There’s not that much to making a good miso soup and there shouldn’t be. Once you’ve made your vegan dashi, you’ll just add in some miso paste, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil to the warmed broth, plus whatever else you think should go into the serving bowl.
It’s key here to only add in the miso to the warmed dashi right before serving. Miso is fermented and packed with nutrients and excessive heat can degrade those. I absolutely love South River Miso brand, but can’t find it in the South Bay, so Miso Master has become my go-to brand here.
You can prepare the vegan dashi by placing a piece of kombu (which can be found in any Asian market) in cold water to steep overnight or simmer the kombu for about 20 minutes before serving. Either way, once that’s done, there’s not much left to do to finish the miso soup. You can leave it plain or minimally adorned with tofu cubes and seaweed, or pack in some noodles and vegetables as you like.
EASY MISO SOUP
Yield 4 cups
This recipe includes instructions for heated dashi, which takes about 25 minutes as well as a chilled dashi option, which takes about 12 hours.
for the vegan dashi
- 3X3 piece of kombu
- 4-5 cups water
- 4 dried shiitake caps
to finish the broth
- 1 TB of miso per cup of dashi, any kind you like
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
to serve (optional)
mushroomssliced carrotsliced scallionsnoodlestofu cubessesame seedswakame seasoning
To start the dashi
- First clean the kombu by wiping it down gently with a damp cloth, do not rinse it. Cut a few slits around the edges of the kombu. (see below)
To make hot dashi
- Place 5 cups of filtered water, kombu and shiitake into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a small simmer over medium heat (do not boil) for 20 minutes. Lower the heat a bit as needed if it starts to boil. Skim any froth off the top of the water with a skimmer. Remove the kombu and shiitake before serving. (You can reserve the shiitake for making stock later or slice it up and put it into the miso soup.)
To make cold dashi
- Place 4 cups of filtered water, kombu and shiitake into a container, cover and allow to sit 12 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the kombu and shiitake before serving.
To prepare the miso soup
- Ladle the vegan dashi into bowls. If using cold dashi, gently heat it on the stovetop first. Season with the miso, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, adding any extra components as desired.