How to make Miso Soup

by Kevin R Burns
(Kanagawa, Japan)

How to make Miso Soup, the chicken soup of Japan.

You can of course just buy instant miso soup at any supermarket in Japan and it is still very healthy and convenient. You just put the miso and sea weed paste into a bowl and mix the miso into the water after it has been boiled. It tastes good! - not as good as fresh of course, but it is more convenient.

Japanese usually have miso for breakfast and often at dinner. In my family, we usually have it at dinner time.

Miso is made from fermented soy beans and is very healthy.

Dr. Andrew Weil states miso,

"is full of antioxidants like vitamin E, as well as protective fatty acids. It's healthful and delicious, and the Japanese say that the linoleic acid in miso promotes soft skin. The soybeans miso is made from also contain isoflavones and other elements that provide protection against some forms of cancer. To preserve these properties, miso should not be boiled. Add it to a soup after it has been removed from direct heat."

Miso Soup Recipe by Dr. Andrew Weil

Food as Medicine

Miso is a particularly valuable food for vegans. The bacteria in miso synthesize vitamin B12, a difficult nutrient to obtain from diets that contain no animal products.


2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil

3 slices fresh ginger root, thinly sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

4 cups coarsely chopped cabbage5 cups water

4 tablespoons miso (dark or light, available at natural-food stores)

2 green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil


1. Heat canola oil in large pot. Add ginger and onion. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes and add carrots, celery and cabbage. Stir well.

2. Add water, bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer covered till carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Place miso in a bowl, add a little of the broth from the soup, and stir into a smooth paste. Add more broth to thin the mixture, then add the miso to the soup. Let rest for a few minutes.

4. Serve in bowls with chopped raw scallions and a few drops of roasted sesame oil. You may wish to remove the sliced ginger before serving.

Or Order it when you Go Out
Even if you elect to not make miso soup yourself, it is served with so many restaurant meals here, you can easily order some when you eat out. If you order a Japanese set call a "teshoku," in Japanese, that usually comes with miso soup.

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