Written by Suzan Adem
I’m sure we all heard stories from our grandparents while growing up – whether they were war stories, love stories, life-changing stories or a lesson or two on cooking.Form a very young age, people in Japan are taught to treat everyone from family members to strangers with respect. Respecting elders is particularly important in Japanese culture.
Many lessons we learn from Japanese grandmother's revolve around cooking, with one dish in particular being a simple yet important part of Japanese cuisine: miso soup.
Traditional Homemade Miso Soup (味噌汁)
As a daily staple of the Japanese diet, homemade miso soup is not only oishii (tasty), it also brings many great health benefits. Japanese grandmothers say they cooked everything with miso and later thanked it for their good health!
Miso soup is made of 3 simple parts: dashi, miso (soybean paste), and your choice of ingredients:
Dashi (だし·出汁) is a Japanese stock and it a fundamental ingredient in many Japanese dishes. If you’re looking to make authentic Japanese miso soup, you will likely use dashi as the soup broth. Japanese home cooks commonly use awase dashi (made with kombu kelp and dried bonito flakes) and iriko dashi (made with anchovies) for their miso soup. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can use kombu dashi (made with kombu kelp).
Miso (味噌), fermented soybean paste, is made from soybeans, grains (steamed rice or barley), salt, and koji culture (a fermentation starter). There are many different brands and varieties of miso pastes available in Japan. A typical Japanese miso soup bowl holds about 200ml of liquid. As a general rule, we add 1 tablespoon (20 g) of miso per one miso soup bowl (200 ml dashi). The most important tip to remember is to NEVER boil miso soup once the miso has been added because it will lose its flavors and aromas.
You can also add different vegetables or seafood to miso soup:
- Cook ingredients in succession based on their density.
- Add root vegetables into dashi first before boiling.
- Let them simmer until they become tender.
- Add other quick-cooking ingredients.
Thank you readers for reading! We hope this article was useful and helpful for all you Japanese cuisine lovers. We will be back with anotherGrandmother’s recipe article, but with more than just one idea this time for home cooked meals!
About the author: Hello, my name is Suzan, 20 years old student in Sofia University, Bulgaria. My major is Japan, so as can you guess I’m now studying about their rich and beautiful culture and language as well. That is why I find great pleasure doing these articles as it gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and it’s easy doing something you love.