Healthy, savoury, and refreshing! Hiyajiru (冷や汁), directing translating to chilled (hiya) soup (jiru), is a cold miso-based soup topped with rice, and is commonly enjoyed during the hot, summer months!
This hiyajiru recipe consists of miso, saba (Japanese horse mackerel), sesame seeds, and dashi stock. It’s then topped with cooked rice, tofu, a generous helping of cool cucumbers, and crisp scallions for a filling, yet refreshing dish!
What makes Hiyajiru so tasty?
Miso, saba, and dashi are packed with umami. This umami creates a soup base that has deep savoury, sweet, and roasty flavours. The saba fish has a tangy, sweet taste and its packed with healthy omega-3 fats, giving the soup a flavourful, buttery mouthfeel. Add sesame seeds, and you have a nutty, and almost creamy broth. The cooked rice soaks up this broth in every bite, accompanied with crisp cucumbers, and a little kick from the scallions to bring it all together!
Why is Hiyajiru a summer dish?
Hiyajiru is a traditional dish from the Miyazaki prefecture. It was originally enjoyed by farmers and Buddhist monks to beat the humid, summer heat. Still today, a common phrase you may hear during the summer is natsubate (夏バテ), describing the feeling of lethargy and heat exhaustion. This feeling of natsubate can make you lose your appetite, and so dishes, like Hiyajiru, continue to be enjoyed to keep you cool, refreshed, and full. However, don’t wait for summer! Both tasty and healthy, this miso-based soup is enjoyed year-round.
Switch the rice for noodles!
Hiyajiru is a popular dish across Japan. Interestingly, you may notice some regional differences depending on the prefecture. For instance, the Saitama prefecture switches up the rice for noodles. If you’re not feeling rice, you can switch up this recipe with noodles, such as udon or somen!
Servings: 2 servings
- 200g tofu
- 3 tbsp miso
- 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp soda bushi dashi powder*
- 1 tsp soy sauce*
- ½ tsp grated ginger
- 300-400ml of water
- ½ thinly sliced cucumber
- 2-3 thinly sliced scallions
- 200-300g cooked rice (or substitute somen noodles cooked as per the directions on the package)
- Drain and tightly wrap the tofu in paper towels. Drain for 15 mins. Break into rough chunks using your hands.
- In a bowl, combine the miso, sesame seeds, dashi powder, soy sauce and grated ginger. Then add 300-400ml of cold water.
- Add the tofu, cucumber, and scallions.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Spoon over freshly cooked rice or somen noodles.
*Available in our Creative Beginnings Redefining “Wa” Care Package
Introduction courtesy of Tiffany Furukawa
Tiffany spent her childhood exploring Japanese food in the suburbs of Tokyo and helping her Obaachan (grandmother) in the kitchen. These experiences nurtured her passion for food and she is now studying environmental sustainability and food sciences at university. In her free time, Tiffany loves discovering hidden restaurants in Japan, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and going on runs!