Japanese miso soup

    35 min

    Shiitake mushrooms, ginger and a stock made with dried kombu seaweed bring rich savoury flavours to this Oriental broth, which is quick and easy to make. With delicate tofu and slightly peppery watercress, the resulting soup is ideal for a deliciously healthy first course before a stir-fry of mixed vegetables with noodles.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 packet dried kombu seaweed, about 25 g
    • 1 tbsp sake, Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
    • 2 tsp caster sugar
    • ½ tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
    • 2 tbsp miso paste
    • 4 spring onions, sliced at an angle
    • 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
    • 85 g (3 oz) tofu, diced
    • 85 g (3 oz) watercress leaves

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. Put the kombu seaweed in a saucepan and pour in 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) water. Bring slowly to the boil, then remove from the heat and cover the pan. Set aside for 5 minutes. Use a draining spoon to remove and discard the kombu seaweed.
    2. Stir the sake, rice wine or sherry, sugar and ginger into the broth and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat, and stir in the miso paste until it dissolves completely.
    3. Add the spring onions, mushrooms, tofu and watercress. Cook very gently, stirring, for 2 minutes without allowing the soup to boil. Ladle the soup into small bowls and serve at once.

    Some more ideas

    The kombu seaweed can be finely shredded or snipped into fine strips with scissors and returned to the broth, if liked, to add an interesting texture contrast. * For an intense herb flavour, add 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander with the watercress. * As a non-vegetarian alternative to dried kombu seaweed, use dashi stock powder to make the broth in step 1. Dashi is Japanese stock made from kombu seaweed and bonito flakes (dried fish). Alternatively, use a rich vegetable stock (see our recipe on this site) as the base for the soup, giving a different but equally delicious result. * This recipe can be used as the basis of Japanese udon noodle soup with chicken. Bring 1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock (preferably home-made, see page 24) to the boil. Stir in the sake and ginger and add 2 tbsp rich soy sauce. Omit the miso. In step 3 add 1 skinless boneless chicken breast (fillet), cut into very fine strips, and 1 packet udon noodles, about 215 g, with the spring onions and mushrooms. Omit the tofu and do not add the watercress at this stage. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 minutes or until the chicken strips are cooked. Then add the watercress and cook gently for 1 minute.

    Plus points

    Research suggests that the humble soya bean is a powerhouse of disease-fighting ingredients. Soya beans and their products, such as tofu and miso paste, are rich in compounds called phytoestrogens. Growing evidence suggests that a diet rich in phytoestrogens can help to protect against heart disease, breast and prostate cancer, and osteoporosis (brittle bones). Eating soya products can also help to relieve many of the symptoms associated with the menopause.

    Each serving provides

    calcium * A, C, copper, iron

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    Reviews in English (2)


    used this recipe for part of my catering GCSE practical assessment. thanks for the recipe. went great!  -  28 Apr 2014


    I love Miso Soup.. Ion't love the idea of this one containing all that sugar! web design  -  23 Nov 2009