Authentic Japanese Vegan Miso Soup
Miso soup is an extremely common dish served alongside many meals in Japan. Made with wholesome ingredients packed with key nutrients, miso soup is both a delicious and nutritious soup that will leave you satisfied.
What Is In Miso Soup?
Miso soup is first made with dashi, Japanese soup stock made with a combination of vegetables, herbs, spices and other ingredients. Dashi is a rich, umami stock that adds a lot of flavour to any soup.
The prime ingredient of miso soup, however, is miso - a paste made from soybeans, koji, and other fermented ingredients. On its own, miso paste has a strong and salty taste, creating a distinct flavour. Miso is often used in a variety of dishes including fish, meat, and other vegetable dishes. It is also a popular addition to many soups.
Is Miso Soup Healthy?
On the whole, miso soup is made with rich ingredients that contain great vitamins and nutrients to create an overall healthy dish.
Dashi contains lots of Vitamins B, C and D, as well as other critical nutrients like calcium, potassium, and more. Because of miso’s base of soybeans and other natural ingredients, miso paste is also a highly nutritious ingredient. It contains many of the key nutrients we need every day, including Vitamin B, E and K, as well as other essential minerals.
Miso Soup Benefits
Overall, miso soup is a great dish to encourage better overall health.
Miso soup is packed with tons of good bacteria. The bacteria found in miso is known to encourage better overall gut health, aiding in digestion and improving the overall process. Because our gut health is so central to our overall well being, miso soup contributes to better mental and physical health holistically.
Is Miso Soup Vegan?
Miso soup can be made vegan depending on what ingredients are used to prepare it.
Miso paste itself is vegan, as it is made of soybeans and other vegan ingredients that contain no animal products. Miso paste itself is made from gluten-free ingredients, as well as dashi stock.
And yet, to make a miso soup, dashi is being used. It's worth taking note that not all dashi is vegan, as one of the popular ingredients is bonito flakes.
To ensure your miso soup dish is vegan, you will want to ensure you have a dashi stock that is made with vegetables and other ingredients that do not contain animal products. Dashi made with kombu, a type of kelp that creates a flavorful vegan stock that can serve as the base of your miso soup.
Types of Miso Soup
Plain miso soup often contains bits of tofu and seaweed to add texture and flavour to the overall dish. While this is one of the more popular ways to serve miso soup, it is certainly not the only type.
White miso is made with soybeans that have been fermented with a large amount of rice. The rice tends to turn the miso from its usual deep yellow tint to a whiter, more translucent shade. The rice also distorts the typical flavours of miso, creating a sweeter taste.
White miso is commonly used in different salad dressings and sauces to add a lighter, sweeter flavour profile.
Alternatively, red miso is made with soybeans that have been fermented with different grains, such as barley. Fermented for a longer amount of time than both yellow and white miso, red miso often takes on a deep red or even brown colour.
Because of the longer fermentation period, red miso has the strongest flavour of the miso varieties. Due to this potent taste, red miso is often used in meat dishes and other rich soups.
How to Make Miso Soup
Making miso soup is easy and not at all time-consuming. Here is an easy base to a miso soup recipe you can adjust based on how much soup you want to make, or how strong you want your soup to taste:
- Make your dashi base
You will need dashi to serve as your base for your miso soup. You can make dashi by boiling water with a variety of ingredients, including mushrooms, onions, and kombu.
For a quick and easy dashi base, you can purchase this 100% vegan Japanese-Style Dashi made with kelp and mushrooms.
- Mix in your miso paste
You can purchase high-quality miso paste from most Asian grocery stores. Depending on the type of miso soup you are making, and what you would like the flavour to be, you can choose between yellow, white or red miso.
If you are looking for the classic miso soup flavour, you will most likely need a few tablespoons of yellow miso. You can add more of the paste depending on how much soup you are making and how strong you want the flavour to be.
- Add your additional ingredients
The most popular additions to a classic miso soup are tofu and seaweed. However, you can add whatever ingredients you want to your soup. Other popular additions include green onion, mushrooms, onion, radishes, and more.
You will want to add your thicker ingredients, like radishes, to the broth before you boil it. Lighter additions, like green onion or bean sprouts, can be added after you’ve mixed in your miso paste. Or, you can buy our instant miso soup:
A popular mainstream Japanese dish, miso ramen uses miso paste as a key ingredient in the soup base of ramen. This adds a rich and umami flavour that pairs well with the various other ingredients in ramen.
If you’re looking to make ramen at home in a pinch, try out this instant ramen with a rich miso soup base.
If you want to enjoy a classic miso soup but don’t have the time to make one on your own, you can purchase this organic instant miso soup. It is 100% vegan and non-GMO and follows a macrobiotic diet made without MSG made in Japan.