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.

Picture A: *Tofu (Normally, I use a firm tofu, but I used an extra firm tofu this time.)
Picture B: *Miso paste (I used a white miso paste this time.)
Picture C: *Dashi {I used Iriko (dried baby sardines) dashi this time.}
Picture D: *dried Wakame

Here is how to make it at home. Cooking time is about 10 - 15 minutes.

  1. Boil water in a pot. After boiling, add *Dashi. -> See picture E.
Picture E
  1. Meanwhile, cut *Tofu into small cubes (about 2cm, 0.8 inch each).
  2. 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.
Picture F
Picture G
  1. 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.)
Picture H
  1. Pour Miso soup into a bowl.