Morning Miso Soup Recipe from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley, Bozeman Montana Photography
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Morning Miso, A Japanese Soup– For Breakfast

Morning Miso, A Japanese Soup for Breakfast from Boiled Wheat Blog

Morning Miso from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley boiledwheat.com

Morning Miso from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley -- boiledwheat.com

It’s no secret that I love soup, but it might throw you off if I told you that it’s what I crave in the morning. I honestly don’t understand cold breakfasts. {{It’s cold in the morning.}} I want something warm, wholesome, and easy to digest when I wake up. Something to slowly get me going, not jolt me into the business of the day. The problem is, unless I’ve made a large pot of soup the night before (which isn’t that unheard of, but still), I don’t have the luxury of an extra four hours each morning to chop, simmer, and stew. However, with the right ingredients, this comforting Japanese staple can come together in just a few minutes, with no hassle. It’s my promise.

Morning Miso from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley -- boiledwheat.com

At its base, miso is simply a paste made from crushed, fermented soybeans. One of my goals next year is to attempt a batch myself! It’s a 10 month process though, so don’t hold your breath for the results. Miso soup, however, is usually a mixture of water and miso paste, with dashi broth (which we’ll go over below), tofu, nori, scallions/green onions, and sometimes mushrooms added for flavor and texture. While I enjoy a simple bowl of miso/dashi broth with tofu, I typically like to add depth and calories with classic ramen mix-ins.These include:

  • Nori (classic)
  • Mushrooms, shitake, enoki, cremini,or white
  • Egg, poached, fried, or soft-boiled
  • Bean sprouts
  • Microgreens
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Chasu pork
  • Thinly sliced meat
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Baby bok choy
  • Shrimp
  • Sesame seeds

I love an eclectic bowl of just-about-everything from time to time. But for this recipe, because we’re talking about breakfast, I’ll to stick to the basics. To make this more  filling for a dinner or lunch meal, you can add more mix-ins to the soup, or just add some rice and/or gyoza to the side. I was shooting this recipe in the evening and got quite hungry–so that’s what I did, as you can see in the photos.

The dashi in this recipe is homemade, since my city doesn’t have any grocery stores that sell dashi concentrate or a combination dashi-miso paste, which used to be a kitchen staple for me. I have a recipe for a small batch of dashi broth way back in the archives here on my blog, but I’ve included a recipe for a large batch down below. You can use what you need for one meal and keep the rest in your fridge, up to one week, or freezer, up to 3 months, and use as needed. If you do have access to a combination dashi-miso paste, you can nix the first two ingredients of the Morning Miso recipe and just add the paste to 3 cups of water until you get your desired strength. And then be grateful for your grocer’s appreciation of diversity.

Morning Miso from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley -- boiledwheat.com

Morning Miso from Boiled Wheat Blog by Kristen McSorley -- boiledwheat.com

Morning Miso for one

3 cups Dashi broth
2 T miso paste (white or red, but I typically like a mild white)
4-5 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1/3 c. cubed tofu, firm
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1-2 nori strips
1 egg, poached or soft-boiled
a few thin slices of ginger root, if desired
chili flakes or sriracha, if desired


In a small pot, add your dashi and miso paste, and bring to a simmer. When the miso paste is fully dissolved, taste and adjust with soy sauce or more miso, or thin down with water as desired. Add tofu, mushrooms, and ginger (if desired), and simmer until mushrooms are soft and tofu has absorbed the flavor of the broth. Pour soup into a bowl, and tear up the nori strips into smaller pieces, adding to the soup one at a time (if added all at once, you can end up with a large, unappealing seaweed blob). Top with scallions, egg, and chili flakes or sriracha if desired.

Large batch dashi broth

5 quarts of water
5 strips of kombu (6-7 inches long)
1 c. lightly packed bonito flakes (more for stronger flavor, if desired)
Salt


Add your water to a large pot, and add your kombu pieces. Allow them to soak, at room temperature, for at least one hour (I think four hours is the “sweet spot”, but one will give you a very mild “oceany” flavor). After soaking, turn the heat to medium low, and allow the water to gradually come to a simmer. Simmer the kombu for about ten minutes, being very careful to not let the water boil. If the water comes to a boil, you can end up with a slimy broth (yuck). Turn heat up to high and remove kombu strips. The broth should have a distinct seawater smell. Bring the water to a boil and add the bonito flakes. Let them infuse at a low boil for up to 20 minutes, tasting as you go. If you’re new to dashi and aren’t sure if it’s strong enough, add salt. I typically don’t like to add salt since the miso paste I usually combine this with is quite salty, but an unsalted broth can oftentimes taste weaker than it is, so add some salt to get a better idea of the final flavor. Once the broth has a desired fishiness, or umami flavor, use a fine mesh strainer to remove all bonito flakes or any other solid material. Use hot broth immediately, or transfer to an airtight container to be refrigerated or frozen.

 

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