Miso Soup

Miso soup is a basic staple of Japanese cuisine. Warm and filling, it is easy to make and versatile in the range of ingredients you can choose to put in it.

The recipe below uses carrot, Japanese radish and dried shiitake mushrooms but you can also put in: kabocha pumpkin, onion, potatoes, turnips, clams, aburaage (deep-fried tofu), bean sprouts, cabbage, aubergine, green onion, mushrooms (fresh or rehydrated), spinach, tofu, wakame etc.

The key is to add in the denser ingredients that will take longer to cook (such as root vegetables) at the beginning before the dashi boils, and ingredients that take a short time to cook (e.g. mushrooms) after the dashi boils.

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To prepare the Miso Soup

Peel and slice the carrot in half lengthwise. Slice into thin half-moons. Peel the radish and slice lengthwise into quarters. Slice thinly into triangular shapes. Wash and peel the burdock root. Slice thinly at a diagonal. Soak in water for 10 minutes and then drain. Place the mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour enough boiling water over to cover. Leave the soak for 15-40 min depending on the size. Alternatively, soak in cold water for a few hours, or overnight in the fridge.

Once the mushrooms are soft, cut off & discard any tough stems, and slice thinly. The mushroom soaking liquid can be added to the dashi stock for added flavour. Alternatively – vegetarians and vegans can replace the dashi stock entirely with enough mushroom soaking liquid.

Place the dashi stock, carrots, burdock root and radish in a pot and bring to a boil. Add in the sliced mushrooms and maintain a simmer. Cook until all the ingredients are tender and heated through. Switch off the heat, and dissolve the miso in the soup. Use a large ladle and a pair of chopsticks/fork/whisk, to stir in a tablespoon of miso at a time. *Note: there is a variety of brands and types of miso available, all varying in flavour. It is best to start with less, and taste, before adding more. If it is too salty and you have accidentally added in too much miso, you can add in more dashi stock or hot water to dilute it.

Once the miso has been added, do not boil the soup anymore! You can reheat it by bringing it up to just below a boil – but do not boil it. Doing so will result in a loss of flavour and nutrients. Ladle into bowls and serve hot. Miso soup will keep in the fridge for up to 3-5 days depending on the ingredients.


  • 1 litre dashi stock

  • 1 small carrot

  • ¼ Japanese radish (mouli)

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 12cm piece of burdock root

  • 4-6 tbsp miso*

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