Tofu Miso Soup

About six years ago, I shared an apartment, officially, with one good friend and unofficially with a second, who spent every night at our place after she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. I think it was the combination of limited mobility with our inherent awesomeness that made it hard for her to return to her own place. But, she was incredibly smart and funny, so we never really minded the extra tenent. On an oppressively hot and muggy day, we were desperate for air conditioning and decided that the little sushi place across town sounded like a good escape. I let her do the ordering. It was all so new and intimidating to me. I'd had sushi before (if you count California rolls), but had never had the confidence to explore the menu. Miso, tempura, sashimi; these were foreign and mysterious words to me and I had no idea what delicious adventure that I was embarking upon. The miso was so warm and comforting. Not exactly salty, but wonderfully savory. It became something that I craved and looked forward to whenever we went out for Japanese. It wasn't until this weekend that I had the courage to try making it at home. The mirin and miso paste I was able to find at my co-op, but for the dashi I had to venture out to the Asian market. All I was able to find was an instant dried version to which one adds water. Knowing nothing about dashi, I don't know where this stands on any sort of quality meter, but it worked fine for me. I altered this recipe from its printed version to fit what we had on hand (I had to use the chard from my garden!) and added noodles to make it a bit heartier.

Tomato and Tofu Miso Soup
Adapted from Fresh by Michele Cranston

4 C. dashi stock
2 tsp. mirin
 4 TBS. white miso paste
1 TBS. grated fresh ginger
4 tomatoes
8 oz. firm tofu
1 bunch swiss chard leaves, sliced into ribbons
1 TBS. soy sauce
3 oz. udon noodles

In a saucepan, bring the dashi stock, mirin, white miso paste, and ginger to a boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze to remove the seeds. Dice the flesh and add to broth, simmering for 5 minutes.
Add the udon noodles, simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the chard leaves, tofu, and soy sauce and cook until leaves are just wilted, about 1 minute.

I like to eat this with chopsticks and lots of slurping. Makes 3 large, or 4 average sized portions.


  1. Mmm...I want some right now! Your first effort with Japanese ingredients looks awesome. I wish this bowl were sitting on my kitchen table.

  2. Excellent recipe...I've been thinking about trying to make this and it's so expensive to order take-out. Thank you for posting :)

  3. I crave miso too- I buy it at whole foods and make soup out of whatever I have on hand.
    I like to sautee the tofu in sesame oil to give it a little flavor.
    Miso glaze on salmon or any white fish with some greeen onions is one of our favorites too.

    I am still catching up on my blog reading and need to get to your weekend review!

  4. YAY! Thanks for sharing the happiness of miso!