Written and illustrated by Misa Ono
I make miso by myself once a year to enjoy good miso soup. Here is something I do on miso soup to make it better and easier.
First point is dashi (soup stock). It may be too much work to prepare proper dashi every day, so I mill a lot of dashi bases like dried fish called Iriko or bonito flakes and stock them in the fridge or freezer. When dashi is ready, all you need to do is boil the water, add the dashi powder and chopped vegetables, stop the fire to add miso, heat it up again until it comes to boil. Now, delicious miso soup is ready to eat. That’s it! It is as simple and easy as an instant soup but tastes better and healthier!
I sought the best in miso as I love miso soup, and found that mixing sakekasu(*) with 1/3 of miso for miso soup warms you up and tastes creamier. Also I prepare water soaking kelp in the fridge and use it to make miso soup. The juice coming out of the kelp makes miso soup even better. Moreover, I refrigerate different kinds of steamed vegetable or mushrooms, and use them little by little as ingredients for miso soup. Although it tastes same for several days, I still enjoy it somehow!
I guess I am one of the few people who is particular about miso soup and you don’t have to be this particular like me, of course. Instant miso soup is good, and premade dashi powder in shop is also good enough. In your country, there may be traditional soup just like miso soup in Japan. Miso soup is a health-beneficial dish that you should have, no matter how you cook it.
I am a Japanese and a miso soup lover. And I wish to try a lot of different soup in different countries. Soup is a wonderful dish that warm you up physically and mentally.
(*)Lees which come out in the sake making process. Lees are very nutritious as it contains koji and rice. It also contains alcohol so better not to have it too much.