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Recipe: The Best Miso Soup by Tim Anderson

quick

Everyone knows miso soup is a Japanese staple but we’re less sure of how to make it ourselves…Calling Tim Anderson.

His latest book JapanEasy really does as the title suggests and demystifies the recipes of many of your favourite Japanese meals. None more so than this warming miso soup. By putting in a little bit of effort (rather than hopping to Itsu or getting a ready-made packet) you get a whole lot back in return.

Tim says: “Miso soup is like a bacon sandwich: even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Instant miso soup from a packet is totally fine, but next-level from-scratch miso soup is nearly as easy to prepare, so you may as well upgrade!

So there you have it.

JapanEasy by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, £20) Photography © Laura Edwards.

The Best Miso Soup Recipe:

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WRITTEN By:
Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photography and she'll always be listening.

READ MORE BY Maria Bell

ingredients

4 tablespoons miso – use a red or barley miso if you can
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) dashi
1 tablespoon mirin
2 spring onions (scallions)
2 tablespoons dried wakame or a handful of fresh spinach (or both) embellishments, such as asparagus, courgettes (zucchini), squash or kale, cut into pieces slightly smaller than bite-sized, or mussels, scallops, etc. (optional)
1 cm (½ in) strip of lemon peel, white pith removed, cut into fine shreds
350 g (12 oz) block of firm silken tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 pinches of toasted sesame seeds

Images by Laura Edwards.

1.

Combine the miso, dashi and mirin in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cut the white part of the spring onions into pieces 1 cm (½ in) thick, and add those to the pan. Finely slice the green parts of the spring onions and reserve for the garnish.

2.

Reduce the soup to a simmer, add the wakame and/or spinach and cook for just a minute or two. Now is a good time to add any embellishments you might like – for example, asparagus in the spring, courgettes in the summer, diced squash in the autumn, kale in the winter, and mussels or scallops pretty much anytime. These are strictly optional but they will add another dimension of flavour and texture to your miso soup and make it that much more satisfying. Cook for just a few more minutes until the veg or shellfish are cooked through and tender (but not soft).

3.

Add the lemon peel and remove from the heat. Divide the tofu into deep bowls, pour over the soup and garnish with the sliced green spring onions and sesame seeds.

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