Miso Soup - The basics
The only thing you really need to make miso soup is hot water and miso. Below are some suggestions and directions you can use to make a heartier soup.
Vegetables - Use what you have raw, cooked, or frozen. Cut raw veggies into bite size pieces. Cabbage, peas, mushrooms and green beans all work well with a quick Miso Soup.
Protein - Tofu is traditional, cut into small cubes. This is a good use for leftover chicken, just cut into bite side cubes.
Noodles - Udon (buckwheat noodles). Thai Rice noodles are good choices. They are available in the International aisle of most markets.
Miso - White miso is milder in flavor and is often served in the summer and for breakfast. Red miso has a stronger richer flavor that is welcome in the cooler months. Do not boil miso.
Garnish - Green onions, shredded raw carrots or chives.
Your goal is to have a bowlful of perfectly cooked vegetables, noodles in a pot of hot water. That’s when you add the miso, mix well, garnish and serve.
Cook raw vegetables in boiling water. Don’t add salt. Cook noodles and heat any tofu, left overs, etc. Add miso. You don’t want to miso to boil.
I put my miso in my serving bowl and ladle a tablespoon or two of hot water into the bowl and begin to dilute the miso. Then add it back into the hot water. It can take some stirring to melt the miso into the hot water. Do not boil the miso.
What is Miso?
There are days when I want something warm and healthy and I want it quickly. Miso soup is a go-to meal for me. it’s warming and makes me feel like I’ve done something healthy for myself.
Doing research on miso I came across www.Soya.be a website that, “offers general information about soy and recipes with soy and explains how to make your own soy products. We search the market, mainly Belgium and the Netherlands, for newly launched soy products and provide reviews.”
Soya.be states that Miso “can be traced to China as far back as the 4th century BC. A seasoning, called Hisio, was a paste resulting from the fermenting a mixture of soybeans, wheat, alcohol and salt. The written word, miso, first appeared around 800.
In Japan, miso was introduced the 7th century by Buddhist monks. The process of making miso was furher refined and it became a necessary part of the samurai diet. With the widespread cultivation of rice, miso has become a staple food for Japanese people. Over the centuries, different types of miso were developed, often named after the province where it originated.”
There are many variations of miso, which are basically all made from koji mixed with either rice, barley or soy beans. The ingredients are fermented and aged in wooden kegs. Some of the lighter sweet miso is aged for only a few months, while the darker miso may be aged for up to 2 years.
Miso is paste made of fermented soy beans. The fermentation process turns soy beans into amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars. Miso can be made with other grains, but soy miso is the most readily available. I recommend trying different miso varieties…so far I haven’t found one I don’t like. White miso is milder in flavor with the dark reds being the strongest flavor.