Shiitake Miso Soup with Silken Tofu


Shiitake Miso Soup

I have a habit of inviting people over for dinner, but then making them wait over an hour to eat while I prepare it. I’m imagining all of my hungry friends shaking their heads yes in unison. One day I’ll get the timing right (as in, I’ll stop waiting until my friends arrive to begin making the soup broth), but for now I’m just happy enough that I’m at a place in my life where I’ve got a full set of matching dishes to serve a table of four.

Miso Soup WhiskMiso Soup Mushrooms

This miso soup comes together in about 20 minutes of inactive time (less if you opt for instant dashi), which makes it one of my go-to dishes to serve company. It’s so quick that I prepare the mushrooms and scallions, then go back to watching TV in my yoga pants…until the doorbell rings and Lucas answers while I scramble to find normal pants. This is real life.

The problem is that I always put miso soup on the menu whenever I’ve also decided to make at least 2 of the following: sushi rolls, oboro tofu, scallion pancakes, smoked salmon soba bowl, or strawberry mochi with red beans. So you can basically add an hour+ to whatever time I’ve told you to arrive and that’s when you can expect to eat.

Snack accordingly. You’re lucky I didn’t make you prepare the meal yourself – ahem.

Miso Soup with Silken Tofu

Fortunately we have stools and enough space in the kitchen for four people, two cats, and a dog to hang out while I cook. We tested the limits when our friends Greg and Ashley came over with their black lab on Friday and I finally dished up miso soup, oboro tofu, and scallion pancakes after approximately 1 hour and 30 “sorry it’s not ready yet”s.

The same thing happened last night when I didn’t start steaming the rice for homemade sushi until after Angi arrived for her birthday dinner. Actually, when she rang the doorbell (a few minutes late even), we were just lucky the dishes were done and the dining table wasn’t still renting out the living room after Alanna and I spent a full day destroying the kitchen and performing acrobatic tripod balancing acts.

Shiitake Miso Soup with Silken Tofu

But this soup. It makes up 1,000 apologies. The broth has a strong umami flavor with a touch of sweet miso and a hint of salty that gives a simple soup lots of oomph. The homemade dashi lends enough flavor to the base of the soup that there’s no need to season the broth, except with a quick drizzle of tamari depending on the saltiness of your miso.

While it makes a great side – a small bowl to warm you up for the main event – the loads of fresh shiitakes and cubes of silken tofu make it hearty enough to serve as a main course. And when we’re feeling fancy, we throw in a handful of seaweed brown rice noodles to make it even more filling.

Homemade Miso SoupThanks for reading Snixy Kitchen! To stay up on what’s coming out of my kitchen, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin‘, Pinterest, or subscribe via e-mail to get new recipes right to your inbox.

Shiitake Miso Soup with Silken Tofu
Yields: 4 side servings
  • 4 cups dashi stock (See recipe below or see note for instant dashi*)
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon dried cut wakame (dried seaweed**)
  • 6 ounces silken tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons red miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons mellow white miso paste***
  • Optional: soy or tamari sauce, to taste
  1. In a large pot, bring the dashi stock to boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the shiitake mushrooms and ¾ cup of the chopped scallions. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms and scallions soften..
  3. Add the dried wakame and silken tofu. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes to heat thoroughly. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Carefully scoop out about a cup of the boiling broth and whisk it in a separate bowl with the miso paste until smooth. Pour the miso into the soup and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes over low heat.
  5. Taste the broth to determine if it needs a touch of salt. If so, add up to 2 teaspoons of soy or tamari sauce to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of fresh scallions.
*If you have access to a Japanese market, you can easily make your own dashi from scratch. Or for a quick and easy miso, you can use 4 cups of water mixed with 2 teaspoons dashi stock powder that you can pick up at most Asian supermarkets or online. Keep in mind that the dashi stock powders often contain MSG (many studies have shown that MSG isn't actually bad for you)
**I also buy the dried wakame at the Japanese market, but you can also buy it online (here or here)
***The white miso paste is more mild than the red miso. You can also just use 4 tablespoons of medium yellow miso or even just all red miso or all white miso if you prefer. I prefer the combination of the two.

Quick and Easy Dashi Broth
Yields: 4 cups dashi broth
  • 2 strips of kombu edible kelp, about 4 inches long, 2 inches wide*
  • 3½ cups of dried bonito flakes*
  • 5 cups of water
  1. Gently wipe the kelp with a damp towel to clean it. Cut two 1-inch long snips along the long edge of the kelp.
  2. Add the kelp to a pot filled with cold water and begin to heat over medium high heat. When the water just lightly begins to bubble, right before it boils, remove the kelp.
  3. Add the dried bonito flakes and bring to a rolling. Cook for 30 more seconds then turn off the heat and let it soak for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the broth into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve lined with a thin cloth or a paper towel. Wring the cloth to get as much of the liquid into the bowl as possible.
  5. Pour the broth back into the pot to finish up the miso soup!
I find the kombu dried kelp and dried bonito flakes at our Asian market, but you can also buy it online (find Kombu here or here and dried bonito flakes here).

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  1. I love your strategy of having your friends wait for a hour before serving dinner. This guarantees they are good and hungry and will appreciate your dishes even more. This miso soup looks especially yummy as I am trying to get warm in this 0 degree Boston weather.

  2. This looks amazing! I’ve never had miso soup but it sounds amazing. So want to try this! Pinned!

  3. I’m patient. Very patient. Just sayin’ … still waiting for my invite. :) hhhehe

  4. Miso… yessss! As long as there’s an appetizer involved, I can wait a loooong time for dinner! I’d definitely wait for your miso (and any other….!!!). Where are your bowls from? They’re so pretty!

    • Thanks Traci! Actually, it’s a funny story! I wanted to make and shoot miso soup this weekend and I woke up and realized that I’ve used the same Japanese bowls over and over again. As I was still in my jammies, I sent my husband to the asian supermarket to get me two new bowls to photograph. He texted me pictures of all the bowls on the shelf and chose these as the prettiest. I think he did a pretty fantastic job! So long story short: 99 Ranch in the East Bay.

  5. Does that mean I can expect the incorporated post from you & Alanna? Can’t wait!!!!
    This soup looks SO YUMMY I can totally wait for as long as you want me to; I am sure it would be worth the wait. I <3 <3 <3 it, and will make it soon. :)

    Thank you for sharing, Sarah.

    P.S. We should definitely make a plan to do a post together as well :)

    • Actually soon hopefully, but we haven’t shot it yet. The shoot on Tuesday was a collaboration for Go Gluten Free magazine – cooking and shooting two recipes they sent us! I’ll post a picture on IG when the magazine comes out:)

      I would LOVE to collaborate with you!! Oh my gosh, I could learn so much from your amazing photography skills. Let’s make a date soon and start brainstorming recipes on our bucket list!

      Also: Thank you!

  6. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have been wanting to make a shiitake miso soup for ages, now I have also the recipe. LOOKS FANTASTIC!

  7. Sushi rolls, oboro tofu, scallion pancakes, smoked salmon soba bowl, and strawberry mochi with red beans?! Ok, if you’re making this for dinner, I’ll wait for 2 hours, I don’t care. And I totally do the same thing . . when I invite good friends or family over for dinner. I have already started on cooking but am never finished. I am still working on my time and oven management. . you know .. but yeah, now people know, there will be apps, there will be wine and conversation, while I am cooking. . LOVE this miso soup!! one of my faves!

    • My friends keep coming back for dinner, so they must think the wait is worth it, I suppose! I’m glad I’m not the only one that underestimates the time it will take to prepare dinner:) Thanks, Alice!

  8. This soup looks amazing! I seriously need to try making miso soup!

  9. Julia says:

    By golly, I want to eat it all! I’ve been craving all the soups lately and this one sounds so unique and tasty. LOVE that it’s made in only 20 minutes!!

  10. Well, I’m sad to say I’ve never had miso soup…but this clearly needs to change! This looks so delicious and comforting!

  11. I’m always so embarrassed when I read your recipes and only understand like half the ingredients. Not even like “Oh I’ve never cooked with wakame, I’ll have to grab that at the store next time,” but rather “hang on let me google this because apparently I live under a rock. A rock where there are no Asians.” Well WHATEVER this is, it sounds amazing. Also, I will wait for you to make me dinner all day long. ALL DAY LONG.

    • Hahahaha. I’m just learning about all of this stuff too! So when I learn, I share it on the blog – it’s not just like “oh, I had all this info just floating around inside my head.” ANNNNYWAY, YES PLEASE COME OVER SO I CAN MAKE YOU DINNER!

  12. Sometimes I think that the best conversations happen when friends are gathered in the kitchen as a meal is being prepared. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I have always wanted to make my own miso soup but was a bit intimidated. Looks fantastic!

    • I definitely agree with that. Don’t be intimidated by the random ingredients you can’t get at the chain supermarket either – they’re all pretty common things to find at an Asian market I hope you make your own miso soup and love it!

  13. Amanda Paa says:

    i always try to be on top of timing too, but dang it if i can ever get it right. like the time i tried to make eggs benedict for 6. bad idea….. i love seeing all your japanese inspired dishes. it’s a cuisine i need to add more of to our meals! xo

  14. This is such a gorgeous soup, Sarah! I love how elegant and fancy it looks! And can I just say that I am in LOVE with your soup bowls?! So pretty!

    • Thanks Sarah! I actually sent my husband to the asian supermarket that morning to find me new bowls to shoot the soup in and this is what he returned with! So he gets all the credit:)

  15. I could love off miso soup! You now have me craving a bowl for breakfast.

  16. I recently made the self-discovery that Japanese food is my favorite cuisine… and since then I’ve been obsessed with finding recipes I can make! I absolutely love shiitakes and they sound like a great addition with miso soup, as do the noodles. I can’t wait to check out your other Japanese recipes :)

  17. I would wait all day if I was coming to your house for dinner. Totally worth EVERY minute! Love this shitake miso soup, it looks absolutely perfect!!

  18. This soup looks incredible Sarah! You’ve got some seriously lucky friends girl!

  19. You had me cracking up, Sarah! Scrambling to change out of your yoga pants when the doorbell rings. I totally relate. I’m a terrible judge of how long it will take to make a meal – what in my head will take 30 minutes usually takes at least an hour!

    Love this soup, btw. Looks utterly warming and delicious!

  20. Seriously one of the best and most efficient dishes to make for a crowd! And oh how I do despise my bad timing sometimes….that’s the biggest thing I’ve been learning to fix–all thanks to Selah because motherhood whips you up into shape, lol! I’d love to visit your place since you always make yummy stuff. ;) I guess Japense is your favorite cuisine, eh??

    • Please come visit any time! I’ll pull a chair into the dining room so you can visit while I cook. And then the next night you’ll cook for me, right? ;) You nailed it – Japanese is my favorite cuisine! I just read your comment aloud to Lucas and said, “I guess I’ve got a theme going on my blog! haha!”

  21. Min says:

    Seeing how your friends keep coming back despite the wait says it all – Totally worth it! I, too, live in my pjs, and I wait till the bitter end to change into something more presentable when having guests over. I actually trained Tim to change into pjs or “home clothes” immediately once we get home, and I couldn’t help but laugh when he said that he felt strange roaming around his mom’s house in “normal” clothes.

    Miso soup is def one of my faves during cold winter months..paired with sushi and I’m a happy camper ;).

    • I love your perspective on my friends returning despite the wait! I’m at my parents’ house right now and I’ve been in my PJs all day long – no “normal” clothes whatsoever.

      I have a feeling we could put together a pretty delicious meal together someday!

  22. Love the photos Sarah! This soup looks delish. Hey, BTW, I couldn’t find the pig you roasted! I’m dying to see the photos and the post. Send me a link darling!

  23. This miso soup looks delicious, I have never heard of Dashi broth so will definitely need to give it a try – thanks for putting the link on where to buy the ingredients online, we don’t really have asian markets on the northern island where I live ;) I would love to get to watch you cook a meal for an hour! Your guests are so lucky :) And I love these gorgeous bowls that you served the soup in! You have such pretty dishes!

    • I was also just searching through the asian section at Whole Foods, and they had many of the ingredients there too, so if you have a Whole Foods, you might be able to find some of it locally. Thank you so much, Ellie. These bowls were actually all my husband’s doing – I sent him to the market that morning to find two bowls to shoot the soup in and this is what he came home with. They’re now two of my favorite bowls too!

  24. I have a LONG way to go before I get enough dishes for a full set of 4… Right now, we have 2 of one set, 3 of another, and so many randoms. The only “set” I have is of clear class ramekins that barely fit a full cup of liquid. Whoops! ;) And I totally love the photo with the steam curling up off of the soup — SO gorgeous! Pinned!

  25. Lila Smyth says:

    Oh my, yum!! Can’t wait to try it! Perfect for this weather.
    (p.s. my guests always have to wait to…and help…party in the kitchen!)

  26. Happy New Year lady! I hope 2015 is being good to you so far.
    I adore a good miso soup – not sure why I don’t make it more often. Thanks for the delicious reminder Sarah!
    Gorgeous photos as always,

  27. It has been so darn chilly here that I have been in search of the soups! I love how different this is! I can’t wait to try it!

  28. This soup has a perfect flavor profile! I have been advised by my doctor to eat more miso (and other fermented food, but I love miso) so I guess I’d better make this – doctor’s orders!

  29. I love how your miso soup looks! SO delicious! Miso soup is always comforting for me. And I have the same issue with guests waiting for my food to arrive at the table… LOL And thank you for the kind mention of my blog and linking back to my post, Sarah!

  30. I just so happen to have a container of silken tofu sitting in my fridge right now! I’ve never tried the stuff, but wanted to try making something with it. How did you know?! This is SO perfect! And that’s hysterical about always being an hour late with dinner. I’m super Type A and always stress right before having people over because I want food to get in their hands like as soon as they open the door. I need to learn to chill out like my super cool friend “Snix”. hahahaa

    • Yesss! I love silken tofu – it’s just so smooth and delicious. Please let me know if you try miso soup and how you like the tofu! I’m usually Type A in the rest of my life, but for some reason, I just slow my roll in the kitchen. Maybe there’s a happy middle between us? Ha.

  31. I think some of the best parts of the dinner party are the times leading up to the meal! Usually I stuff my face and am in a food coma after dinner. I’m definitely happy to wait, or make others wait!

  32. You should just get Fancy Yoga Pants! (BOOM! Solved all your problems!)


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