shiitake miso soup

photo by James Ransom

From a culinary point of view, Miso soup is full of Umami, a 'deliciousness' that is hard to explain but that is now very well-known by Chefs around the world; Umami is also in seaweed. Seaweed is full of glutamic acid, responsible for this special savoury flavour!


1/4 cup rehydrated Alaria
1/2 cup re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp sesame oil
4 cups Kombu Dashi or Vegan Umami Broth
2 tsp miso/ cup of liquid, so 8 tsp here
chopped spring onion to garnish
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves


Soak Alaria in tepid water for 5 minutes, chop bite-size. Sauté mushrooms in a pan until golden. In a pot, warm the stock to a simmer. Spoon the miso into a small bowl & add in a small ladle-ful of the stock and whisk until you have a smooth slurry. Add that back to the pot, then simmer gently for a few minutes, making sure not to bring it to a boil. Add the other ingredients and serve immediately.
Note: if you prefer Alaria really soft, simmer the soup without boiling for 15 minutes.

Chef's tips: since miso is a fermented paste, it should not be cooked at high temperatures otherwise the good bacteria & enzymes it contains will be destroyed.