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March 29, 2014

The Saturday Simmer: Miso soup recipes

Udon noodles with tofu and asparagus in miso broth, from Kahakai Kitchen (via Soup Chick).

Do you fall in love with miso soup every time you eat at a Japanese restaurant, but think the soup is too hard to make at home? It's not complicated, and even if you don't have a pantry full of exotic ingredients, you can make a satisfying bowl of soup with only miso and water. Miso, which you find in the refrigerated aisle of many grocery stores (or in an Asian market), comes in different colors. The lighter the color, the milder the miso; when in doubt, simply buy the lightest color you find. My store only carries miso that is the color of butterscotch, so that's what I consider "all-purpose" miso. It adds a pleasingly salty flavor to soups like this bowl of udon noodles with tofu and asparagus in miso broth, from Kahakai Kitchen, and makes a fine base for a glaze for seafood. It's not expensive, and a little goes a long way.

Many variations on the theme of miso soup caught my eye this week, and one container of miso will make them all:

Simple 10-minute miso soup, from Steamy Kitchen

Miso tahini soup, from 101 Cookbooks

Chickpea lemon-miso noodle soup, from Love and Lemons

Udon noodles with tofu and asparagus in miso broth, from Kahakai Kitchen

Miso soup with rice and poached egg, from The Kitchn

Asari miso soup, from No Recipes

Miso and soba noodle soup with roasted Sriracha tofu and shiitake mushrooms, from The Bojon Gourmet

Miso soup with tofu and kale, from Appetite for China

Spicy loaded miso bowl with kelp noodles, from Everyday Maven

Miso soup with butternut squash, poached eggs, and spinach, from La Fuji Mama

Sweet potato, coconut and shrimp miso soup, from Just Hungry

Which will you try first? What intrigues you? Please leave feedback on the original recipe post, and let us know if you've made or adapted any of these recipes. See you next Saturday, and every Saturday, with more soups, stews and chili.

[All photos used with permission.]


Posted by: KalynsKitchen | March 29, 2014 at 09:22 AM

I'm realizing I have never even cooked once with miso, must try it!

Posted by: Lydia (Soup Chick) | March 30, 2014 at 05:25 PM

Kalyn, miso must be becoming more popular because the smaller markets in my town are starting to carry it (in the dairy aisle).

Posted by: susan g | March 30, 2014 at 08:14 PM

Sometimes when I had young kids, on tired nights we would have miso soup as our dinner. No complaints...

Posted by: Lydia (Soup Chick) | March 30, 2014 at 08:16 PM

Susan, miso soup has that wonderful salty flavor that reminds kids of chicken soup. No complaints here, either.

Posted by: Katie Zeller | April 3, 2014 at 03:10 AM

Since I finally found miso I can try making miso soup - naturally, I don't have some of the other stuff but in my years here I've become an old hand at improvising.... I'll let you know LOL

Posted by: Lydia (Soup Chick) | April 3, 2014 at 06:30 AM

Katie, yay! I can't wait to hear about your miso adventures.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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