We have always enjoyed miso soup at our favorite sushi restaurant, but we never realized how easy it is to make at home. I was very excited when I found miso paste at our local market.
Miso soup has a distinctive mild flavor that is very soothing. It makes a great first course, or it is perfect when you are looking for a simple broth to enjoy with a salad for a light lunch.
This versatile soup is traditionally made with tofu and the version that you will find here is vegetarian, but you can customize it to your preferences by adding meat or seafood.
The key ingredient in miso soup is miso, a Japanese soybean paste. It is available in a few different varieties including red and white, which are the most common.
Hikari Organic Red Miso Paste available on Amazon
This paste normally comes in a sealed plastic container, and it can be stored for a long time in the refrigerator.
You will also need wakame, which is dried seaweed. If you can’t find it locally, you can get it from Amazon as well.
Note: This soup is traditionally prepared with dashi stock. All of the powdered dashi that I came across at my local market contained MSG, a flavorful ingredient, but I find it to be one of my migraine trigger foods so I avoid it.
If you choose, you can add dashi granules to the water before boiling. These traditionally contain bonito flakes, a type of dried fish with a savory, slightly smoky flavor.
Seaweed, a.k.a. Laver, Kim (Korean), or Wakame (Japanese) contains a significant amount of natural MSG (a.k.a. glutamic acid). If you are ultra sensitive, you may want to avoid it – this would also place a lot of different Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese (the real stuff, rather than Americanized versions) dishes off limits for you as well. On the other hand, studies have shown that very few people actually have a true sensitivity to MSG, and glutamic acid is found to some degree in most foods with that delectable umami flavor.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
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