Miso has long been a favourite and recently I found a sweet little Japanese bowl that just smiles sweetly and says “let’s make miso soup” to me every time I catch its eye on the kitchen bench.
At home it is very easy to make if you have miso paste. There are many different miso pastes, and it is great to try them all. Miso paste is available at health shops, Japanese and Asian groceries and some supermarkets.
Hatcho, or soya bean miso, is the most strengthening. Barley miso also has a more deeply nourishing and strengthening effect on our health, though not quite as strong as Hatcho. It energises and encourages appetite. Brown rice miso is the most relaxing and soothing. It depends on our health and desires to decide which miso is best for regular use. Simply speaking, barley and soya bean miso for strength, warmth and activity, and brown rice miso for relaxation and unwinding.
This soup is bursting with miso flavor. Take a large spoonful of the miso of your choice. Add water just off the boil and stir as the miso melts to make a glorious stock. Add a dash of mirin.
Stir through some red or green chilli paste to taste, and some garlic-ginger paste. Finely chop some coriander, parsley or basil and add. Add fresh chilli if you wish. Crumble some wakame seaweed and add, or a small piece of kombu. Finally take 1 or 2 spring onions (the small thin ones, they may be called scallions or green onions where you live), chop and add. You can add finely sliced or chopped vegetables such as mushroom, carrot, daikon, red radish, jicama or tiny fronds of broccoli and cauliflower. Add peas.. Small cubes of tofu are also a very nice addition. Asian shops will stock small bows of bean curd skin – soak these and add. A few cooked, small lentils. Bean sprouts.
Alternatives are roasted garlic and coriander paste. Every dish of miso can be different, and delightful.
Best sipped from a great bowl just big enough for one serving.
- Different types of miso here