Miso Shiru Musings

So basically, when I woke up last Sunday morning, I was thinking about making some miso shiru. This is not a normal way to wake up. A normal way to wake up is either a) thinking about an enormous fried breakfast which somehow makes itself and then does the washing up, or b) going back to bed because it’s still technically ‘AM’.

Or both.

However, there I was wandering around the apartment thinking about miso shiru. Of course, like anything, my plan just got grander and grander.

“I’m going to grind fresh miso, make my own dashi from dead fish, recycled Gundam robots etc., make my own tofu and find clams and such on Tsukiji market to flavour. It will truly be an epic soup!! [Insert evil laugh here]”


One thing I do know about my local supermarket on a Sunday AM is that it’s packed with customers over the age of 120. Hundreds of them. All buying the same things. So I decided to spend a bit more time in the planning phase.

After a cup of tea and a good sit down at the dining table, the whole thing seemed like a lot of hard work. Maybe I’d buy the dashi paste or powder and to be honest I don’t actually like clams, so what’s the point in that?

After another cup of tea and a quick game of Katamari Damashi, the ‘grinding your own miso’ thing seemed positively twentieth century – you can get very reasonable miso in a tube I’m told.

It takes a lot of time to make tofu. I remember seeing a programme on TV about it. Also, I don’t have the huge bath they had, so I’m better off just buying some.

OK. I have my plan. Just one more cup of tea, and off to the shop.

So after another quick Katamari session, I got to the supermarket, and had decided to do an all vegetable miso shiru based on the truth that I had a lot of veggies in the fridge which needed using. Potatoes, carrots and mushrooms to be exact. Also, I spied a tub of miso/dashi paste. Pre-mixed! I saw an elderly lady buy one, so I figured it must be pretty good, because I can’t quite see her allowing herself to be ridiculed by friends and family for not knowing how to make good miso shiru.

Buying the tofu proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Actually, it shouldn’t have been. There’s basically two types in our local supermarket – kinu and momen. They’re actually made differently, taste different, and have slightly different consistencies. I wanted momen, which should have been easy as I can read the ‘kinu’ kanji pretty easily, so I just needed to avoid it.

Actually, it was only after I bought the kinu tofu, and carried it home, that I had this epiphany. Ah well, no problem, I’ll just figure it out later.

Bottom line was I mixed the dashi/miso mix (very twenty first century I might add) with hot water for a few minutes, added my slightly pre-boiled potatoes and carrots, then a bit later the mushrooms, and then finally, a couple of minutes before serving, the slightly soft tofu. Outcome: complete success. See, I knew that was a quick, pain free idea.

No, there was no wakame. I just wasn’t in a seaweedy mood that day. Maybe next Sunday.