Easy Miso Soup (Japanese Clear Soup) Recipe makes a perfect nutritious umami-packed savory vegan lunch. Comforting, healthy and ready in just 15 minutes!
Whenever I’m at a Japanese restaurant, I always order miso soup. There was time when I would go there just for a bowl of this lovely soup. The idea to recreate it at home came to me long before I started the blog, so you can make sure that I polished the recipe to perfection over the years.
What Is Miso Soup?
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese clear soup made of seaweed, tofu, miso paste, as well as scallions, leafy greens and mushrooms. Wikipedia says that 75% of Japanese people eat miso soup on a daily basis! So why is it so popular in Japan?
The best thing about miso soup is that it is packed with umami flavor. It is super comforting and rich and yet very easy to make. Japanese often eat it for breakfast but I think it makes the best lunch.
I will share a vegan version with you that omits the Japanese stock (dashi). To substitute, I add mushrooms and lots of seaweed. That way the taste stays almost the same.
Miso Soup Health Benefits
Miso soup is definitely healthy, so you can be sure that you include a high quality plant-based protein-dish to your diet if you decide to make it.
The main ingredient of miso soup is (surprise surprise) miso paste. It’s a staple in Japanese cuisine and it can be used in a variety of dishes. Check my brussels sprouts with creamy peanut miso dip for starters 😉
Since miso paste is made of fermented soy beans, it contains lots of enzymes and beneficial bacteria called probiotics. It improves your digestion and gut health, works an an immune booster and gives you energy.
Protein is found not only in miso paste, but also in seaweed and tofu, making miso soup a great source of vegan protein.
Other health benefits of miso soup include high vitamin B, E and K content, as well as folic acid and essential minerals like copper, zinc and manganese.
Opt for organic miso paste whenever possible to exclude the possibility of consuming genetically modified soy beans.
Make sure not to let the miso soup boil once you’ve added miso paste since in this case it loses its probiotic qualities.
Miso Soup Ingredients
Luckily, today it’s very easy to get ingredients for your miso soup (thanks to Amazon). Here is what you would need:
I opted for wakame and nori but you can pick your favorite or the one you have on hand. Wakame seaweed is traditionally used but if you have leftover nori (for example after you’ve made homemade sushi), you can use it as well. Both can be found in most Asian stores and sometimes in big grocery stores where they have Asian food section. Otherwise, order wakame and/or nori on Amazon.
You can use shimeji mushrooms or shiitake. If you opt for fresh ones, pay a visit to your local Asian store. That’s where I found mine. Feel free to use dried shiitake but remember to soak them before usage according to the instructions on the package.
- Leafy greens
Spinach but also Swiss chard, maybe baby kale. I usually choose spinach.
Green onions or spring onions. They are actually the same thing. They add a lovely fragrant touch to the miso soup. You would need to chop them.
- TofuUse soft silken tofu. You don’t need your tofu to be firm in miso soup. Surprisingly, my 20-month old loved miso soup, and tofu was his favorite 🙂
- Miso paste
Miso paste is the most important ingredient but you add it to the miso soup last 🙂 It is made of fermented soy beans. There are different types of miso pastes. I used white miso paste which is not so intense but rather delicate and sweetish. Use red miso paste for a more intense flavor.White miso paste is made of fermented soy beans and rice, so it’s naturally gluten free, however if you opt for yellow or red miso paste, they would most often contain fermented soy beans and barley, so they contain gluten.Before adding miso paste to the soup it’s necessary to whisk it with some water to prevent lumps. You can use a normal whisk or go the fancy way and purchase this miso muddler that also has a measuring spoon in it.
How to Make Miso Soup?
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add wakame and nori seaweed (if using), shimeji or shiitake mushrooms, spinach, scallions and tofu. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk miso paste with about 1 cup of hot (not boiling!) water until smooth to prevent lumps. Add to the soup and turn off the stove. Enjoy!
Other Recipes That Use Miso Paste
Here is the full recipe of my vegan miso soup. As always, I would really appreciate your feedback. Let me know how you like it!
Easy Miso Soup (Japanese Clear Soup)
- 2 liquid quarts or 2 l water
- 1/3 cup or 30 g wakame seaweed See notes below for details
- 3 sheets nori cut into squares or rectangles
- 1 cup or 100 g shimeji mushrooms See notes below for details
- 2 cups or 150 g baby spinach
- 1 cup or 3-4 sprigs scallions chopped
- 7 oz or 200 g silken tofu diced into cubes
- ½ cup or 200 g white miso paste See notes below for details
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add wakame and nori seaweed (if using), shimeji or shiitake mushrooms, spinach, scallions and tofu. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk miso paste with about 1 cup of hot (not boiling!) water until smooth to prevent lumps. Add to the soup and turn off the stove. Enjoy!