The best “instant” soup you’ll ever have.
TIME: About 15 minutes
MAKES: 4 servings
1/3 cup any miso
½ pound any tofu, cut into small cubes, optional
4 scallions, chopped
1. Put 6 cups water in a large pot over medium heat. When steam rises from the surface of the liquid and small bubbles appear along the edges of the pot, ladle ½ cup of the water into a small bowl with the miso and whisk until smooth.
2. Lower the heat under the pot to medium-low and add the miso slurry; stir once or twice, then add the tofu if you’re using it. Do not let the mixture boil; let it sit for a minute or two to heat the tofu through. Stir in the scallions and serve.
- Miso is a paste made from soybeans (or other beans) and grain (usually rice or barley) fermented with salt. Look for naturally made, unpasteurized miso, found refrigerated in plastic tubs or in jars. Second choice is the shelf-stable miso sealed in plastic pouches; avoid the powdered stuff altogether. The names and types can be confusing, so just remember: The darker the miso, the deeper the flavor—and the packages are usually identified by color, ranging from white to yellow, red, and brown. Since you use them all the same way, try different kinds—perhaps starting with white or yellow—and see which you like best.
- Once opened, store all miso in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container, where it will keep for months. To avoid spoiling, always use a clean spoon when you scoop it out of the container.
- Dissolve miso in water that’s just below a boil. Overheating it destroys a lot of the flavor and some nutritional benefit.
- To make miso soup more substantial, right before serving stir in cooked or soaked Asian noodles, chopped leftover cooked meat or seafood, or a couple cooked scrambled eggs.
Photos by Romulo Yanes