Miso soup is central in Japanese cuisine. It is a comforting and savoury soup that is always present in Japanese table, for lunch, dinner and even at breakfast. We have added soba noodles to this vegan miso soup and it may be more appropriate to call it Miso Ramen, but who cares about names when you have the most comforting Japanese dish in front of you. This vegan miso soup recipe is ready in 20 minutes and requires basic ingredients to be made easily at home.
Japenese cooking is often simple and designed to bring out the natural flavours of its ingredients. Miso soup is so warm and comforting and savoury, with perfect little bites of tofu, mushrooms and seaweed in every scoop. I added soba noodles to it to have some carbs in the soup as we eat it as main dish but it is usually eaten as a entree in a small bowl. I choose soba noodles because they are made from buckwheat, a gluten-free cereal so everyone can enjoy this recipe.
Another traditional ingredient in miso soup is dashi, a basic fish stock, made with dried bonito flakes. I left it out to make a vegan miso soup. And now let’s talk about miso paste, the main ingredient of miso soup. Miso is a paste of fermented soybeans, is made from soybeans, grains (steamed rice or barley), salt, and koji culture (a fermentation starter). The different types of miso (white, red…) are indicative of the different ratio of soybeans and rice used to make them, and the length of the fermentation period. The longer the fermentation, the darker and richer the miso is. I used Shiro miso (white miso) but can also use red miso in this recipe. If you haven’t tried miso yet you should, it is not a thing to eat on its own but it adds umami’s distinct taste to the dishes. The important thing to remember about miso paste is never boil miso soup once miso is added because it loses flavours.
Any of the ingredients listed in this recipe are easily found in any Asian store. To make this recipe takes less than 20 minutes and it’s perfect for a busy workday lunch or dinner. Until now Miso soup was only for nights that we go out to eat, but found this recipe very easy to make and now I see plenty of vegan miso soup in our future.
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This vegan miso soup is ready in 20 minutes and requires basic ingredients to be enjoyed at home.
- 2 cups (1/2 L) vegetable stock or water
- 1 cup (250ml) of water
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 50 g firm tofu, cubed
- 6 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 sheet dried nori or wakame, cut into large pieces
- 1-2 tsp red or white miso paste (fermented-soybean paste)
- 50 g soba noodles (optional)
- Sesame seeds for garnishing
Place vegetable stock, water and green onion in a medium sauce pan and bring to a low simmer, cook for about 5’. Add mushrooms and tofu, simmer for 5’
In the meantime, cook soba noodles following the package instructions. Drain well and add them to the soup.
Put 1-2 tsp of miso into a small bowl, add a little liquid from the soup and whisk until dissolved completely. Then add to the soup and stir. This will ensure it doesn’t clump.
Finally add nori seaweed or any ingredients that do not require cooking and remove soup from the heat. Garnish with sesame seeds and more green onion. Serve immediately.