Today’s post is sort of a continuation of last Tuesday’s which was Vegan Dashi. In fact, the reason I made the Vegan Dashi was so I would be able to make Miso Soup. I love Miso Soup (okay, maybe love is a little strong…change that to like it a lot) and have always made it at home using a package of instant miso (I’m not enough of a miso expert to hate that, it tastes okay to me). For me the only problem with instant miso was it never had enough tofu in it for my taste but now that I’m wheat free I don’t trust that it’s okay for me. So here I am, like any good little blogger should be, researching and testing homemade Miso Soup.
So let’s talk about miso. It’s a paste of soybeans fermented with funghi (koji); it’s high in protein and umami (the fifth taste) and kinda salty. Gluten can be a problem because most miso is made of a combination of soybeans and grains. It can be practically any grain or even beans so for anyone who is gluten free, label reading is essential. Obviously miso made with barley (very common), rye or wheat is not acceptable. Look for grains you can eat like brown rice or buckwheat or for totally soy miso.
When you are shopping for miso you will also find it comes in different colors: white, yellow, red and black. The color depends on what the soybeans have been mixed with (for more about this see http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-white-yel-79637). The intensity of the flavors vary with the color; white being the mildest and black the strongest. Being just a baby beginner in the world of miso, I found an organic brown rice miso to buy (Miso Master is the brand); it looks like dark brown to me but the label did not designate the official color. You can also learn more about miso in this article by Mark Bittman bittman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/the-miso-primer
Miso is used extensively in Japanese cooking. It’s not limited to soup. You can make everything from salad dressing to desserts using miso – just google “miso recipes” and you will have more recipe ideas than you will ever have time to make.
Vegan Miso Soup
I put more than the usual amount of tofu in this soup because that’s my favorite part – and I use the silken tofu because I love it’s custardy consistency.
2 tablespoons miso (I used brown rice miso)
2 cups vegan dashi, divided
1/2 cup finely diced tofu (I prefer firm silken for this)
2 tablespoons very thinly slices scallion (dark green part only)
In a small bowl, combine the miso with 1/4 cup of the dashi.
In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the remaining 1 3/4 cups dashi and the miso mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the tofu and scallion return to a boil (sorry the photo is foggy but the steam really interfered with a clear picture).
Pour into serving bowl(s).
Serves: 2 to 3