Soup stock of miso soup that vegetarians should be careful


My name is Satomi : Tokyo “Shitamachi” Local town Concierge of Susy’s Zoo Japanese & Nail.

Have you ever had miso soup?
Do you know what soup stock of miso soup is?

If you are a vegetarian, you might want to pay attention to the soup stock.
In this article, I would like to introduce the miso soup that vegetarians should be careful about.

What is Miso Soup?

Miso soup is one of the most popular soup dishes in Japanese cuisine. It is a soup made of vegetables, tofu, bran, seafood, and other foods in a broth seasoned with miso.

What is Miso?

Miso is a fermented food made by adding salt and koji to grains such as soybeans, rice, and wheat. The ingredients vary slightly depending on the type of miso.
Miso can be broadly categorized into four types: rice miso, barley miso, soybean miso, and mixed miso.
Of these, 80% of the miso produced in Japan today is rice miso.

How Miso is made


  1. Soybeans in stock

Soybeans are brought in from Canada and the United States. Foreign materials and discolored materials are removed by machine.

2. Washing soybeans

Wash the sorted soybeans and soak them in water overnight. Drain and warm the soybeans, which have received plenty of water and have doubled in size.

3. Steaming/boiling soybeans

Steaming at high temperature and high pressure in a short time. This is an important process for producing the brilliant yama-buki color characteristic of Shinshu miso.

4. Crush

Crush finely to make it easier to ferment.

5. Products
The finished miso is filled and packaged in cups or bottles, and the product is ready to use.

6. Fermentation and maturation
Ferment and age the prepared miso. After a few months, a flavorful matured miso is born.

7. Stocking
The well-mixed product is then prepared.

8. Mix
Mix soybeans, rice koji, salt, and seed water, and mix well.

Soup stock for Miso Soup

There are several types of soup stock used in miso soup.
These are kombu (kelp), katsuo (bonito), and niboshi (dried sardines).

What is Kombu?

Kombu is a seaweed that grows in the sea.

What is bonito soup stock?

Katsuo is a fish.
Katsuo dashi is a soup stock made from dried bonito flakes.
Katsuobushi is made by boiling bonito, drying it, and then grinding it.

What is Niboshi ?

Niboshi dashi is a broth made from small fish that have been boiled and dried.



We talked about dashi. If you can’t eat seafood, you might need to be careful.

If you are interested in Sushi culture, I recommend SUSHIDO with sushi (We also have vegetarian menu) when you visit to Tokyo. You will also have an experience of Omotenashi(Japanese hospitality).

If you are interested in Shitamachi(Do you know Shitamachi?) ,secret spots in Tokyo and Japanese casual conversation for trip, I recommend Online Japanese lesson.

Ref.: マルコメ