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Mar 4, 2014 05:38 AM

Miso soup problem

When we go to a Japanese restaurant we start with a small bowl of delicious miso soup.
At home I make primary dashi. If you haven't made it you must! So easy and delicious and good for you.
Anyway. I have always had a problem with the white miso paste I add to the dashi separating and floating to the bottom of the bowl like a cloud.
This doesn't happen in Japanese restaurants. At least when we have it.
I don't like too much miso so I only add a T to 1 litre of dashi.
What am I doing wrong?
I always make sure the miso paste is thoroughly mixed into the dashi BTW.

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  1. I add lower sodium white miso past to miso soup dry mix, and I whisk the hell out of it to get it not to clump at the bottom.

    1. Miso soup from the restaurants I go to sort of separates into clear on top and cloudy on the bottom. I just stir it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        I do stir it in at home. No worries.
        Just a thought: Does anyone think by adding just a pinch of corn starch,first mixed into a little water of course then added to the miso would stop the separating?
        I'm going to try this next time and give an update.

        1. re: Puffin3

          I was thinking the same thing. Maybe mix the miso paste with corn starch before adding.
          Hmm.. going to try that now with some miso soup.

      2. Not clear on exactly how you're adding the miso, but if you're not doing this already, try thoroughly mixing the miso into a few tablespoons of dashi separately, and then adding that mixture to the rest of the soup. Generally makes for a more even mixture with less work.

        That said, miso will always slowly settle in a soup, so once you have it well mixed, you should eat it promptly or give it a good stir before eating if it sits around a while.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cowboyardee

          What my husband does is pass the miso through a fine sieve with the back of a spoon (using the same sieve we use for scum skimming). That keeps it from clumping.

          He also makes it with just miso, no dashi.

          I do find that restaurant miso will separate given enough time, but I just stir it.

        2. first of all Puffin, I love a good miso soup. Vancouver with all it's sushi places often offer it with your meal. it's duh bom.
          please may I ask you to post your recipe for dashi. I'd appreciate it, never even considered I could make that myself.

          as others have said the miso does go clear on top and cloudy on the bottom of the bowl. I'll be interested in suggestions you get. good luck and please do post your conclusion back for us all. thanks

          11 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo

            This is C&Ped from another thread:
            If there is one recipe that must be followed using the correct proportions of flakes water and konbu this is it.
            15 g konbu well rinsed in cold water.
            1 liter cold water
            15 g bonito flakes
            Cut the washed konbu into large pieces. Into pan with the cold water. Cook until it just comes to the boil over medium heat setting. Remove kelp. Add 1/4 C cold water. Add flakes. Bring just to the boil. Remove from heat immediately. Allow flakes to settle to the bottom. Strain mixture through a sieve/coffee filter.
            Store in fridge but use ASAP. Actually I now double the recipe.
            I did have some left over miso soup from last night. I did add a small amount of corn starch mixed in a little cold water first. Didn't work. The miso still settled on the bottom. Still delicious!
            It's so simple and the results are so worth it. Make sure to leave the konbu in the water long enough. It balances the flavor of the bonito.

            1. re: Puffin3

              puffin you are so kind to post that for me.I think this is way over my head. I know nothing of these ingredients.
              where do I buy these items please? an Asian market? or ? I'm lost here.......and it takes a lot to cornfuzz me

              1. re: iL Divo

                Yes, an asian market, although whole foods will have konbu (for more $$$) otherwise the interwebs can help you out

                1. re: iL Divo

                  konbu is a japanese word for the kelp that is used in the broth. It's sold wrapped in plastic. They're usually about the dimensions of notebook paper, but thicker. The sheets are dark green with whitish dust on the outside, which is desireable.

                  Shaved bonito are flakes of preserved tuna. If you ever sharpened a pencil in a children's pencil sharpener, you might notice that pencil and bonito shavings look very similar. Sometimes you might see a very similar (same?) product being sold as cat treats.

                  Dashi is a broth most commonly made from these two ingredients, kelp and preserved tuna.

                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                    When you say preserved tuna, do you mean dried? Is it also salted or unsalted?

                    I ask because I frequently use Maldive fish flakes in Sri Lankan cooking. Maldive fish flakes is dried tuna, unsalted, then flaked.

                    1. re: LMAshton

                      I looked into it once, and I think the process is a bit involved. It's a multistage process and I do think there is some microbial action going on. It's dried fish, certainly, but it's not like jerky or salt cod so I figured describing it as "dried fish" might be more misleading than not when searching supermarket shelves.

                      I don't think salt is involved but my memory is a bit hazy about it. Also, it has a smoky flavor but it isn't smoked.

                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                          Of note, I believe the traditional method also involved packing the fish in rice for a while to help select for the right microbes. According to wikipedia, it seems that step has been replaced with a spray down with mold culture. I don't know if it's still practiced in some cases or if it makes a significant difference.

                            1. re: davis_sq_pro

                              Ah, how interesting. Okay, so not the same. Thanks. :)

                              I see from the wikipedia entry that it's sometimes sold as a block of fish that resembles wood. Maldive fish is also sold that way sometimes, too. My mother in law gets that, sometimes. I've only bought it flaked. Maldive fish has no smokey flavour.

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        there is a no cook method. It might be more approachable:


                        The cold-water method

                        When I’m pressed for time, I use the mizudashi method of making dashi. This is the method I’ve described for making vegetarian dashi, except that I add some bonito flakes. I put a piece of kombu seaweed and a big handful of bonito flakes in a jug of cold water, and let it steep for at least a few hours or overnight. To use the dashi I simply strain it out. The dashi keeps in the fridge for a few days, and if I don’t use it up during that time (which is rare) I just freeze it. Aside from having to remember to fill up a jug, this method couldn’t be easier.

                  2. One thing to remember is to never let the dashi or soup boil. If you do it loses flavor and makes it hard to integrate the miso.

                    Do you make the dashi with kombu and bonito?