth that's truly a blank canvas.  It has that sort of healing and comforting quality we need to carry us through, but it never feels obligatory or medicinal.  (Like that weird cayenne-lemon/apple cider vinegar cocktail your roommate is trying to foist on you)

Miso soup is comfort food that looks nothing like comfort food.  All you need to keep it in your back pocket is a bit of miso in your fridge, some kombu in your pantry, and an inventory of potential add-ins (or not)

Its heft can ebb and flow depending on your cravings and the ingredients you have on hand.  Call it dinner with the addition of soba noodles and chicken (or tofu).  Pack it full of veggies for a light lunch.  Or, if a terrible sickness finds you, nurse a pot of broth all day while hiding under blankets watching movies on Netflix

Whatever you add to it, and however you eat it, resolve to make miso soup your new staple.

If routine gives you a warm fuzzy, you can keep it minimalistic all of the time.  If you shun monotony, treat it as a reliable starting point for improv.  Either way, it's still far cheaper (and quicker) than carry-out

Simple and savory - this authentic dashi-based miso soup is just like what you'll find in restaurants, and I mean that in a good way

True miso soup, it turns out, doesn't start with miso at all.  Instead, it starts with dashi, a Japanese sea stock made with kombu (dried seaweed/kelp) and bonito flakes (dried tuna).  Make it, and you'll essentially be reconstituting an ocean, leeching from them their umami and salt.  Turn the heat on medium and hang around the kitchen, keeping an eye on things.  You'll want to bring the water only to the cusp of boiling;

it takes a while

Boiling water will almost certainly kill the active enzymes (and thus the probiotic benefits) of live miso.  The things that add taste and all the good stuff for our health

Strain the broth through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into another pot

— — —

While the dashi is steeping, prepare any mix-ins you might be using.  In his case, mushrooms and cabbage (a nice prebiotic for the probiotic).  Roast or sauté veggies that are sturdier than leafy greens.  Boil the soba noodles (and rinse them with water afterward).  Soft boil an egg, press and slice some firm tofu, or

cook and slice your chicken

Simple and savory - this authentic dashi-based miso soup is just like what you'll find in restaurants, and I mean that in a good way

The ingredient that gives this soup its ultimate appeal is the miso that is stirred in at the end.  Just a small amount provides the sweet, salty, nutty, fermented, savory solution that transforms the soup into a magic elixir

Make a miso slurry by spooning the miso into a small bowl (start with 1/2 to 1 Tbsp for every cup of liquid), adding a small ladle of broth and whisking until smooth.  Add it back to the pot, and allow the soup to simmer gently for a few minutes (making sure it doesn't boil).  If the broth is too mild, add more miso (always via the slurry technique)

Next, are the mix-ins and simmer for another couple of minutes

Top with whatever garnishes you'd like.  In our case a sprinkling of bonito flakes and chopped scallions.  Other ideas might include sesame oil, pepper flakes, soy sauce, herbs, or Sriracha.

Resolve to make more next week



A few notes about the recipe:

Many miso soup purists would say it it's authentic if it's not made with dashi.  My son would tell you, do whatever works. Some people simply use water.  Others add veggies spices to the pot for additional flavor.  He'll sometimes add a few shots of sake to the water as well

For restaurant-style miso, use red miso made from soybeans.  If you like that flavor, try branching out into white miso (milder and sweeter), yellow miso (earthy-flavored), or any other kind of miso you find and feel like trying.

Happily, in the past few years, ingredients like miso, kombu, and bonito flakes have become much more available.  An Asian grocery store is always your best bet, although larger groceries are carrying them now

— — —

~ Adapted from Everyday Harumi by Harumi Kurihara

Miso Soup


  • Dashi
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 oz kombu (dried kelp)
  • cabbage or other mix-ins (see notes above, optional)
  • 1 cup dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

  • Miso Soup
  • ½ cup dried wakame (a type of seaweed)
  • ¼ cup miso
  • 6 cups dashi
  • ¼ cup scallion greens, thinly sliced


  • Dashi (Japanese Sea Stock)
  • In a large pot over high heat, add the water, kombu, and other mix-ins (if using)
  • Bring to the cusp of boiling, without letting it actually boil
  • Take the pot off the heat, remove the kombu, and sprinkle the bonito flakes over the liquid. Let stand 3-5 minutes, stirring if necessary so the bonito flakes will sink
  • Strain the stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve and into a bowl

  • Miso Soup
  • Stir together miso and ½ cup dashi in a bowl until smooth.
  • Heat the remaining dashi in a saucepan over low to medium heat until warm, then gently stir in the mix-ins, along with the reconstituted wakame.
  • Simmer 1 minute and remove from heat.
  • Immediately stir in miso mixture and scallion greens
  • Serve
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  • Reply Marina Rosie May 20, 2017 at 7:56 am

    5 stars
    Okay so I’m totally obsessed with miso already, so this is sounding and looking absolutely amazing! x Thanks so much for sharing, I’ll definitely be giving this a go! x
    Lots of love,
    Marina Rosie x

  • Reply Rika May 20, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    I love Miso soup! Your photography always look stunning 🙂 Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  • Reply Christine May 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Wow…this looks delicious and your photos are fantastic! Makes me want to try this recipe right now!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Melissa Jellie May 20, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    My boyfriend loves miso soup. I’ll have to make this sometime!

  • Reply Lisa May 21, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Yum looks delicious! Thanks for this, must try it out 🙂

  • Reply Anosa May 21, 2017 at 12:42 am

    I have never thought of making miso soup at home, I always go to my local Korean and get a good batch. This is definitely different to the one I am used to but looks delicious regardless

  • Reply Katie Kinsley May 21, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    While I love eating this when I go out for sushi, I don’t think I’d like to make this at home. Your photos look delicious, but I usually mess up Asian recipes!

  • Reply Anne Yedlin May 21, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I’ve never tried this type of soup before but it looks delicious. Will look into trying the recipe very soon. Our family loves a great soup!

  • Reply Joely Smith May 21, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    5 stars
    I need to find some dashi here locally but this looks perfect! Those mushrooms look sooo juicy and good! Oh and Olive you back! LOL

    • Reply MSally1965 January 17, 2019 at 11:15 am

      5 stars
      You can get the Kombu for the dashi online. That’s where I order mine. I’ve made this at home many times and I even make it at work in the microwave but I am definitely trying this recipe!!

  • Reply Maria May 21, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    3 stars
    I love your photos and I like miso soup, especially when I sick… It’s so calming

  • Reply Karlyn Cruz May 22, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Miso soup is really a great dish. This is one of my son’s favorite. He eats a lot every time I cook this.

  • Reply Chi Chi May 22, 2017 at 2:55 am

    i have to say that you do make recipes look and sound very easy to do and that is an achievement!

  • Reply Camille May 22, 2017 at 4:15 am

    5 stars
    Perfect comfort food. I don’t want to wait to get sick to have this. I will get the ingredients I need and make me a hearty bowl of Miso Soup! Yummy!

  • Reply Alli Smith May 22, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Congrats on your first paying food gig! Getting paid for doing something you love is awesome. I’m looking forward to trying the Miso Soup. I’ve never made Miso Soup before. Normally, I just order it when eating out.

  • Reply Robin May 22, 2017 at 4:28 am

    I haven’t had miso soup in ages! Yours sounds really tasty and I am looking forward to sharing a bowl of it with my family soon!

  • Reply Jaime Nicole May 22, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I just LOVE miso soup (especially when I have sushi!). I’ve never tried to make it myself but I will now!

  • Reply Ayushi Arora May 22, 2017 at 6:39 am

    this is so healthy and delicious. The miso soup, though I am not aware of the ingredient komu and then yes, a little bit of excitement is too added into it. Thanks for such a nice and yum sounding soup. Will surely make it 🙂

  • Reply Vanhishikha May 22, 2017 at 7:07 am

    5 stars
    Since I have just moved to ‘healthy eating’, I was actually looking for options to make soup seem a little less boring. Had come across Miso soup a while back, but not a recipe that made it look this good!!

  • Reply Rebecca Swenor May 22, 2017 at 7:18 am

    5 stars
    This miso soup sounds interesting. I have never ate anything or made anything with seaweed so I will have to try this recipe. It looks really good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply Candy May 22, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Our weekend had some happy and sad moments. Celebrated a couples 60 wedding anniversary and attended a funeral for a family member. Your soup looks so fresh and delicious. Haven’t cooked with seaweed before.

  • Reply Ave May 22, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful photos! I have never tried Miso soup but it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing a recipe, so I can give it a try too!

  • Reply Amber Myers May 22, 2017 at 7:36 am

    5 stars
    Mmm, this looks fantastic. I love a good soup. I don’t think I’ve ever tried this kind before.

  • Reply Geanine May 22, 2017 at 7:43 am

    4 stars
    Soup and I go hand in hand anyway of the week! I will have to give this recipe a try, thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Danik May 22, 2017 at 8:17 am

    3 stars
    I would give this a try but the photo looks like the soup as snail slime in it, so it didn’t look appealing. But the ingredients included does make the Miso Soup sound yummy so would give this a try 🙂

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus May 22, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Yay well done on your first paid gig you completely deserve it and should have been noticed sooner. You have wonderful recipes and stunning imagery. Plus your ability to storytell while combining your passion and love for writing is beautiful. I do like miso and this soup looks divine x

  • Reply Freya Farrington May 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I absolutely looooveeee miso and so does my boyfriend, I’d love to make this recipe for him to try!

  • Reply Hal May 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve never even tried miso soup – the good thing is, the list of ingredients is not that long as I’m a lazy so and so to try new things and this works for me!!!

  • Reply Jamie H May 22, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Congratulations on the upcoming paying posts! That’s always such a great feeling, when people like your work enough to want to hire you!
    This miso soup looks amazing. It sounds so warming and comforting, and just the thing to brighten up a dreary day!

  • Reply Sarah Bailey May 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve never tried Miso Soup but I have heard of it a lot, I really should give it a whirl sometime as it sounds very flavoursome.

  • Reply Melanie May 22, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I am not sure that I have ever tried this, and I definitely would not have ever thought to make it at home. It looks tasty and I like all of the different textures in the soup. I will have to put it on my must-make list and create it for dinner soon.

  • Reply Felicita Moncada May 22, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve never tried Miso soup, can you believe that?! I am sure I am missing out because I love all the ingredients. It looks easy enough to make for my family, can’t wait!

  • Reply Nikki May 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I love Miso soup! We lived in Japan for two years and it’s been hard to find a recipe that is as close to the way I liked it there. This one looks awesome. The tofu really makes a huge difference, gives it nice texture.

  • Reply Allison May 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    5 stars
    Congrats on the paid gig! I’m sure you’re going to be great, especially after reading this recipe. I love miso soup and will most certainly be trying this at home. I’ve never really made homemade soups before so fingers crossed.

  • Reply Bella May 22, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    This looks amazing!! Your pictures are gorgeous, my mouth is watering just from looking at them! I’ll have to try this recipe!

  • Reply Cacinda May 22, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    How cute is that ‘olive you’ meme?! I love it! The miso looks absolutely delicious, I’d love a bowl!

  • Reply Tiffany May 22, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    3 stars
    How Fun!! My son is already amazing in the kitchen at 20 – I love when he decides to experiment and try something new – I always get to be the taste tester! 🙂

  • Reply Daisy May 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    My husband is a huge fan of miso soup. He absolutely loves it from the restaurant. Now I want to try to make it at home.

  • Reply Lucia May 22, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    This looks so incredibly delicious! My husband absolutely LOVESSSSSSSS miso soup. He would be stoked if I made this.

  • Reply Lisa Lisa May 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    4 stars
    First, I love, love visiting your blog! Second I love miso soup, it is so delicious! I have never tried to make my own but I think I will try maybe this weekend.

  • Reply Claudia Krusch May 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I love Miso soup. I have never tried to make my own before. I will have to get the ingredients I need to make some this weekend.

  • Reply VY PRIMOZICH May 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I am drooling over your son’s miso soup as I’m typing this. I have a love for all thing seaweed. I was told about the base of miso soup started with seaweed by a waitress at a local sushi place here in Austin. It is rare to find a good miso in sushi restaurants nowadays. This recipe is on my list to try. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Censie Sawyer May 22, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I have never had Miso soup, I know, that is crazy! But this recipe has me wanting to make this soon. I think my whole family would enjoy it too. I will be adding this recipe to my menu plan. YUM!

  • Reply Agnes Dela Crux May 22, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I always enjoy a bowl of Miso soup to start a meal when we go to a Korean and Japanese restaurant. I might need to start my own version of it and make it a little kid friendly miso soup version for my kids. 🙂

  • Reply Katy May 22, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    I love miso soup! But I’ve never tried making it, your recipe looks delicious!

  • Reply David Elliott May 22, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    This looks live a very different miso soup than I am used to. But I agree with your son that you modify it to make things the way you like it the best. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Everyone is different.

  • Reply Missy May 23, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I love miso soup. It has such a fresh, earthy flavor. Thanks for sharing your recipe for miso soup – can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply FarraH Less G. May 23, 2017 at 8:12 am

    I ‘m not too particular when it comes to soup. It is actually one of my comfort food especially on a cold rainy season. Adding/using healthy ingredients to it is a BIG plus for someone like me who tries to stay fit and healthy. being Asian MIso soup is very common and I love to try your recipe so bad 🙂

  • Reply Tami Qualls May 23, 2017 at 10:53 am

    I’ve never eaten miso soup. I usually don’t eat anything with ingredients I’ve never eaten. This, however, after hearing all about it, is going on my meal plan for this week.

  • Reply Kita Bryant May 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

    My husband used to love miso soup. I’ve never been able to get into it but seeing this reminds me of him.

  • Reply Sondra Barker May 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

    This looks amazing! I love miso soup; it is one of the must haves when I go eat sushi! Looking at this recipe, I would treat this more as a main dish rather than an appetizer. Great recipe!

  • Reply Sher May 23, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    I love miso soup, its sooo healthy and good for you! Making my own dashi seemed quite intimidating but your recipe looks great and easy enough to follow! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Ana Ojha May 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    5 stars
    That Miso soup looks so colorful and yum! I totally agree with your son that one should modify anything that works best as everyone has a unique taste. Sometimes the authentic doesn’t delight everyone!

  • Reply Angel May 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    4 stars
    That looks healthy and yummy! Nice photos.

  • Reply Yona Williams May 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I haven’t had miso soup before, but it sounds interesting. What I would love to try is a soup that had cilantro, avocado, and cucumber in it – that sounds really tasty.

  • Reply Madelain May 23, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Wow, can you say upscale miso soup? It’s so pretty! When I have a cold, I’d rather have miso over chicken noodle. So good 🙂 And I always feel better afterward.


  • Reply Garf May 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    This soup is perfect during cold and rainy days. It sounds healthy too.

  • Reply Melanie May 23, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    5 stars
    I do quite like miso soup it’s yummy and low calorie which helps. I haven’t attempted to make it before but at least now I have a recipe. Thanks for that 😉

  • Reply Lex May 23, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    3 stars
    A bowl of soup to me is life, and this is cool and nice to have in good times. Have not had one like this before, but surely soups are amazing, especially the hot ones in cold weather. How cute

  • Reply Rika May 23, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I love Miso soup.. I usually order from a restaurant. This recipe looks delicious, can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply Bonnie G May 23, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    These photos are so stunning and makes me want to try that soup. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply Dana Vento May 24, 2017 at 6:43 am

    This is really what my son’s always wish to cook. It is so healthy and yummy!

  • Reply Bernadette May 24, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I make miso soup all the time, is one of my favorites. It is really simple to make.

  • Reply EG III May 24, 2017 at 9:43 am

    5 stars
    Such a great recipe and it brings back some wonderful memories. Once upon a time I lived in Japan and miso soup was a regular staple in my diet.

  • Reply Fi Ni Neachtain May 25, 2017 at 2:20 am

    5 stars
    This looks so delicious! I’ve only ever tried miso soup once but I really enjoyed it, so I’d love to make a batch of this for my family to try.

  • Reply Anjali May 25, 2017 at 8:49 am

    This reminds me so much of my neighbor (and friend). There’s always a pot of soup on her stovetop, and more often than not, it’s miso. She claims it cures everything that ails you, and I have to believe there’s some truth to it because she’s a very spry 90 years young!

  • Reply Makenzie May 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I love miso paste on fried eggplants, so I am pretty sure I would love this soup! Again, you post excellent recipes!

  • Reply Makenzie May 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I love miso paste on fried eggplants, so I am pretty sure I would love this soup! Again, you post excellent recipes!

  • Reply Jennifer L May 31, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Omg this looks so incredible! I love a good bowl of miso but have never tried to make it before because it seems so tricky to get the flavor just right. Will be trying ours now. Thank you!!

  • Reply Ellie June 4, 2017 at 10:22 am

    4 stars
    This looks so good! Miso soup is one of my favourites, there’s something so warming about it. I tried to make it once myself but it wasn’t too good lol. I’ll have to give your recipe a try!


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