I remember the first time I tried Miso soup in a small sushi shop in Manchester, Vermont. I didn’t order the soup; by tradition they serve it before every meal in their restaurant. I was still new to tofu at that point, and I preferred my soups on the heartier side with less broth. My first spoonful was… absolutely divine. It had a nice hint of a salty taste that made you feel like you were right next to the sea and the tofu soaked that all up fairly quickly. The green onions added just enough crunch to give it texture and kelp, or as I’m quickly learning; Wakame, they used gave it a nice earthy taste.
I’ve never been a breakfast fan, or at least most of the breakfast foods that are considered common. I would much rather eat a salad, or leftover spinach than cereal or anything sweet really. I’m definitely a savory person, so sweet stuff that early in the morning is torture for me. You know where I’m going with this don’t you? Yes, I have taken up eating miso soup for breakfast. I have read so many positive things about starting your day with a healthy miso soup that it was enough justification to just start bringing it to work. Take a look at some of the info that Natural News came up with regarding the benefits of Miso here.
The area that I live in doesn’t necessarily have a ton of shops that carry all of the ingredients that would need to make homemade traditional miso soup, so I needed to improvise. By doing this I have created several different versions that I bring with me to start the day. The best part is that they are all portable, so it only takes me a few minutes to get my stuff packed and ready to head out the door.
I choose to use extra firm organic tofu, green onions, shitake mushrooms and Nori (edible seaweed). The miso I use is a darker blend made with soy and brown rice. I cube roughly 1oz. of the tofu (not very carefully as you can see in the image), cut up about 2 short green onion shoots, slice one shitake mushroom and tear up 2 sheets of the seaweed. Place it in a small container and set aside.
Then I smear about ½ - 1 Tbs. of the miso at the bottom of my portable soup mug. Put the top on it and head off to work. We have a water machine that also has a hot water spout. I fill the mug with hot water, leaving about 1-½ inches of room at the top. I stir it so that the miso is dissolved and then I add the ingredients. Stir it all up, let it stand for about a minute, and then enjoy! How easy is that? If you don’t access to hot water on-demand, just heat up water in a mug for about 2 minutes and pour over the miso. The trick is to not have a grainy taste with the miso which is due to water not being hot enough, or the miso being over cooked if you are adding it to boiling water.
Ingredients for a single serving of miso soup to go:
- 1oz Extra Firm Organic Tofu cubed
- 1 Shitake Mushroom sliced
- 2 green onion shoots chopped
- 2 sheets of Nori
- ½ - 1 Tbs. miso (amount depends on how salty you like it)
- About 14oz. hot water (boiling or just about to boil)
There are a few different variations that I have done that I like as well and think you may as well.
• Add about a ½ tsp. of minced ginger to the hot broth
• Steep a ginger tea bag in the broth while the miso dissolves
• Substitute hot water with hot green tea
• Substitute the Wakame or Nori with spinach or kale
• Add a few drops of Siracha sauce to it for an extra kick
• Omit the tofu and use Udon noodles or rice noodles
• If the green onions are too much for you in the morning, substitute with parsley