I think Miso soup is the most popular soup for Japanese people. We have this soup from any meal from traditional Japanese breakfast to dinner. Of course not everyone would have this in each meal, but most people would have Miso soup at least once or more in a week.
I honestly don't know how many kinds of Miso pastes there are in Japan - there are so many available in supermarkets. I haven't lived in Japan for a long time, so when I go back for my holiday, I always check what kind of Miso pastes there and get one of them as my souvenir.
To make Miso soup, there are many different ingredients to put inside, from vegetarian to fish, shell fish and pork etc, I've never heard beef or chicken Miso soup, but anything you like, you can add.
One of my favourites is the most basic one. Wakame (type of seaweed) and tofu with a sprinkle of Negi (kind of spring onion).
Here is my recipe to make basic one.
To make Miso soup for four:
- Water 700ml
- Tofu 100g
- Dried wakame 1 or 2 tsp
- Miso paste 2 or 3 tbsp (check if it has Dashi already in or not. The Japanese Shop one already contains Dashi)
- 1 spring onion (chopped very small)
- Pour water into a sauce pan and heat water to boil.
- Cut tofu and wakame, adding to the water
- When water had boiled, switch off the heat and add Miso paste. (you need to put Miso onto a ladle and gradually add boiled water to dissolve Miso)
- Sprinkle spring onion over the soup and then serve in a Miso soup bowl (If you prefer cooked spring onion, then re-heat Miso soup a little bit, but don't boil again)
Please check your Miso Paste to see whether it contains Dashi or not. To make Dashi in the traditional way, you need dried Bonito flakes and Konbu seaweed. It can be difficult to get them in UK, so you can use powder stock instead.
You may notice that I only used 1/3 of Tofu (from the whole packet) this time. I've got another great recipe for Tofu I can introduce you next time!
By the way do you know how to cut Tofu? Tofu is really soft and difficult to hold if it is in small piece isn't it? The best way to cut Tofu is on your hand!
I only have two hands so I can't show you how to handle the knife. (ha-ha-ha)
Of course, you shouldn't slice the Tofu as you will cut your hand, too. To cut Tofu, just push the knife down to your hand and stop when it is just touching your hand. That's all. If you get used to it, it is so easy to handle.
Then you slide down the tofu with knife to wherever you like.
Arigato! See ya!