Chef John's Miso Soup


This miso soup is made entirely from scratch and has a simple yet complex flavor. You can now enjoy miso soup at home and not just in a Japanese restaurant.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Soak Time:
30 mins
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

Miso Soup – In and Out

I don't like to start a meal with soup. I much prefer to begin with something light, slightly acidic, and subtly bitter to get the taste buds going, and to further stimulate my appetite. Soups are usually filling, and there's nothing worse, culinarily speaking, than being satiated before the final courses are served. The one huge exception to this would be miso soup.

Whenever I go to a Japanese restaurant, before the sashimi, the sushi, the katsu, and the tempura appear, I have to have a nice, steaming bowl of miso soup. It's rich and satisfying, but doesn't leave me feeling full. In fact, it somehow stimulates my appetite unlike any other soup I know. It's one of my favorite parts of any Japanese meal, and I always look forward to its warm, comforting embrace.

So then, why don't I make it more often at home? I wish I had a good answer for that. It's fast, easy, cheap, and if you live anywhere near a city (or have internet access) the ingredients are not hard to find. Maybe enjoying it in the restaurant setting, before all that other wonderful food arrives is part of the magic, but after doing this video, I'm promising myself I'll make this at home a lot more often, and I hope you do the same. Enjoy!



  • 6 cups cold water

  • ½ ounce dried kombu (dried kelp)

  • 2 cups lightly packed dried bonito flakes

Miso Soup:

  • 7 ounces silken tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 4 tablespoons white miso

  • 2 tablespoons red miso

  • dried wakame seaweed flakes

  • shredded wakame or hijiki seaweed (soaked in water until soft) (Optional)

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more to garnish


  1. Pour cold water into a saucepan. Add kombu and soak for 30 minutes.

  2. Set pan on the stove over medium heat, and wait until water just starts to simmer. Turn off heat, and remove kombu with a strainer. Squeeze out any liquid back into the pan, and discard kombu.

  3. Turn heat back on to med-high, and bring to a simmer. Stir bonito flakes into the simmering liquid, and turn off the heat. Let sit for 10 minutes, before staining and reserving the liquid, also known as the "dashi."

  4. Pour dashi into a saucepan over medium heat. Add pre-soaked, shredded seaweed, soy sauce, and green onions. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Place a small strainer over the pan, and add miso pastes. Submerge strainer halfway down into the hot dashi, and stir slowly until all the miso has dissolved and passed through into the soup.

  5. Stir in tofu, and continue cooking on low until tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with more soy sauce if needed.

  6. Serve immediately with sliced green onions on top.

    miso soup in white bowl
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

80 Calories
1g Fat
11g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Sodium 927mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 7g
Potassium 43mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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