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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Miso soup


I adore sushi and going to Japanese restaurants to try new things on the menu. However, as much as I have been curious to try miso soup, a staple at Japanese restaurants, I’d rather fill up on sushi rather than a side of miso soup.

Miso, fermented soybean paste, is used in a variety of Asian cultures. It is an example of umami, or savory flavor. Miso soup is thousands of years old and its origins have been traced to China, then to Japan. In the U.S., it is typically the first course at many Japanese restaurants. Because of the fermentation, miso has properties that enable better digestion, which is why it is usually served first.

I recently decided to make my own miso soup to satisfy my longing to try it without potentially sacrificing my sushi meal. I forced my boyfriend to venture to Whole Foods with me to find the ingredients: miso, green onion, silken tofu, bonito flakes and dried kelp.

I got the recipe online from Just One Cookbook, which said the recipe was simple. It took longer to make the dashi broth than it did to add the rest of the ingredients to the soup, but within 25 minutes, it was complete. It smelled incredibly savory, and had an opaque tan broth with cubes of tofu and rings of green onion throughout.

I scooped myself a small bowl and sat down to eat. My first spoonful was entirely broth. Warm umami flavor flooded my mouth. It was the perfect temperature, not hot enough to burn but pleasantly warm, like a blanket covering my tongue. I next took a bite of tofu, which melted in my mouth and had a green onion underneath that added a pleasantly fresh and acidic bite.

I ate two whole bowls, and I think it’s safe to say I’ve added a new appetizer to my sushi order.



Combine the water and dried kelp in a pot and slowly bring to a boil. As it begins to boil, remove the dried kelp and add the bonito flakes. Simmer for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and let broth sit for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

Add the miso and whisk immediately to break up any clumps. Cube tofu block and gently add to soup. Add green onion, seaweed and serve.

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