As part and parcel of Japanese cuisine as sushi and rice, miso soup (misoshiru) is a true gourmet's delight. Made from a fish-based stock (dashi), miso soup is not suitable for vegetarians but for demi-veggies miso soup is usually a meat-free zone.
Softened miso paste (made from soy beans) is added to the dashi stock to form the base of the soup and various ingredients are added such as cubes of tofu, Chinese cabbage, daikon radish, wakame seaweed, sliced negi onions and mushrooms.
There is considerable regional as well as seasonal variety in the type of miso used producing different flavors between Kansai and Kanto miso soup.
Instant miso soup comes in single-serving sachets containing dried wakame and tofu with miso paste that dissolves with the addition of hot water and can be bought in any supermarket.
Miso soup is usually served in red and black lacquer bowls.
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