A quick guide to the Japanese Miso Soup

Miso soup with rice has been loved by the Japanese since ancient times.
I will show when the Japanese started eating it, and will also introduce original miso soup called “Imogara-nawa” and other modern styles of miso soup.

2018-09-05   Food & Specialties, Traditions,

Miso soup


【CONTENTS】
Ichiju-issai, a combination of rice and miso soup
Instant miso soup originated from military field rations.
You can easily have tasty miso soup! Modern miso soup.
Miso soup is healthy and good for dieting!

One bowl of soup and one side dish menu
One bowl of soup and one side dish menu

Ichiju-issai, a combination of rice and miso soup

The basic and balanced meal of Japanese cuisine is said to be “Ichiju-issai”. It means a combination of a bowl of rice, a bowl of soup, one side dish, and in addition to these, pickled vegetables. Tadaima Japan has introduced rice and pickled vegetables in other articles before, but today I will introduce the miso soup, most beloved in Japan.

※Japanese live on rice in a variety of ways according to the situation
tadaimajp.com/2016/08/rice-situation/

※“Tsukemono”, Japanese pickles that complement a bowl of rice.
tadaimajp.com/2016/08/tsukemono/

The ingredients in miso soup are usually tofu, wakame seaweed, Japanese radishes, potatoes, and the actual miso paste. Actually the ingredients vary from region to region and even from family to family. The Japanese people consider miso soup as a necessity for their lifestyle.

Miso soup does not only includes miso paste, but also dashi (soup stock), which is prepared before adding the miso paste. This is the key to cooking good miso soup. The perfect miso soup includes a perfect harmony between the dashi, the miso paste, and the other ingredients!

※Umami and Dashi (soup stock) play important roles in Japanese food.
tadaimajp.com/2016/07/umami-and-dash/

Miso paste
Miso paste

The history of Miso soup

Hishio, food made of soybeans and salt, was introduced to Japan from China during the Asuka period (592 – 710). The Japanese made it into a paste form. Miso paste was not used in soup, but was eaten much like licking a popsicle until the Heian period (794 – 1185).

The “Ichiju-issai” style of preparing food became common among the samurai society during the Kamakura period (1185 – 1333), and the custom of serving miso soup with every day meals was born.

During the age of civil wars in Japan, miso soup was used by military commanders as a field ration. Imogara-nawa (the original instant miso soup) was prepared by simmering the stem of a taro with miso and then drying it out. They made miso soup by putting chopped imogara-nawa in hot water when they ran out of food, or wanted to have miso soup.

cups of instant miso soup
cups of instant miso soup

You can easily have tasty miso soup! Modern miso soup.

If you don’t want hassle with preparing the dashi, you can get soup stock containing miso at
stores. If you even want to avoid preparing all the ingredients, you can buy a cup of instant miso soup and add hot water.

The Freeze dried type of instant miso soup
The Freeze dried type of instant miso soup

Freeze dried miso soup is smaller and more convenient. If you don’t have a bowl handy, you can use a mug.
The cups of miso soup and freeze dried types are sold at convenience stores. It’s great with a boxed lunch or a rice ball.

Miso soup is healthy and good for dieting!

Miso soup is also popular among celebrities abroad as a dietary meal.

Miso soup has various effects on the body such as increasing basal metabolism, burning away fat, and relieving constipation. The miso paste itself prevents blotching and freckles, and clears up your skin.

It’s easy to go on a miso soup diet. You just replace one meal a day with a hearty bowl of miso soup, or add a bowl of miso soup to regular meals. If you have it at the beginning of a meal, it’ll help you control your appetite.

Miso soup is good for beauty and health, and you can cook it the way you like, so give it a try !

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AUTHOR

kyoami

kyoami

Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.