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RECIPE: Vegan Mushroom Miso Soup

Miso soup is one of these dishes that sounds fancy, but is actually very easy to make. Which is a good thing, as miso soup isn't usually vegan and is not a safe option at a Japanese restaurant. It contains fish stock, and even when it's marked with a V I don't order it - 'cause, you know, a lot of people still think vegetarians eat fish.

Luckily the fish isn't an essential part of miso soup. The essential part is the miso paste - and that comes from a plant! When picking your miso paste, the paler the colour the lighter the taste so if you've never tried it, that's my best advice. Miso is delicious but it can be an acquired taste and better in smaller portions (miso soup is always a side or starter). 

Below is the recipe I follow when making it at home. Chinese Supermarkets are the best place to pick up most of the ingredients. Much, much cheaper than an average health food store.

1/4 block of Morinaga firm silken tofu*, cut into cubes
5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
handful endoi mushrooms
10 brown bunashime mushrooms
2 dessert spoons miso
4-5 strips wakame
one green onion, sliced

1. Start by adding the seaweed to a pan of boiling water. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. 
2. While that's simmering, prepare the tofu. You're working with firm tofu here but it's always a good idea to remove excess moisture to make sure it keeps its shape. To do this drain the liquid from the packet and wrap tofu in kitchen roll. You might have to repeat this step a few times. 
3. Taste the water to ensure it now has a flavour to it. Some people like to leave the seaweed in, but I hate the texture of cooked seaweed so at this point I take it out and discard.
4. Prepare the miso by mixing with some water until it is a thick paste. 
5. Add the green onion and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add the miso last. 
7. Pour into the separate bowls and gently add tofu cubes on top

If you're a fan of miso soup, what is your preferred way of cooking it? 

* The tofu was a PR sample. 
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