Miso soup – Japan’s liquid gold

Japanese cuisine always surprises with its interesting aromas and combination of tastes. In addition, it is very rich in useful substances that the body needs for its proper functioning.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Japanese are one of the nations with the most centenarians, which many believe is due to food.

You have to listen to miso soup – one of the symbols of Japan when it comes to their traditional cuisine. This sensory-awakening liquid is essential to many meals, but is often consumed only for breakfast.

Miso soup VIII. It appeared around the 19th century, and was originally only on the menu of wealthy Japanese. But somehow the recipe managed to survive to this day, gaining popularity across the country and the world.

A large part of the Japanese population eats the warm and aromatic liquid at least once a day, so it is available in almost every restaurant locally as an accompaniment to the main course.

Its ingredients vary according to the region where it is prepared (meat, fish, tofu, seaweed and various vegetables), but the most important of them is miso paste, a traditional Japanese seasoning that is very useful all over the world.

It is prepared by fermenting soy, rice or barley, and the rule is that the longer this process lasts, the fuller and richer the taste of the pasta will be in the end.

This cloud soup is served warm, but not hot, and is traditionally eaten with steaks.

The solid ingredients are eaten with them, and finally, the broth is drunk. And no, in Japan it is not to raise the cup to the mouth, which is considered an expression of bad manners in many European countries (and not only).

Photo: iStock

We can talk about miso soup for a long time. The history of the Japanese is “living”, which they managed to carry through the centuries. That’s why we have prepared other interesting facts to inspire you and prepare this wonderful soup at home.

You will also find the recipe below.

Miso was not always eaten only in soup

In addition to miso soup, pasta is becoming increasingly popular around the world as an ingredient that can be added to a variety of dishes, from salads to delicious cookies. But Japanese seasonings weren’t always in sticky form.

According to some sources, at dawn, miso is eaten in a completely different way. Instead of being finely ground, soybeans were dried and salted, then flavored with vegetables, fish or rice.

Besides, beans were the perfect home remedy for various ailments.

Multiple components and unlimited options by region

Due to its wide use, it is not surprising that there are many variations of cloud soup. Depending on the region of Japan, local meats and vegetables are prepared.

Thus, miso soup can contain, for example, wakame seaweed, tofu and daikon (a type of turnip) or mussels and eggplant.

Some Japanese people add different types of fish, other seafood or pieces of chicken to the broth. The options are many and it’s a matter of taste, which makes this soup a dish of unlimited possibilities.

Samurai were the first to use instant miso

Photo: iStock

During the Sengoku period, between 1467 and 1573, when going to battle, samurai carried miso with them because of its rich nutrients. But it is neither in the form of paste nor in the form of salted and dry soybeans.

Warriors wore belts made from dried stalks of taro, a green leafy plant, pre-soaked in hot miso. So the spice sticks to the plant and there are two ways to consume it: eat the taro stalks or pour warm water over them to make a cloudy miso broth. The second method is reminiscent of modern instant foods.

It was also the samurai who promoted the preparation of fermented soybeans. Recipes and methods are again different depending on the region, which contributes to the end result – a huge palette of different flavors preserved to this day.

miso soup

Photo: iStock

To prepare a nutritious and very aromatic soup, you need the following ingredients for 3-4 servings, which can already be found in the stands of large hypermarkets:

  • 2 pieces Kombu seaweed
  • 6 pieces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon Katso bushi (dried tuna skin)
  • 350 g of tofu
  • 5 tablespoons of miso paste
  • 1 bunch of baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh onion

Method of preparation:

Put the mushrooms and seaweed in a pot, then pour 2-2.5 liters of water and leave to soak for an hour. When they increase in volume, put the dish on fire. When the water boils, remove the seaweed. Reduce the heat and add the dry skin of the tuna and let it boil for 20 min.

Next comes the miso paste, spinach and chopped tofu. Boil the ingredients for about 5 minutes, serve in bowls and sprinkle with onions.

Enjoy your meal!

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