The easiest homemade Miso Soup. Yes, you can make umami-rich, nutrient dense Miso Soup at home!
Kid-friendly and toddler-approved, Miso Soup is an easy favorite that I’ve been making for years.
Comforting. Delicious. Easy. Healthy.
Only 4 ingredients! On the table in 10 minutes!
If you haven’t started making Miso Soup at home, then it’s time to start!
What is Miso Soup?
Miso Soup is a Japanese soup made with dashi stock and miso paste. Both are pantry basics of Japanese home cooking, which makes Miso Soup especially easy to make at home.
Commonly, a small cup of umami-rich Miso Soup accompanies a meal at Japanese restaurants. But it’s so tasty and satisfying, I often make it as a stand alone meal or snack.
Is Miso Soup healthy?
Miso is a fermented food so it’s packed with probiotic nutrition. The healthy bacteria in Miso aids the digestive process and contributes to overall gut health. It also helps the body to absorb nutrients better and boosts immunity.
While we don’t tend to think of Miso Soup as healthy, it’s filled with all kinds of vitamins and minerals. My version, with only 4 ingredients, includes gut-healthy nutrition with every ingredient!
As a child, my Korean grandma often made Miso Soup when I was feeling sick or under the weather. Today, I do the same for my kids. There’s truly nothing more comforting than a bowl of easy Miso Soup.
My favorite way of making easy homemade Miso Soup requires only 4 ingredients:
- Miso paste. Shiro Miso paste works best. Tightly wrapped, it keeps a long time in the fridge.
- Dashi. Adds another layer of flavor and nutrition.
- Tofu. A plant-based protein that absorbs all that delicious miso flavor. Medium to firm tofu is easier to cube but silken tofu also works.
- Wakame. Dried seaweed flakes adds more flavor and nutrition.
For variety, you can also add:
- Shitake mushrooms (adds texture and flavor)
- Enoki Mushrooms (different texture than shitake)
- Chili peppers (for a spicy version)
- Spinach (wilts down nicely)
- Green onions (adds flavor + texture)
What is Dashi?
Dashi is Japanese soup stock. Many Asian soup recipes require Dashi the way Western recipes require chicken or vegetable stock.
Dashi can be made from dried shrimp, mushrooms, anchovies, kombu (dried seaweed), bonito (dried skipjack tuna) and other ingredients. Dashi can be easily veganized or customized to your liking.
Although optional, Dashi adds a delicious layer of flavor, plus a boost of added nutrition.
How do I make Dashi?
There are several ways to make Dashi at home:
- Instant Dashi Granules. The fastest and easiest way. A spoonful of dried granules, stirred into hot water, does the trick. Ex. Hondashi (primary ingredient: Bonito, which is a type of tuna).
- Kombu + Bonito flakes + Dried Shitake Mushrooms. The classic way to make Dashi. You’ll need to buy each element separately and remove with a fine mesh strainer at the end. The method is simple (simmer with water for 20 minutes, then steep for another 20 minutes) but can be time consuming.
- Dashi Packs. A modern, convenient way to make Dashi. All the elements are bundled in a ready-made satchel! Simply toss into a pot and remove when done.
My preferred method is instant Dashi granules because it’s so fast and easy. Although I use Dashi packets from time to time. The recipe card below includes both options.
Of course, you can still make delicious homemade Miso Soup without Dashi. Just leave it out.
Cooking Tips + Technique:
- Make Dashi. Although optional, making dashi will really elevate your Miso soup.
- Look for Shiro (White) Miso paste. Mild and sweet in flavor, I recommend Shiro Miso. Red Miso can also be used but the taste will be stronger and more intense. I don’t recommend low-sodium miso paste of any kind as it leaves a strange aftertaste.
- Utilize residual heat. When the dashi stock + miso paste is hot, add the wakame and cubed tofu. Cover for 5 minutes (heat turned off) and let the residual heat rehydrate the wakame and warm the cubed tofu.
- DO NOT BOIL the Miso paste! Boiling miso results in the loss of nutrition and flavor.
Watch How to Make Easy Miso Soup:
How to make Homemade Miso Soup:
The method is so simple and easy!
- Make Dashi (or use water, if you don’t have it).
- Turn off the heat and whisk in the miso paste.
- Add diced tofu and wakame. Cover and let the residual heat warm everything through.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Other good-for-you Asian soups you may enjoy:
- Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)
- Doenjang Jjigae (Soybean Paste Stew)
- Khori Gomtang (Oxtail Soup)
- Instant Pot Ginger Chicken Soup
Homemade Miso Soup
- medium saucepan
- 4 cups Dashi (or water)
- 2 Tbsp Shiro Miso Paste (not the low-sodium kind)
- 1 Tbsp dried seaweed (wakame)
- 1/2 block tofu, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (firm to extra firm is easier to handle but silken also works)
Dashi Stock with instant granules:
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp Hondashi (or other instant dashi granules)
Dashi Stock with packets:
- 4 cups water
- 2 dashi packets (usually 1 dashi packet is used for 2 cups of water)
Dashi Stock (optional):
- For instant Dashi: Bring 4 cups of cold water to boil. Add Hondashi and stir until dissolved, about 1 minute.
- For Dashi packets: Bring 4 cups of cold water to boil. Add 2 dashi packs and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 more minutes. Remove dashi packs.
- Bring dashi stock or water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn off the heat and whisk in miso paste. Make sure no big chunks remain.
- Add cubed tofu and wakame. Cover and let the residual heat gently warm the tofu and rehydrate the wakame, about 5 minutes. If you need, gently reheat soup until steaming. MAKE SURE THE SOUP DOES NOT BOIL!!
- Serve steaming hot, in bowls. Enjoy!