Instant Miso Soup

I’ve been under the weather since Sunday with all the symptoms of a bad cold, compounded with a sore back from doing some major heavy lifting domestic chores, and I was not feeling good at all. The chilly night time temperatures only made those conditions feel worse.

Thankfully I had this easy-to-prepare instant miso soup featured here to help nurse me along the way to a warm recovery. When I’m feeling sick like this, toggling between hot showers, piping-hot Chicken Noodle Soup and Miso Soup is my usual course of action to feeling better.

Like any other highly-regarded prepared dish, soup can’t be beat when home-cooked and made from scratch, but when my body isn’t able to take on that task, instant or canned is A-OK with me.

We all know instant ramen by now, as it’s been around for decades, ever since the late and great Momofuku Ando invented and first introduced it to market in 1958.

While I couldn’t dig up the history of instant miso soup, I can personally say I’ve only seen it around our local supermarkets within the past 5 years or so. At least these here Japanese brands.

Probably the most popular flavor is the Tofu shown above. I’m also a spinach fan, so I grabbed that flavor as well recently to try…

If you’re wondering what those round white doughnut-shaped items are, according to the ingredients list, they’re “wheat cakes”.

Each of these bags include 8 servings made up of packets, with one containing the miso paste, and the other containing the dehydrated seaweed, tofu and other garnishments…


Miso Paste and bonito soup base in packets on bottom, dehydrated garnishments in top packets

One thing always appreciated with foreign imported food products is translated instructions into English…

Easy enough. Add contents of packets to bowl then add 2/3 cup boiling hot water. Here’s how the contents look before the water is added…

With water added…

Looks oishii to me.

Now here’ the spinach instant miso soup before water added…

Add mizu…

That looks oishii as well.

The dehydrated garnishments, as advertised, instantly come to life with vibrant color and full-bodied texture. It’s especially appreciated how much volume gain the wakame (seaweed) increases by. The Wakame also retains much of its original “seaweed-ish” flavor. The green onions (negi) also have retained much of their as-good-as-fresh flavor, which helps bring out the flavors of the garnishments even further. The spinach is full-bodied as well. The rehydrated tofu isn’t nearly as good as fresh, and also cut rather small due to packaging consraints, yet FWIW, not having to buy and prepare that, plus everything else separately, I’m absolutely good with it as is. The round wheat cakes seem to be in there mostly as an appearance and texture enhancer and don’t add much as far as flavor except to absorb the miso broth quite well.

Then there’s the miso broth itself, which is kinda’ generic, yet it’s still flavorful and true to what it is. I’m not complaining. As long as it’s piping-hot, you should be happy with it. Also make sure you have it diluted properly, which is 2/3 cup of hot water.

You could easily doctor this by adding fresh-cooked clams (asari) or even additional fresh tofu.Or shoot, even canned clams would work. I LOVE clams in miso soup.

When making Miso Soup from “scratch”, the only real hassle is getting everything together that’s otherwise all packaged and ready to go with these instant types.

We have this tub of Shiromiso (white) on hand for scratch use next time….

And learning from my girlfriend’s Nihongin friend from Japan, when making Miso Soup from scratch, I make the broth stock starting by boiling a piece of saba or any other white flesh fish in water, along with Kombu and a some dashi. This really adds depth to the the finished product. Again, clams also are the BEST when making miso soup from scratch.

Another variant of Miso Soup I was immediately fond of after trying it is Tonjiru…


Tonjiru

This was served at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin in Waikiki.

Speaking of Tonkatsu and its traditional accompanyment, Miso Soup, waiting on the backburner is my soon-to-come Tonkatsu Sauce Shootout…

Top row left to right: Katsu Sauce Dobuzuke, Ikari Tonkatsu Sauce, Kikkoman (US), Bull Dog Vegetable & Fruit Sauce (Tonkatsu Sauce). Bottom row left to right: Seasoning Sauce Mitsuya Tonkatsu Sauce, Kikkoman (Japan), Tokiha Sauce Tonkatsu Sauce, Pole Star Tonkatsu Sauce

What? Instant Miso Soup – Tofu and Spinach varieties
Who makes it? Miyasaka Brewery Co., Ltd.
Where did you buy it? Don Quijote Kaheka
How much did it cost? $3.79 sale price per 6.04 oz. package (8 individual servings)
Big shaka to: Easy and convenient to prepare. All the garnishments are in the bag. Instructions translated in English. Wakame especially flavorful and bulky in volume. Tofu and wheat cakes add nice texture and reasonable genuine flavor FWIW. Satisfactory miso broth. Helps chase away a cold. Loosens stiff joints. Healthy (besides high sodium). Good value @ just 43 cents per serving.
No shaka to: Miso broth, while satisfactory, is a little on the generic side as is. Getting sick. Lifting heavy ceramic tile boxes without doing stretches first.
SPAM Musubi rating: 3

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6 thoughts on “Instant Miso Soup

  1. Wow, that looks a LOT better than some of the instant miso soups I’ve tried in the past. The ones I’ve gotten were just soup with tiny tofu-like specks. However, now that so many Asian supermarkets have opened up near me, perhaps I’ll try the instant soups again and get a more authentic-Asian brand.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Pomai,
    There more you can do with miso soup mixs. I sometime put it into chicken to marinade. Use one without tofu and seaweed. It really miso package I used.

  3. Pomai, I am not happy at this restaurant owner of Rai Rai Ten in Manhatten, NY. He claim recently he creative mabo ramen. Boulevard Saimin had it for years. No way he say it his. Maybe he had it in Honolulu so took ideal back to Manhatten.

    Boulevard Saimin is not bad place. Wish you do an entry on it one day.

  4. I think Michale talking of Rai Rai Ken that was feature on Martha Living Show a few days ago. The owner did indeed said he made up mabo ramen for his restaurants recently which he called his secret weapon recipe in ramen. It in one of those webs.

    Been to other Saimin places in Honolulu and they make pretty good mabo saimins too.

    I like miso mix in adding to other dishes when wanting quick and easy dishes.

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