HOW TO MAKE MISO
How To Make Miso Soup
Makes 2 cups
What You Need
For the dashi (or substitute 2 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth):2 cups water2-inch piece kombu (dried black kelp)1/2 cup loosely packed dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi), optional
For the miso soup:4 ounces (1/4 block) silken or firm tofu1 to 2 scallions2 tablespoons red or white miso paste
EquipmentChef knifeMeasuring cups and spoons1-quart (or larger) saucepanWhisk or dinner fork
Make the dashi: (See step-by-step instructions: How To Make Dashi): Combine the water and kombu in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Remove the kombu just as the water starts to come to a boil. Add the bonito flakes, if using, and let the water come to a rapid simmer. Simmer for about 1 minute, then remove the pan from heat and let the bonito steep for an additional 5 minutes. Strain the bonito from the dashi. Add additional water if necessary to make 2 cups. Alternatively, substitute 2 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth.
Prepare the tofu and scallions: Cut the tofu into very small cubes, 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch on each side. Slice the scallions very thinly.
Bring the broth to a rapid simmer: Pour the dashi or broth back into the saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat.
Mix the miso with 1/2 cup hot broth: Place the miso in a small ramekin or measuring cup. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the broth and pour it over the miso. Whisk with a dinner fork or whisk until the miso is entirely dissolved in the water and no lumps remain.
Pour the miso into the broth: Pour the dissolved miso into the simmering broth.
Add the tofu: Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tofu to the miso. Simmer just enough to warm the tofu, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not boil the miso once the tofu has been added.
Add the scallions: Just before serving, scatter the scallions over the top of the soup.
Serve in individual bowls: Pour the miso into individual bowls and serve. Miso is best when served fresh. It will settle a bit as it sits in the broth; whisk briefly with chopsticks or a spoon to mix the soup again.
Any type of miso can be used to make miso soup. Restaurants typically use red miso to make their miso soup.