This Tomato and Tofu Miso Soup combines both comfort and refreshing flavors with just a few ingredients. Here, we pair sweet cherry tomatoes and silky tofu with a kombu dashi broth and finish it with savory miso paste. This vegan-friendly miso soup is lovely alongside any Japanese breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Tomatoes in miso soup. I’ve seen this combination in Japanese cookbooks sometimes, but it’s not something my mom would make when I was growing up. This unique pairing is not common in miso soup, but when I saw it featured in the recently released Netflix series, The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House, I knew I had to give it a try.
Why You Should Try This Tomato and Tofu Miso Soup
- It’s fuss-free and super speedy to make! All you need is a quick warm-up of the ingredients.
- Simple and easily accessible ingredients. I usually have both tomatoes and tofu in my kitchen!
- Goes well with any kind of Japanese meal. The soup goes well with pretty much anything—a light or a heavy meal, a fish or meat, or a simple egg dish.
- So you can relive the tranquil scene shown in The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House. 😆
How to Make Tomato and Tofu Miso Soup
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Kombu Dashi
- Cherry tomatoes
- Silken/Soft Tofu
- Miso of your choice (more about miso later)
Why did I use kombu dashi in this recipe? Since the ingredients are simple, I used Kombu Dashi instead of my usual Awase Dashi made with kombu and katsuobushi, which tends to have a stronger flavor.
Overview: Cooking Steps
- Prepare the kombu dashi if you don’t have it. It’s very easy and quick to make from scratch.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and tofu and warm them up thoroughly.
- Add the miso of your choice and serve hot.
My Favorite Miso
One of the most asked cooking questions I received from my readers is miso, specifically my recommended brand and type. My answer is Hikari Miso’s Kodawattemasu.
This miso is a trusted condiment that I’ve been using for a very long time. It has the most amazing depth of umami flavor. These days, you can find this miso on Amazon besides Japanese and Asian grocery stores.
I usually keep three to four kinds of miso paste at home and I like to change it around based on the dishes I make. However, Kodawattemasu is always in the fridge, and when it’s running low, I’m already getting one. That’s how much I love it!
If you are new to this Japanese must-have ingredient, I recommend reading this article on All About Miso.
- Each type of miso has a different level of saltiness. You have to taste the flavor and adjust the amount of miso based on your preference and the type of miso you’re using. Use my recipe as a guide and not a strict direction.
- Add miso paste to the soup stock right before serving for the best taste and fragrance. You can cook the ingredients in advance, but wait to add miso until you’re ready to serve.
- Never boil the soup once miso is added because it loses nutrients, flavors, and aromas. If you turn off the heat right before boiling, this temperature (203ºF/95ºC) is considered the most fragrant stage for miso soup. And by the time you are ready to enjoy the soup, it is an ideal temperature (167ºF/75ºC) for drinking.
What to Serve with Tomato and Tofu Miso Soup
- Hijiki Rice (Takikomi Gohan)
- Teriyaki Salmon
- Simmered Beef and Tofu
- Green Bean Gomaae
- Chikuwa Isobeage
Tableware from Musubi Kiln
I’ve partnered with a great ceramic online shop from Japan called Musubi Kiln. You will get 10% off with a coupon code JUSTONECOOKBOOK for your purchase. In this post, I’ve used:
- NATAME Yamanaka Lacquer Miso Soup Bowl
- Rinkuro Kiln Old Imari Story Chrysanthemum Kobachi Bowl
Other Popular Miso Soup Recipes
- Cold Miso Soup (Hiyajiru)
- Tonjiru (Pork and Vegetable Miso Soup)
- Japanese Clam Miso Soup
- Kabocha Miso Soup
- Nameko Mushroom Miso Soup
- Homemade Instant Miso Soup
Tomato and Tofu Miso Soup
For the Kombu Dashi
- 1 piece kombu (dried kelp) (⅓ oz, 10 g; 4 x 4 inches or 10 x 10 cm per piece)
- 4 cups water
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Make the Kombu Dashi
- Add 4 cups water and 1 piece kombu (dried kelp) to a medium saucepan. If you have time, soak the kombu in water for 30 minutes. NEVER wash kombu and do not remove the white substance—that’s umami! These days, it‘s pretty clean so just make sure there are no dirt particles.
- Set the heat to medium low and bring it to a boil SLOWLY over about 10 minutes. This allows you to extract as much umami from the kombu as possible. Right before the stock boils, remove the kombu and set it aside for another use. (If you leave the kombu, it gets slimy and yields a bitter taste.) Now, your Kombu Dashi is ready to use! Reserve the spent kombu and repurpose it; see the suggested recipes that follow at the end of the instructions.
To Prepare the Miso Soup
- Cut 7 oz soft/silken tofu (kinugoshi dofu) into ½-inch (1.3-cm) cubes.
- Add the tofu and 12 cherry tomatoes to the pot with the kombu dashi. Bring it to a gentle simmer until the ingredients are heated through.
- Once simmering, turn off the heat. Add 4 Tbsp miso using a fine-mesh miso strainer, which helps you dissolve the miso faster. After dissolving it, you may see rice koji (especially when it‘s koji miso) left in the strainer. You can either add it to the soup or discard it (personal preference). If you don‘t have a miso strainer, put 2 Tbsp of miso in a ladle, slowly add the dashi into the ladle, and stir with chopsticks to dissolve the miso completely before adding more miso. Take care not to break the tofu as you stir. Tip: You must taste the soup to determine if you need to add more miso. If you accidentally add too much miso, dilute the soup with dashi or water.
- Reheat the soup until it is just hot. NEVER BOIL miso soup because it loses nutrients, flavor, and aroma. Once it‘s hot, turn off the heat and serve immediately. Place on the right side of the table setting; you can read more about this in my Ichiju Sansai (One Soup Three Dishes) blog post.
- In general, it‘s best to consume all the miso soup right away because it will lose its aroma and taste as time passes. Let your miso soup cool to room temperature (up to 4 hours; any longer and it will spoil) and then refrigerate. Keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. If you want to make a big batch to store for later, it‘s best to refrigerate the soup without adding the miso. When ready to use, add the miso only for the portion you need. You can freeze miso soup for up to 2 weeks. However, you have to remove the tofu before freezing as the texture will change. If you have any leftover Kombu Dashi, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3–5 days and in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
To Reheat the Soup
- Heat the miso soup in a pot over medium heat, but do not boil. Miso loses its nutrients, flavor, and aroma at high temperatures.