Is Miso Soup Vegan?


Japanese Cuisine has been around for centuries and has been adopted by many cultures worldwide. One of the most famous Japanese dishes is miso soup. But what is miso soup? And more importantly, is miso soup vegan? Let’s find out.

Definition Of Miso

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (a type of fungus). Thicker and saltier than soy sauce, it’s used as a base for soup, stew, and other dishes.

Different Types Of Miso

There are many different types of miso, each with its flavor and uses. Some of the most common varieties include:

White miso (Shiro miso):

It is made with soybeans and rice that has been fermented for a shorter period, resulting in a milder flavor. It’s often used in light soups and sauces.

Red miso (aka miso):

It is made with soybeans and barley that have been fermented for a more extended time, resulting in a more robust flavor. It’s often used in hearty soups and stews.

Mixed miso (awasemiso):

A combination of white and red miso looks like yellow miso paste.

What Is Miso Soup?

Miso soup is a Japanese soup made with a fermented soybean paste called miso. The soup also typically contains tofu, seaweed, and green onions. While many people believe that miso soup is automatically vegan, this is not always the case. Some restaurants add fish or chicken stock to their miso soups, so checking with your server before ordering is always best.

Brief History Of Miso Soup

Miso soup is thought to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago. The soup then made its way to Japan, becoming a staple in Japanese cuisine. Miso soup was traditionally made with fish or meat broth, but the tofu was eventually added as a protein source for Buddhist monks who could not eat animal products.

Ingredients In Miso Soup

The base of miso soup is, of course, miso paste. Miso paste is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungi. The fermentation process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on the type of miso paste.

In addition to miso paste, miso soup typically contains tofu, seaweed, and green onions. The type of seaweed used is usually wakame, although kombu or hijiki can also be used. The soup is typically garnished with green onions and sometimes served with rice on the side.

Traditional Japanese Miso Soup Recipe

There are various miso recipes out there. Following this recipe, you will be able to make miso soup at home. Traditional miso soup recipe calls-

1 cup traditional dashi stock or homemade dashi stock, dried fish, 1/4 cup miso paste or yellow miso paste, 1/4 cup fresh tofu cubes, 1 teaspoon wakame seaweed, and 1 green onion, thinly sliced.

  1. Miso soup begins with bringing the traditional dashi stock to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Dissolve the miso paste in the dashi broth.
  3. Add the firm tofu or silken tofu, wakame, dried fish, and green onion, and simmer for a few minutes until the seaweed is softened.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy!
Is Miso Soup Vegan

Health Benefits Of Miso Soup

In Japanese cuisine, traditional miso soup is a fermented food, which contains beneficial probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that can help improve gut health and digestion. Miso soup also contains soybeans, a good source of plant-based protein, and wakame seaweed, a good source of iodine. Iodine is an essential mineral for thyroid health.

While miso soup is generally considered to have health benefits, it is high in sodium. Therefore, if you are on a low-sodium diet, it is best to limit your intake of miso soup or make it at home with low-sodium broth.

Is Miso Soup Vegan?

The answer to this question depends on how the soup is prepared. If the soup is made with only vegan ingredients, it is vegan. However, if the soup contains animal-derived products, such as chicken stock, fish stock, dried fermented fish, or dairy, it is not vegan. While traditional miso soup recipes are vegan, some restaurants add dried fish or chicken stock to their soups.

So, how can you be sure that your miso soup is vegan? The best way is to make the soup at home using only vegan ingredients. That way, you can be confident that your soup is entirely vegan. However, if you are dining out, you can always ask your server about the ingredients in the soup. Most restaurants will be happy to accommodate your dietary needs. Again, many store-bought and packaged soups also contain non-vegan ingredients. So, do not forget to check the label before purchasing the vegan version.

Homemade Vegan Miso Soup Recipe

There are various homemade vegan miso soup recipes out there. Following this recipe, you will be able to make your miso soup vegan for your vegan diet or plant-based diet at home. So, this homemade vegan miso soup recipe calls for all the vegan ingredients as we know about vegan cooking. In this vegan version of miso soup, you will need 1 cup vegetable broth, 1/4 cup miso paste, 1/4 cup silken tofu cubes, 1 teaspoon wakame seaweed, 1 green onion, thinly sliced, dried mushrooms, fermented soybeans, bok choy, and other vegetables.

You can also add a thick paste of Shiro miso, rice noodles, vegan ramen noodles, and simple shiitake dashi, dried shiitake mushrooms to get a rich flavor. Mainly miso soup is made to have an umami flavor.

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a small pot.

Dissolve the miso paste in the broth.

Add tofu, wakame, dried mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, green onion, and other vegetables, and simmer for a few minutes until the seaweed is softened.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Vegan-Friendly Miso Soup Brands

There are a few store-bought and packaged soups that are vegan-friendly. These soups typically do not contain any animal products, but it is always best to check the labels to be sure. Some vegan-friendly brands of miso soup include:

-Miso Master Organic Vegan Miso Soup
– Eden Foods Organic Miso Soup
– Ohsawa Organic Vegan Miso Soup
– South River Organic Vegan Miso Soup
– Yamato Noodle vegan miso soup mix

Making your vegan miso soup at home is the best way to ensure that your soup is entirely vegan. However, this store-bought and packaged soups are a convenient option when you are on the go.


We hope this article has helped you answer the question, “Is miso soup vegan?” Remember, if you are ever unsure about a food item, the best thing to do is to ask your server or chef. They will be able to tell you definitively whether or not the dish is vegan.

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