I recently posted a recipe for a vegan mushroom miso soup and mentioned that I wanted to post a more traditional miso soup recipe that used dashi as a base. Well, here we are! Dashi is a broth made using water, kombu (seaweed) and bonito flakes (Katsuobushi, or dried fish). This broth is really easy to veganize, so that’s what I have done. Simply replace the bonito flakes with dried shiitake mushrooms and you’re set. Dashi can be made in batches and stored in the freezer for later use, or made fresh when you want to have miso soup.
Just for laughs here’s a photo of me at age 14 playing kendo in Shimizu, Japan.
2 cups water
2-3″ kombu (dried seaweed)
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
Add the water, kombu, and mushrooms to a pot or saucepan and slowly warm on medium heat. Remove the kombu before the broth comes to a boil, but leave the mushrooms in to simmer for several minutes. The longer the kombu can steep without coming to a boil the better. Turn down the heat and remove the 2 mushrooms and you’ve got your dashi.
If you’d like to go on and turn the broth into a miso soup, you can!
Vegan Miso Soup
2 cups vegan dashi
2 tablespoons red soybean paste
1/4 cup soft or silken tofu, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon dried wakame
Start by rehydrating your wakame; add the wakame to a small amount of cold water and set aside. After the dashi has come to a boil and simmered for several minutes, remove from heat and prepare the soybean paste. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup warm water to the soybean paste and mix until all lumps are melted. Add to the dashi and stir gently. Add the tofu and rehydrated wakame and allow to warm through for several minutes. Then add the green onion and serve immediately.
If you have mushrooms that need using up this is a great recipe to add them to. I had some oysters left in the fridge that were getting old so I chopped them up and added them to simmer shortly before I removed the dashi from the heat. It’s a nice extra touch but the miso soup all on its own is also amazing! It tastes just like the miso soup you get in restaurants.