Miso Soup for Breakfast
In Japan, miso soup is a traditional
breakfast food–sipped hot, directly from the bowl. As complex
in flavor as it is simple to prepare, a single portion of miso soup
can be put together in roughly the same amount of time it takes to
brew a cup of tea. Try transferring the soup to a wide-neck thermos
and taking it to work with you. I can't think of a more soothing
and fortifying way to start the day, especially in winter.
If you are too hurried to make even this simple recipe–or
you don't have the ingredients on hand–there are some very
good brands of instant miso soup powder available. They come in
single-serving packets, and all you need to do is add hot water and
stir. Consider keeping a stash at work, for midmorning
- The best type of miso to use for
breakfast soup is "shiro" or "mellow white."
- Although miso soup stores and
reheats well, some of the beneficial enzymes in the miso will be
destroyed if the soup is boiled. So if you reheat it, do so
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon light-colored miso
1 to 2 tablespoons diced silken tofu (tiny pieces)
1 small scallion, very finely minced
- Heat the water or broth until it
reaches a boil. Place the miso in a generously sized single-serving
bowl, and pour in about one third of the hot water or broth. Mash
and stir until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Add the remaining hot liquid, along with the tofu and scallion.
Serve right away.
A Heartier Miso Soup
Miso soup is delicious plain, sipped like a hot beverage. You can
also make it into a heartier meal by adding any or all of the
A few spoonfuls of cooked grains (wild rice or barley are
A poached egg
A handful of daikon sprouts or radish sprouts
Wakame (a sea vegetable that is sold dried), soaked in water
for 15 minutes, or until tender
A few small spinach leaves