VEGAN MISO SOUP
Many Korean & Japanese families have their own iteration of miso soup and here we share our family’s simplest vegan version. Most miso is vegan but the type of dashi (stock) you use will determine if it’s vegan or not. Korean’s typically use an anchovy or beef dashi, while Japanese often use a tuna or fish dashi. Our vegan dashi consists of kombu (dried kelp) and dried shiitake mushrooms. While our recipe calls for few ingredients, this recipe offers a depth of rich flavor and umami. We recommend using a red or white miso and particularly love red miso in warmer months and white miso in cooler months (it pairs with chunky vegetables well). Enjoy this as it is or let this be the base for you to explore and play with ingredients. We particularly love this base with daikon, diced zucchini, green leaf lettuce and the leftover rehydrated shiitake mushrooms from the dashi.
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
20 grams kombu (dried kelp)
4 1/2 cups water
4 cups Dashi
5 tablespoons miso
6 ounces of firm tofu (cut into 1” cubes)
1 green scallion, chopped thin
To make Dashi, wipe any excess white powder off kombu with a wet cloth and brush any debris from shiitake mushrooms, then soak kombu and mushrooms in 4 1/2 cups of room temperature water overnight, making sure the mushrooms are completely submerged. If you’re in a rush, you can use warm water to speed up the process, but we still recommend at least 2 hours of steeping time. This should yield approximately 4 cups. Pour water, kombu and mushrooms into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove kombu and mushrooms, then gently squeeze mushrooms to remove extra liquid. Using a fine cheese cloth or paper towel, strain mixture to remove any particles . You now have homemade vegan dashi. This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To make Miso Soup, pour 4 cups of dashi into a medium pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. (If you plan on adding vegetables add them now and return to a simmer.) Using a small bowl or ladle, dissolve the miso with the warm dashi stock before adding the miso to the pot. Then add dissolved miso to the pot and stir, making sure there are no miso lumps. Add tofu and bring back to a gentle simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with scallion garnish on top.
This can be served with rice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Enjoy!