Warm, comforting, and pleasantly savory— this rounds up this miso soup recipe in a nutshell.
In this soup, you’ll get the soft tofu, and refreshing, subtle-tasting salmon and shrimp in every scoop. It’s specially made for when you feel like treating yourself at home after a busy day’s work.
What Is Miso Soup?
Miso soup (味噌汁) is a traditional Japanese soup that was created 1,300 years ago by Buddhist priests. This soup is made primarily of miso paste, tofu, fermented products, and various vegetables.
Different regions and customs have their own different ways of preparing a bowl of miso soup. Today, This soup is a warm and comforting staple that’s enjoyed in every part of Japan.
Is Miso Soup Healthy?
For Japanese people, miso soup is considered a nourishing soup that can be enjoyed in everyone’s daily eating routines. It’s easy to eat, quick to make, and is packed with nutrients from fresh ingredients— especially when homemade.
So yes, it is healthy.
This soup is rich in protein and minerals as it’s packed with seafood and green vegetables. You’ll also get antioxidants and beneficial bacteria for your gut from the fermented products.
If this is making you fancy more Asian soup, take a look at our winter melon meatball soup which is also a delight. Though the two soups follow different methods, they produce the same sort of feeling as both are healthy and enjoyable.
You’ll get 140 calories from one serving of this miso soup. This dish is also low in carbohydrates with only 5 grams per serving, making it ideal to pair with a more carbohydrate dense main or for those who are following low-carb diets.
Miso Soup Ingredients
Traditionally, the ingredients for a miso soup are the seasonal products that people had on-hand at the time the soup is made.
But generally, it always has bold-flavored and light-tasting ingredients combined together. This blend creates a harmony of flavor and explains the contrasting color and texture in every scoop.
A few of the ingredients include:
1. Red Miso Paste
There’s no doubt that miso paste is the central ingredient for this miso soup recipe. It plays an indispensable role in the soup’s flavor.
Miso paste is a fermented soybean-based paste that’s mostly used as a condiment and mixed with soup stock to create this soup. It’s high in sodium and protein with an intense and salty flavor.
Our this recipe calls for red miso paste (also known as akamiso – 赤味噌). Red miso is much stronger-tasting, compared to other varieties of miso paste.
Red miso, similar to other miso, is produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and several other ingredients. It delivers an umami flavor and a significant pungency.
Different fermentation processes result in different flavors, so if you find red miso too strong, don’t worry. You can try switching it with the milder and sweeter white miso or yellow miso for a more earthy-flavored soup.
Miso soup is not only bursting in flavors but also comes with diverse textures. Soft and spongy cubes of tofu bring excellent mouthfeel to miso soup— they perfectly balance the umami flavor from the seafood and miso paste.
Nowadays, most grocery stores stock dried seaweed. Before cooking it in the broth, you’ll need to soak it in cold water for 5 minutes so it softens and fully expands.
So how do you bring these delicious ingredients together?
How to Make Miso Soup
Prep: Rinse, peel, and devein the shrimp. Soak the dried seaweed in cold water for 5 minutes and drain after it fully expands. Set shrimp and seaweed aside.
Cook (1): In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Stir-fry ginger and carrots for a couple of minutes.
Cook (2): Pour chicken broth into the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Continue to add miso paste. Whisk to get the clumps out, until it’s completely dissolved.
Cook (3): Continue to add the shrimp, salmon, and the fully expanded seaweed to the saucepan. Let it cook for 1 minute.
Cook (4): Turn the heat down to low, add tofu and sake. Let simmer for a minute.
Serve and enjoy: Turn off the heat. Sprinkle ground black pepper, sesame seeds, and leek on top. Serve hot.
What Goes with the Soup?
As said, there are more variations of Japanese miso soup than you could ever imagin. The possibilities are endless.
Aside from the basic ingredients mentioned, the following are popular choices people like to add to their soup.
Making egg one of the main ingredients in miso soup is a great way to sneak an extra dose of good protein into your meals.
Either poached or scrambled eggs can be added to miso soup. They’re also readily available in every store so you can save time not having to look for an Asian grocery store nearby.
Traditionally, Japanese miso soup can also be made with beef steaks. Simply slice the steaks thin and cook them with a light broth made of vegetables, miso paste, and fresh herbs.
You can also prepare rice noodles as a side for the miso soup and make it a satisfyingly sweet-tangy ramen dish.
When left on the counter, miso soup remains edible within 4 hours after it’s cooked. If stored in the fridge, can last up to 2 days.
Whatever the case is, you will always need to rewarm the leftover miso soup before eating for the best possible flavor.
Can You Freeze Miso Soup?
You can transfer miso soup to glassware containers and put them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. However, we don’t really recommend freezing the soup that long.
Miso paste itself can already last in the fridge for months, and this recipe takes only 15-20 minutes to make. So here’s our advice for a fresh and appetizing miso soup that’s convenient and time-saving:
First, you freeze the prepared ingredients for your this soup separately so they’re ready to use whenever the need arises. Whenever you feel like adding it to your meals, make a fresh batch of miso soup from the products you stored in your freezer.
The cooking time will be about the same as the time you’d have to spend defrosting a frozen serving of it. But of course, everything tastes better when cooked fresh!
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
Healthy Miso Soup Recipe
I highly recommend trying this recipe for a delicious and healthy soup.