Asian Recipes/ Breakfast/ Japanese/ Lunch/ Pumpkin/ Recipes/ Soup/ Super Simple

Quick Japanese Miso Soup Recipe

03/06/2020 (Last Updated: 14/09/2020)
 

Delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this homemade Japanese Miso Soup recipe is ready to warm you up. Filled with dashi, tofu, onion and pumpkin, it’s bursting with goodness and ready in 10 minutes.

Two bowls of Japanese miso soup with chunky pumpkin and tofu.

Why We Love This

First up, it’s super flavourful AND super low in calories – I mean, how often does that happen? It’s quick to make – chop, boil and gorge in just 10 minutes.

You can also mix and match with your favourite vegetables to make your own super tasty deliciousness AND it’s rich and filling but totally not heavy

 

Close up bowl of a simple Japanese miso soup recipe.

What is Japanese miso soup? 

The gorgeous bright orange chunks of pumpkin literally soak up all the amazing umami flavour from the blend of miso and dashi, while also transforming the humble broth into a rich, creamy, nourishing bowl of goodness.

This Japanese miso soup recipe uses a blend of white miso (shiro miso) and another key Japanese ingredient – dashi.

Shiro miso is a milder, sweeter variety of miso paste which melds perfectly with the umami flavour from the dashi – a blend of Japanese kombu and bonito.

We filled up on this soup for the first time in Kagoshima, southern Kyushu, made by our awesome friend Yuko and her super cute daughter Himari.  Yuko dished up this hot and tasty version as part of a traditional Japanese breakfast, spruced up with chunks of rich Japanese pumpkin that were literally melt-in-your-mouth soft. Mm mmm.

Lastly, we added some brown onion, our favourite firm tofu and a handful of dried wakame seaweed, but you could just as easily make this broth without tofu or seaweed if that’s more to your liking.

But why stop there? Feel free to customise as much as you like by adding in your favourite ingredients. Japanese daikon radish is an amazing addition, but you can’t go wrong with thinly sliced pork, your favourite mushrooms, fish or seafood.

Mix and match and make it how you like it.  So the next time you need a tasty soup to warm you up on a cold and stormy night, but one that won’t leave you feeling like you’re carrying a dead weight around, give this one a try.

Oh, and if you like to dip, here’s a pro-tip:

Hot buttered toast may be super Gaijin but it goes a-mazingly with this Pumpkin Miso Soup!

If you you’ve found a love of miso paste, here’s 12 more incredibly healthy recipes to cook next.

 

What You’ll Need

There’s a few key Japanese ingredients you’ll need to have on hand to pop this recipe together. In particular, white miso paste, wakame dried seaweed and dashi powder. Once you have these though, they last for ages so you can cook it up again and again without having to go back to the shop for the base ingredients. Miso paste in particular can be frozen for up to 18 months in the freezer!

We found all our ingredients at our local supermarket in the Asian aisle. If yours doesn’t stock it, try an Asian supermarket or online.

We used Japanese pumpkin (also known as Kabocha) as it’s a great sweet variety and super cheap in Japan. You can also leave the skin on which makes it nice and quick to chop up. If you can’t find it, try substituting with butternut pumpkin or Queensland blue pumpkin with skins removed.

Ingredients laid out for the easy Japanese miso soup recipe.

How to make this 10 Minute Japanese Miso Soup recipe:

Place water and dashi stock into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Dashi stock boiling in a saucepan.

Pop in your diced pumpkin and onion and boil for 5 minutes.

Adding onion and pumpkin to dashi stock.

Add miso paste, and continue to cook until pumpkin is soft.

Dissolving miso paste into soup stock.

Add tofu and wakame and cook for further minute to warm the tofu without it breaking up. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.

Pouring tofu into miso soup.

Cook’s Tips

  • If the flavour of the broth is too intense for your taste, you can tone it down by adding a little more water.
  • Leave the skins on your Japanese pumpkin, as they will soften. 
  • We left the onion nice and chunky, but you can chop them finely if you prefer them to cook down into the soup broth.
  • If you dissolve the miso into the soup with a strainer, it helps to avoid lumps and evenly disperses.
  • If you can chop a pumpkin piece in half with your chopsticks, you know it’s soft enough!

FAQs

Is this Japanese miso soup recipe vegan?

While we used dashi stock with fish and seaweed in this recipe, you can easily turn it into a vegan miso soup by using kombu dashi – which is the seaweed only stock without the fish.

Can you freeze miso paste?

Yes. As it’s a preserved food, miso paste will last around a year in your fridge, or pop it in the freezer for up to 18 months!

Variations & Substitutes

  • If you can’t find Japanese pumpkin (Kabocha), try substituting with butternut pumpkin or Queensland blue pumpkin with skins removed.
  • Not a fan of tofu or seaweed? Pop in a carrot, zucchini or eggplant instead. 
  • You can use red miso paste if that’s all you can find, but the taste will be stronger and saltier, so use a little less as a pre-caution.

Big chunks of pumpkin and tofu in white miso soup.

Make it a full Japanese meal set with these additions:

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Bowl of Japanese miso soup with pumpkin and tofu.

Quick Japanese Miso Soup Recipe

Move aside udon, this homemade Japanese Miso Soup recipe is ready to warm you up. Filled with dashi, tofu, onion and pumpkin, it's bursting with goodness and ready in 10 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 side serves
Calories: 75kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tsp dashi powder (kombu dashi for vegans)
  • 100 g Japanese pumpkin skin cleaned, diced into chunks
  • 100 g firm tofu sliced into 1-2 cm cubes
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp wakame seaweed dried, strips
  • 2 tbsp spring onion / green onion sliced

Instructions

  • Place water and dashi stock into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Pop in your diced pumpkin and onion and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Mix in the miso paste with a strainer or a spoon, and continue to cook until pumpkin is soft.
  • Add tofu and wakame and cook for further minute to warm the tofu without it breaking up.
  • Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.

Video

Notes

Cook's Tips
  • If the flavour of the broth is too intense for your taste, you can tone it down by adding a little more water.
  • Leave the skins on your Japanese pumpkin, as they will soften. 
  • We left the onion nice and chunky, but you can chop them finely if you prefer them to cook down into the soup broth.
  • If you dissolve the miso into the soup with a strainer, it helps to avoid lumps and evenly disperses.
  • If you can chop a pumpkin piece in half with your chopsticks, you know it's soft enough!
FAQs
  • Is this Japanese miso soup recipe vegan? While we used dashi stock with fish and seaweed in this recipe, you can easily turn it into a vegan miso soup by using kombu dashi - which is the seaweed only stock without the fish.
  • Can you freeze miso paste? Yes. As it's a preserved food, miso paste will last around a year in your fridge, or pop it in the freezer for up to 18 months!
Variations & Substitutes
  • If you can't find Japanese pumpkin (Kabocha), try substituting with butternut pumpkin or Queensland blue pumpkin with skins removed.
  • Not a fan of tofu or seaweed? Pop in a carrot, zucchini or eggplant instead. 
  • You can use red miso paste if that's all you can find, but the taste will be stronger and saltier, so use a little less as a pre-caution.

Nutrition

Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 663mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2173IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    04/03/2016 at 1:32 pm

    This looks so yummy and easy!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/03/2016 at 8:35 am

      Thanks Sam, that’s exactly why we love it! 😀

  • Reply
    Manju | Cooking Curries
    04/03/2016 at 11:41 am

    5 stars
    That looks so comforting and refreshingly light at the same time!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/03/2016 at 12:10 pm

      It really is Manju! Best of both worlds in our opinion. 😀

  • Reply
    Vicky @ Avocado Pesto
    04/03/2016 at 11:35 am

    I do love ramen but miso soup is up there too! Can never go to a Japanese restaurant without ordering a miso soup — something just so warm and comforting about it! Love the addition of pumpkin here too!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/03/2016 at 12:06 pm

      Us too! We love having a side of miso soup with a Japanese meal, it just balances out all those yummy flavours so nicely. We’d never seen it with pumpkin at a restaurant before, but it really does give it an extra level of creamy homemade comfort. (Not to mention it’s extra delicious in miso broth) 🙂

  • Reply
    Britni
    04/03/2016 at 11:26 am

    Wow, I love how you tied this into the trip you’re taking! Sounds like the perfect hot soup for your cold day. I need to try some miso soup!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/03/2016 at 12:04 pm

      It is sooooo good on a cold day Britni, warms you through to the tips of your toes! If you give it a try let us know how you go. 🙂

  • Reply
    Valentina
    04/03/2016 at 11:06 am

    5 stars
    This is a beautiful soup! Not only is the blend of ingredients super delicious, but it’s so pretty!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/03/2016 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Valentina! It’s such a comforting dish but the best part is that it leaves you feeling happy and healthy too!

  • Reply
    Ramona W
    04/03/2016 at 9:28 am

    What a fantastic soup!! I love the creaminess of the broth. 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/03/2016 at 9:46 am

      It goes even creamier with the addition of the pumpkin too! 🙂

    Leave a Reply

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