Hot and Sour Miso Shiitake Soup
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon ginger
4 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsp white or yellow miso paste
1/4 cup rice vinegar, or to taste
2 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onion/ scallions (1/4 cup kept for garnish)
225 grams (approx. 1 cup) medium firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
100 grams shiitake mushrooms (approx. 1 cup), sliced thinly
1 cup green peas
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tbsp sesame oil, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped green chard
Chili flakes (for garnish)
Sesame seeds (for garnish)
Warm, savory, spicy and sweet. This soup has it all.
When I think of food as medicine, the first dish that I think of is soup. Warm, nourishing and comforting soup. This association was certainly fostered in my childhood, when my mom would serve us soup whenever we had a cold, the sniffles or an uneasy stomach.
Soup has a long-standing tradition of being used in times of illness. It’s warming, easy to digest and helps to clear congestion. As well, herbal remedies have been incorporated into soups and stews around the globe, whether it’s garlic, onion, ginger, reishi mushroom, cayenne pepper – the list is endless!
This miso soup rendition was inspired by one of my favorite hot and sour soup recipes. I love how the ginger and sriracha are warming, and the rice vinegar adds a hint of sweetness. For this soup recipe I added in shiitake mushrooms, which are full of polysaccharides and have been shown to support immunity.1 This soup is the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s day or when you’re feeling a little run down.
You can be creative with this soup, and add in the ingredients that appeal to you. In addition to chopped green onion, green peas and tofu, you can add in kale, and rice or soba noodles. Adjust the seasonings to your liking, whether you prefer it spicier or sweet.
Serves 4 – 6
- In a saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, 1/4 cup scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute.
- Add the stock and whisk in the miso paste, and bring to a simmer.
- Add the tofu, mushrooms, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce. Simmer over medium-high heat till the mushrooms are tender.
- Taste the soup. If you want it spicier, add more Sriracha sauce; if you want it more sour, add more vinegar.
- Divide the soup among 4 to 6 bowls and garnish each with a little sesame oil, scallion, sesame seeds and white or black pepper.
- Serve immediately.
Further ideas and modifications
- Pro tip: When whisking in the miso paste, use a ladle to scoop up some broth and whisk the miso in the ladle. This helps to ensure that the miso is fully dissolved and not dispersed in clumps.
- Dai, X., Stanilka, J. M., Rowe, C. A., Esteves, E. A., Nieves Jr, C., Spaiser, S. J., … & Percival, S. S. (2015). Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) mushrooms daily improves human immunity: A randomized dietary intervention in healthy young adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(6), 478-487.
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