Typical Japanese family eats rice and drinks miso soup every day. Miso is fermented soybean paste. Miso soup is very easy to make at home with your choices of ingredients! I would like to introduce a very common and simple miso soup with Wakame (seaweed) and Tofu.
Ingredients (2 bowls):
- 1/4 package of *Tofu (100g, 3.5oz, firm)
- 2 tablespoons of *Miso paste
- 1/2 small package of *Dashi (2g, 0.07oz)
- 1 teaspoon of *dried Wakame
- 300ml (10floz) of water
*Tofu is a bean curd. It has a plain flavor. There are a variety of softness like silken, soft, firm or extra firm.
*Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans, Koji (cultured grain), and salt.
There are a variety of Miso pastes like Shiro (white) miso, Aka (red) miso, and Awase (a mix of red and white) miso. Shiro (white) miso has a mild, Aka (red) miso has a very fermented, and Awase (a mix of red and white) miso has a medium fermented flavor.
*Dashi is Japanese soup stock or broth which is widely used for Japanese cooking.
*Dried Wakame is a dried seaweed. It is a type of marine algae and a sea vegetable. Japanese people use it for soups and salads. -> See picture A, B, C, and D.
Here is how to make it at home. Cooking time is about 10 - 15 minutes.
- Boil water in a pot. After boiling, add *Dashi. -> See picture E.
- Meanwhile, cut *Tofu into small cubes (about 2cm, 0.8 inch each).
- Remove 1. from heat. Add *Miso paste using by a small strainer and chopsticks to dissolve the *Miso paste as shown in pictures. -> See picture F and G.
- After *Miso paste is fully dissolved, add Tofu and *dried Wakame, and simmer with low heat until there are a few foams (air bubbles) inside the edge of the pot (until it reaches just below the boiling point.). Remove from heat. -> See picture H.
(Cooking tips: If you use different ingredients for Miso soup like meat or/and hard vegetables, add these after 1. and before adding *Miso paste. After you add the *Miso paste, do not boil. Please try the miso soup after you add the *Miso paste and if it is too salty, add more water and adjust saltiness as you like.)
- Pour Miso soup into a bowl.